Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Make It: Pizza


image from zobeiry @ flickr.com

Nearly every person I have ever met loves pizza. And why not? It is essentially a whole meal rolled into one very tasty display. Think the ease of casserole, without the whole casserole yuck (I am not a fan of the casserole)! So many different ways to create the deliciousness, and seemingly endless places to purchase the pies, BUT what about making it yourself? And better still, making and freezing so you have them on hand when you need that I-totally-forgot-about-dinner meal? Lizzy and I think this is a top-notch idea: it saves you money on delivery, saves the planet from extra packaging in that garbage can, and saves your body from some of the extra unneccessaries that most commercial pizzas give you. Here are a few tips I have found:

*keep dough on the moist side, (avoid excess flour adding) to keep the crust tender
*dust dough ball with flour
*store in zippy bags for 1 week in the fridge, or 1 month in freezer
For a "finished" frozen pizza:
*prebake crust for about 5 minutes at 500 degrees
*let cool entirely
*freeze as is on a cookie sheet, then slide into a zippy or cover tightly in plastic wrap
OR
*prebake as mentioned
*add toppings
*freeze as mentioned
*cook at 400, for 20-25 minutes. check for doneness.

It is simple to taylor the pizza to fit your family's preferences. We like a cheese pizza, using a homemade sauce that has lots of herbs and balsamic vinegar, fresh mozzarella (makes a HUGE difference), fontina, and parmesan. We also like a copycat version of the California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chicken. Use bbq sauce instead of the usual pizza sauce, cover in shredded chicken that has been tossed liberaly with more bbq sauce, layer on smoked gouda and red onions. Yummers! Or a margherita style, with an herbed olive oil (instead of the pizza) sauce, fresh chopped tomatoes, a little garlic, fresh mozzarela, and fresh basil. I am so hungry right now! To make an even healthier and heartier pizza use a whole-wheat crust to start then continue on with your favorite toppings. Here is a tasty recipe to try:

*2 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
*2 T olive oil
*1 t. salt
* 1 packet active yeast

In a mixer, mix all ingredients, for about 5 minutes Cover, and rise for about 1 hour. Ready to roll out, or start one of the saving steps from above. Makes 2 large pizzas.

So how does pizza sound for dinner? And while you are there, make a little extra and freeze it for when the crazy days are just too crazy for cooking!

2 comments:

Rachel said...

Sounds great! Can't wait to try your recipe!

The Favorite said...

Thank you- great pizza tips!