Note the healthier part, not exactly a low fat pizza here. Definitely less fat than you local Pizza Hut though. My husband and I are trying to lose weight this year. We have every intention of still enjoying good food though. We’ll just have to make our food healthier for us. Also, by healthier I don’t always mean lower in fat or calories. I use pepperoni that has no added nitrates/nitrites because it is healthier for me even though the turkey pepperoni has a little less fat and calories. I’ll usually take that approach with recipes.
On to pizza making!
Pizza dough is the easiest of all dough to make in my opinion but you do have to make it ahead of time. I make a part whole wheat crust because we aren’t a fan of it being completely whole wheat.
Here are your ingredients (except salt and warm water):
Throw the bread flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, and some salt in a bowl and mix.
As a side note, if you keep your yeast in the refrigerator or even the freezer (as I do, for freshness) it should be at room temperature before you add the warm water. So mix all the dry ingredients and go do something for 5 minutes… or feed your fussy baby for 20 mins. It will definitely be at room temperature then.
Add the olive oil and warm water (I just let the tap water get warm and use it).
Mix it up with a spoon until it comes together pretty well. Then throw it onto a clean counter (and extra crumbs included) and knead it. In my opinion, if you have enough water it doesn’t need a lot of kneading so it’s pretty quick. You could also mix it in a stand mixer or such and let it knead it for you. I don’t have one of those though. I figure it will help make my arms buff so I don’t need a shakeweight.
Knead until it looks pretty smooth like this:
Then lightly oil (with olive oil) the bowl you just mixed it in and place the dough in it and turn it once to cover the dough in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size. Or refrigerate for somewhere in the range of 8-12 hours.
Rising time will depend on temperature in your house primarily. We keep it about 68 in mine during the winter and it takes forever for anything to rise here. To speed it up I often turn the oven on its lowest setting while I knead the dough and then turn it off and put the bowl in there. Even in the summer I usually put the bowl in a non preheated oven because a draft can mess with rising. Actually, the slower it rises the better the bread will taste though because it develops its flavors better.
Once the pizza dough has doubled in size dump it out of the bowl and gently press any air bubbles out of it and fold into a ball shape. If you did the refrigerator method it needs to sit out on the counter until close to room temperature before you mess with it. After pressing out the bubbles, place back into the bowl and allow to rise for about 20 mins. I usually do this in the oven as well to prevent the drafts and get it out of my way.
While the pizza dough is doing the second rising, make pizza sauce.
I usually prep my cheese and toppings now. This entirely up to you. I do recommend slicing them thin, especially for vegetables high in water (such as my mushrooms).
So, shred the cheeses. We used mozzarella, provolone, and white cheddar.
Realize that is not nearly enough and shred a lot more:
Then slice up the toppings you’re using. We are using pepperoni on the entire pizza and then ham on my husband’s part and mushroom’s on mine.
Now decide what you’re cooking your pizza on. I recommend a baking stone, but any metal pan can be used. If you’re using a metal bake sheet turn it upside down and use the bottom. I usually get the dough out of the oven and then turn the oven up to 480 degrees and place whatever you’re planning on baking the pizza on in the oven.
Then take a sheet of parchment paper roughly the size you want your pizza – we go for about 12-14in – and dump the dough on it. Then with a rolling pin and your hands roll it into the shape you want it (I would base this off what I was planning to cook it on). I usually aim for round but I don’t sweat it if it’s not perfect.
Now we like stuffed crust pizza but this is totally optionally. You can just roll the side in to give a nice rounded edge. We however put cheese around the edges:
Then roll the crust over it and press gently.
Then spoon the sauce on the crust.
Now arrange the toppings.
Once the topping are on the pizza, carefully transfer the pizza using your parchment paper onto your preheated stone. If you have a pizza paddle they are great to use at this point. I don’t have one. Sometimes it takes me and my husband to put it onto the stone. Since it did with this pizza I could not take a picture of the process.
Bake until pizza is bubbly in the middle.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
¾ cup bread flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
4 teaspoons olive oil
½- ¾ cup water lukewarm
6oz (or 8oz whichever your store has) can of tomato paste
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon marjoram
½ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon salt