Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pizza X 3 (thin crust)

We don't usually eat a lot of homemade pizza.  I have never really found a recipe that I loved and Tyler is more partial to the Papa Johns type of pizza.  We had dinner with some friends this week and I left feeling a little inspired.  She does most of her cooking without meat!  Not that they are vegetarian, but she said she doesn't really know what to do with it.  I was a bit baffled, because I feel like I, more often than not, plan my meal around the protein.  One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to have a reason to challenge myself and try new things.  Before I left her house, I told her I was going to try at least 2 meat-free meals this week.  I also recently bought a new cookbook that included a pizza section and it called to me.  I decided that my first meat-free meal was going to be a pizza. 
I am now in love. 
We have had pizza 2 nights in a row!   I feel like the possibilities are endless, these definitely won't be my last pizzas.  The dough is also really easy to make and I love the result.  Tyler said it reminds him of a restaurant pizza. That is a huge compliment coming from someone who has said he hates homemade pizza.  This recipe produces a thin crust pizza, maybe next time I will try a pan-type pizza or maybe not.  I halved the pizza dough and it made 4 (about 8 inch) pizza, so we each had our own.  I made the kids each a cheese pizza and Tyler and I had some more 'adult' toppings.  Yesterday when I made the pizza dough, I made it just how the recipe specified.  I loved it but also wondered if I could make it a little healthier with some of my new flour.
I substituted 1 cup of the white flour with the white whole wheat.  It was slightly harder to manipulate but it was still really delicious.

Things to think about while preparing and making your pizza:
-It's best to only bake 1 baking sheet or 1 pizza pan at a time.
-It's best to bake immediately after topping pizza
-Limit the amount of water on the pizza, vegetables are best pre-cooked to lessen water content.  If there is too much water on your pizza, it can make your crust soggy.  When necessary dry ingredients before putting them on the pizza.

Pizza Dough
slightly adapted from Bake! 
1 1/2 cup flour (the original recipe calls for bread flour, but I used all-purpose)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
1 T oil, plus extra for greasing pans.

Combine flours and salt.  Whisk yeast and oil into warm water and add to flour mixtures.  With a spatula, combine until all dry spots are gone. ( I used my hands a bit.)  Cover bowl and let rest for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, scrape dough out of bowl and dump onto floured surface.  Turn dough over into a ball a few times to smooth.  Cut into 4 equal sections and shape into balls.  Dust with flour and cover for 20 minutes. (* You can also roll each ball in flour and wrap each individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, until ready to use.) Grease a baking sheet or pizza pan with olive oil, place a ball of dough on pan and turn over to grease both sides.  While making a circular motion, press dough into and 8 inch circle.  (Hadlee helped me do this) 

Cheese Pizza
Pizza Sauce (see below)
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
dash oregano

Smooth 1-2 T pizza sauce over dough, trying to stay away from 1/4 inch edge.  Cover each pizza with about 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a dash of dried oregano.  Bake Pizza (see below)

Pizza Sauce.
In saucepan, heat up 1 T olive oil, add 1 clove minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes over med-high heat.  Run a 14.5 oz can of Italian stewed tomatoes through the food processor to make it smooth.  Add to pan with garlic.  Cover with the lid propped open and cook over med-low (simmer) for at least 30 minutes. This makes enough for about 4-8 inch pizzas.

Pepper and Onion Pizza
1/2 onion
1/2 pepper
Pizza sauce (see above)
Mozzarella cheese.
Parmesan cheese

Thinly slice onion and heat in 1 T olive oil over med-high until it starts to sizzle, sprinkle with salt, cover and turn down to low and let cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.  This is enough for 2-8 inch pizzas, you can do a whole onion and store in the left over portion in the refrigerator for a couple days.

Slice green or red sweet bell peppers and place in oiled baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and bake in preheated (375 degree) oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Don't let the peppers char or they will burn on the pizza.  Cool peppers and chop.

Spread 1-2 T pizza sauce over dough, add desire amount of caramelized onions and pepper, top with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese for each pizza sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake Pizza (see below)

Black Bean and Corn Pizza (I think this last pizza has been my favorite so far.)
1 recipe BBQ sauce (see below)
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained. (after draining lay out on a paper towel to dry.)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and also lay out on paper towel tor dry.
Mexican-style cheese
Romain lettuce, chopped
tomatoes chopped
avocado, chopped
ranch sauce (see below)
I also used some caramelized onions since I had them, but I think red onions would be great on this.
lime wedges

Barbecue Sauce
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 T minced onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup vinegar
1/8 cup water
2 tsp chili powder

Heat olive oil in sauce pan over med-high heat add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes and add remaining ingredients.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

Ranch Sauce
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
2 T milk

Mix together until smooth.

Smooth 1-2 T BBQ sauce over pizza, add caramelized onions, black beans and corn cover with cheese. Bake pizza (see below)

To bake pizzas:  Preheat oven to 500 degrees, place rack on lowest setting.  Cook pizzas on low rack for 10 minutes.  Mine cooked more quickly than that so keep an eye on them.  I also moved mine up a rack after a few minutes, but depending on your oven, you might not need to do that.

Serve black bean and corn pizza with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, ranch sauce and drizzle with lime juice.

I have decided that what I love so much about pizza is it's so versatile.  There are so many combinations to create.  What kind of pizza would you make?


  1. Mmm, looks delish! You are truly amazing! Only 3 more weeks!!!

  2. The black bean and corn pizza looks SO yummy! Can't wait to try it!

  3. Used your pizza crust recipe tonight, awesome and easy, loving this blog!!!


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