Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Healthy Pizza Crust - delicious
Steffen and I like pizza a lot. Quite often we would split a pizza at Lynnwood Grill in Raleigh, NC. We would always order it with "light cheese", usually add some extra vegetables to it, and substitute healthier items, like grilled chicken, for things like bacon. Ordering a pizza with "light cheese" just means asking them to put half of the amount of cheese that they would normally use. Sometimes we might even order a pizza with no cheese. The amount of cheese, some toppings, and portion size are the things that make pizza not so good for you.
The best way to eat pizza though is to make it at home. It is very easy and then you choose exactly what you want on your pizza. We prefer vegetables or fruit like bell peppers, artichokes, onions, mushrooms, eggplant, fresh tomatoes, squash, carrots, olives, fresh greens (basil or arugula), broccoli, cauliflower, pineapple, black beans, corn, jalapenos, potatoes, kohlrabi, beets....A healthier alternative to regular hard cheeses is Mozzarella, soft cheeses are generally lower in fat and are less acidic.
There are many recipes out there for pizza crust. We have a basic one that we like a lot. We used spelt flour to make it but you can also use whole wheat flour. (spelt and whole wheat are more alkaline then regular bleached flour)
Pizza Crust Recipe: makes enough for 2 medium rectangular pizzas
2 tbs honey
3/4 cup warm water
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1 ½ tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 ¼ cup flour (reserve some for mixing/kneading dough)
Mix warm water (about 110°F) with honey until it is dissolved and then add the yeast. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until it bubbles. Once it has bubbled then mix in 1tbs olive oil and salt. Then add the flour. I added 2 cups of flour at first and then more while I was mixing it with the mixer and dough hook until it wasn't sticky anymore. Once it is done mixing place it in a lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough so that it is coated.
Cover with plastic or a towel and place in a warm place. I usually heat 2 cups of water in the microwave for a few minutes, remove it, and put the dough in. Let it rise for 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size. You can use a pizza stone if you have one, heat it per directions. I don't have one anymore so I just heated up a cookie sheet. I set the oven to 450°F and let the pan heat for about 25 -30 minutes.
Once it is done rising you can divide the dough into two equal pieces. We just used one and froze the other. We rolled our's out onto parchment paper and then put that directly onto the cooking sheet.
Top the pizza as desired and place in oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
To make some variations to this recipe you can add herbs, cheese, or flavored oil to the crust.