Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Homemade Pizza

So, as I'm on this losing weight, healthy eating train, I decided to try and start making our pizzas at home. We eat a lot of pizza. Probably more than average and more than we need to. And even with buying premade crusts, they have a lot of preservatives and weird ingredients that make it really unhealthy. Like honey, I know honey is good for you and it definitely has it's place (like substitution for sugar). But when it ups the calorie count for a small personal pan pizza crust about 6 inches in diameter to over 300 calories, that's a little excessive. A 6 inch pizza is pretty small and when you start at 300 calories before sauce, cheese and meat, it defeats the purpose of a personal pizza. At least in my opinion.

Back to my point, I made (for the very first time) homemade pizza crusts! They turned out really well. The first one was a regular circle pizza with all the "boy" toppings of pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onion and loads of cheese. And the second one was my attempt at a BBQ chicken, onion and mushroom pizza. BBQ by the way is really unhealthy :(. Anyway, they turned out really good and I think it's going to become a tradition and something we do more often. The hardest part is that the dough takes 3-4 days to rise in the fridge, so I have to plan and make it ahead of when we'll use it. Also, while the recipe says it makes 2 pizzas, we probably could have stretched it to three. Better food choice tip - if you are already going to eat pizza, choose thin crust, saves you major calories. Our crusts on our pizza were pretty thick. But over all, I'm counting it as a win.

Instead of using all white flour in the recipe, I used half white flour and half wheat flour to give it a little more healthy points. Feel free to use this!! I got it from my favorite cooking blog: The Pioneer Woman She has lots of great recipes!

Basic Pizza Dough:


1 teaspoon Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
1-1/2 cup Warm Water
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/3 cup Olive Oil

Preparation Instructions
Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes. In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it. Note: it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better. When you are ready to make the pizza, grab HALF the pizza dough (recipe makes 2 crusts) and squeeze the dough toward the bottom to form a nice, tight, pulled ball. You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but sometimes it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and spread it with your fingers. Very lightly sprinkle some salt on the crust. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Top your crust with your toppings of choice. Then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.

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