Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Whole Wheat Thin Crust Pizza

As I mentioned before, I take inventory in my kitchen.  I like to decide which meals to make based on what we already have but I'm all for picking up a few extras to really make it a meal.  Last week we had a ginormous wedge of Parmesan and an open jar of Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce and to me that just screams pizza!  I like to make a veggie heavy, wheat thin-crust pizza, but if you prefer a thicker crust, the dough I made for 'empanada, basically...' was bangin' and I would recommend using that dough recipe.

Since pizza dough takes a little time, I always start it before I prep any of the other the toppings.

I just dive right in with bare hands to turn and knead the dough.

Once the dough is resting I begin the veggie prep.  Mushrooms and peppers are a must!

Next, I slice the fresh mozzarella and grate some Parmesan.

Saute the peppers and onions in a swirl of olive oil.  I add the mushrooms after the onions become translucent (about 3 minutes) since mushrooms need less time to cook than the other vegetables.

After the dough rests for 30 minutes, I roll it out on my counter, covered with parchment paper and a dusting of cornmeal and flour to stop it from sticking.  I sort of smash the dough into a rectangle shape since I don't have a round pizza pan.  I use a rolling pin to thin it out, making sure it isn't sticking to anything the whole time.  Its the worst when you have a perfectly rolled out dough and then find it is stuck to the parchment paper...

Make sure to poke the uncooked dough with a fork so it doesn't have air bubbles a when you bake it.  Bake for 15 minutes until the bottom is slightly browned and getting crispy.

Top with sauce and cheese.

Add your cooked veggies and more grated Parmesan cheese.

Just 10 more minutes in the oven and we have pizza!  The parchment paper makes moving the pizza to a cutting board super easy.

Thin Crust Pizza

Dough Ingredients:

1 c warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
cornmeal (optional)
extra flour for kneading

Topping Ingredients:

Sauce, Cheese, Sauteed Veggies, Cooked Meat...whatever you'd like!


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Before you do anything else, add the yeast to the cup of warm water and let sit for 10 minutes.  Next whisk your flours and salt together in a large mixing bowl.  Once the 10 minutes is up on the water and yeast, pour the olive oil into the water mixture, whisk with a fork and add to the flours bowl.  Turn and knead for 6-8 minutes or until the dough comes together.  Separate dough into two balls if you'll be making two pizzas and set aside to rest in a mixing bowl covered loosely with a clean dish towel for 30 minutes.

While the dough rests, prep your toppings, cooking your veggies and meat fully.  If your toppings are looking runny, don't hesitate to drain and set them on a paper towel lined plate to soak up some moisture (wet toppings = soggy pizza).  When your dough is done rising - don't worry if it doesn't rise, mine only rises half of the time, I'm sure it has to do with the yeast.  But since it is thin crust, I find it doesn't really effect anything!  Roll out your dough into the shape of the pan you'll be baking on and poke the uncooked dough with a fork.  Bake crust for 15 minutes.  Add toppings and bake for another 10 minutes to warm everything up and melt the cheese.

This is one of my favorite meals that is easy to throw together as an afterthought.  Even when we don't have the 'right' pizza toppings, really anything goes!  Leftover chicken breast?  Throw it on a pizza!  Don't have red sauce?  Try draining a can of diced tomatoes, slicing fresh tomatoes or drizzling your crust with olive oil and salt (and Parmesan) and skip tomatoes all together.  Don't have any veggies or cheese?  Thinly sliced potatoes, onions and smoked sausage or bacon is delicious on a pizza.  Only have rice and frozen peas in your kitchen?  Well, that might be kind of terrible :)  Make rice and peas (yes I've been there) and skip the pizza.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?  Anything weird we should try?  I have to say the potato sausage pizza was the strangest combo we've made but now I see potato pizza at restaurants so I guess we're not that original!

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