Saturday, August 25, 2012

Homemade Pizza-many ways!

Americans LOVE pizza... actually-that may be an understatement! American's are obsessed with pizza? No, still not strong enough... Americans would give their firstborn for a slice of pizza! Yes-that is closer to reality. And what I find crazy is that we didn't even create it! We stole it from the Italians, but have overtime adopted it, and loved transformed it as our own. 

In its most unadulterated state, pizza is the perfect meal! It is full of healthy carbs in the crust, a ton of veggies (both in the toppings and sauce), protein from meats and cheese-and it's handheld! What could be better?! Well nothing... until that perfect, innocent piece of pizza becomes.... A MONSTER! :O

Just look at that! AHHHHH! Like something from a horror movie!
-this is an average nutritional info for 2 slices of pizza-close to 1/4 your daily caloric intake, 40% saturated fats, 34% sodium! But pizza doesn't have to be unhealthy-making your own at home gives you the perfect opportunity to create a healthy and delicious meal!

And there are so many variations you can do! Like what? ...well I'm glad you asked! :)

You could do BBQ chicken pizza (above) or veggie pizza (below) that has your basic marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and grilled veggies (I suggest grilled summer squash, tomatoes, peppers and onions)

Add you sauce and toppings and place in a 400* oven

No matter what way you choose to dress your pizza the basic recipe is the same:

~For wheat pizza dough:
-2 TBSP. oil
-1/2 TBSP. sugar
-1 cup warm water
-1 pkg. yeast
-1 tsp. garlic (minced)
-1 tsp. basil 
-1 cup white flour
-2 cups wheat flour

~For Pizza:
-Pizza sauce (or BBQ, Ranch dressing, anything your heart desires!)
-Protein (hamburger, chicken, ham, Canadian Bacon (oh wait-that's ham!), mushrooms, etc.)
-Cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, blue, parmesan, cream (ok...maybe not cream cheese :P)
-Crazy add-in's (as in-you're crazy if you don't add some of these!) Such as: spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, peppers, pineapple, the list goes on and on!

1. Proof yeast in warm water
2. Add sugar and stir 
3. Add oil, garlic and basil
4. Slowly add in flour
5. Continue kneading for 5-8 minutes (can use a bread machine set on dough, or a stand mixer and knead for 3-5 minutes)
6. Allow to rest until doubled, about 1 hour
7. Shape into desired shapes/sizes 
~Can make mini pizzas, full sizes, rectangular, thick crust, thin crust-really guys-the possibilities are ENDLESS!
8. Add your toppings
9. Bake at 450* until cheese melts and crust is crispy to your likings!

a simple side of fruit rounds out this easy & quick meal!


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