January 10, 2009

Margherita Pizza With Whole Wheat Crust

I realized today that all of my 'pizza' blog posts are with my other pizza crust recipe (really, my friend Jen A.'s pizza crust recipe), and I have not made this whole wheat crust in quite awhile. This whole wheat crust recipe is one that I used to make all the time, before I stole...ahem!....borrowed....the other recipe from Jen (why get caught up in semantics????). Hers is definitely the quicker, easier crust to whip up when time is short; but this one is really good and fairly easy, as well.
I originally got this recipe from Cooking Light, and despite it being considered "healthy", this crust really does deliver on taste and texture. I am telling you, the folks at Cooking Light know what they are doing. They always have great tasting recipes that are good for you, and that don't taste like carpet. I love healthy food that does not sacrifice flavor. The nice thing about this crust recipe is that you get enough dough for two pizzas...one for now and one to freeze for another time. That will make a pizza night in the future half of the work!

I am inadvertently making this another vegetarian meal tonight. Not because I purposely planned it to be vegetarian, but just because I went to a movie this afternoon and did not thaw any protein items for toppings (like Italian sausage). Oops. So, instead, we are having unintentional, vegetarian, Pizza Margherita. Seriously, it does not get much easier than tomatoes, basil, cheese, and sauce. I don't think I have any pizza sauce on hand, but I do have all the ingredients to make a quick sauce from scratch. Margherita style is one of my favorite ways to have pizza, so I am looking forward to this treat!

Margherita Pizza With Whole Wheat Crust

Cooking Light Whole Wheat Pizza Crust:

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Cooking spray

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, wheat flour, oil, and salt; stir until well blended. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide in half; roll each dough half into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface.
Note: To freeze, follow directions for kneading dough and shape into 2 balls. Coat with cooking spray and place in freezer in a zip-top plastic bag. To use them, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85ยบ), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Shape as instructed.
(Totals are for 1 (12-inch) Pizza Crust.)

Yield: 2 (12-inch) pizza crusts
Note: To freeze, follow directions for kneading dough and shape

CALORIES 847 (11% from fat); FAT 9.9g (sat 1.4g,mono 5.4g,poly 1.9g); PROTEIN 25.7g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 47mg; SODIUM 1764mg; FIBER 12.7g; IRON 10.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 165g

Jen's Notes:
I always add flavor-enhancers to the dough mixture. Today, I added garlic powder and Italian Seasoning to the dry ingredients for a little extra zip.

Jen's Pizza Sauce:

½ can of diced tomatoes
½ can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt

Combine all sauce ingredients in a food processor and mix thoroughly. Top with favorite toppings and bake as directed (see below).

Margherita Pizza Toppings:

1 ball of fresh whole-milk mozzarella, sliced
fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Roma tomatoes, sliced
5-6 cloves minced garlic

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. After dough has rested, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan dusted with corn meal. Spread evenly with sauce. Cover with toppings in an even layer. Bake 15-20 min. Let cool 5 minutes. Cut and serve!

The Result:
Ummmm....pizza. This was so good. The dough turned out perfect and the pizza itself was so delicious. I was a little bummed because I did not realize I did not have a ball of whole milk mozzarella on hand. I adjusted my game plan, and just used regular shredded mozzarella instead. The result was still good, but the other mozzarella would have made this pizza fantastic. Also, I don't like the look of cooked fresh herbs, because they get all black and wilty. I love the vibrancy of fresh herbs, and I don't like when that freshness is tampered with! I tried to avoid the ugly herb issue by putting my fresh basil on the pizza after it was out of the oven, but the pizza was so hot it still turned the basil dark and made it a little wilty. Oh well, it still tasted nice and fresh...it just wasn't as pretty. I can't complain too much, because my pizza still earned rave reviews from around my table. Seriously, I love homemade pizza...it is so cheap and easy. Not to mention the end product is usually always better than take-out. Hooray for pizza night!!!

No comments: