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Don’t know why…I used to always order in pizza.Don’t know why…the pizza dude sometimes didn’t make it to the door.
Don’t know why…I once thought making my own pizza would take too much effort.
Do Know why…I rarely order in pizza anymore.
Norah Jones’ song “Don’t Know Why” provided the inspiration behind that pizza tune of mine. Homemade pizza is sort of a fun food to make. It's not hard to prepare but I’ll admit my first experience using fresh the dough wasn’t so pleasant.
The biggest problem with fresh dough is it sticks to everything, including your hands. Stretching it out to fit the pan can also be a huge pain in the butt. To overcome these unwelcome struggles check out the "Hip Cooking Tip" below. Once you get past these two hurdles, the process is easy as pie…pizza pie that is!
I attempted to make this pizza recipe healthier by using whole wheat dough. I quickly learned there are pros and cons to going this route. On the up side, whole wheat is more nutritious, it adds flavor and it fills you up quicker so you don’t scarf down as many slices compared to regular pizza dough. On the down side, if you don’t enjoy the taste of whole wheat in your pizza this type of dough isn’t for you. Also I found it sits a little heavier in the stomach. A good approach would be to decide which type of dough best suits your tastes and go from there. Either way it’s still pizza and it still tastes great!
I topped this one with pepperoni, chopped green peppers, red onions, chopped fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. By the way, while this was cooking the basil on the pizza made the kitchen smell awesome! You'll notice I don't give measurements for the toppings in the recipe. Freestyle it and go with amounts that feel right for you!
I don't always make my own pizza. Sometimes I order from a pizza joint or cook a frozen one (I don’t care what the commercials claim, it still tastes like frozen pizza). It’s just that sometimes making your own is really easy, fun (kids love helping make pizza) and more often than not it tastes a whole lot better!
Hip Cooking Tip: To deal with the sticky dough, cover your hands with flour before handling it. As for stretching the dough, bring it out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before working with it. It’s much easier to stretch when it’s at room temperature.
Song Suggestion: You guessed it...Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why”. It really has to be one of the most relaxing tunes to listen to while cooking in the kitchen. Amazing voice, lovely song!
Recipe Pairing: Pizza isn’t exactly tops on the healthy scale so I like to pair it with this light Summer Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette.
Whole Wheat Homemade Pizza
Fresh Pizza Dough (750 g / 26 oz) (You'll usually find it in the deli area of your grocery store)
Salt and Pepper
1 can (7.5 oz) traditional pizza sauce
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Pepperoni slices (I find it's cheaper to get these at the deli counter rather than buy the packaged stuff)
Green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
Red onion, diced
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Chopped fresh basil
Spray a 15 x 10 baking sheet with cooking spray or brush with oil. Evenly spread pizza dough to all edges. Let it sit for a couple minutes and then stretch the dough to all sides again. Lightly brush the top of dough with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl mix together pizza sauce Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Spread sauce evenly over dough leaving a 1/4 inch border.
Top pizza with pepperoni, green pepper and onion. Top with mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle with basil.
Cook in a 350 oven until cheese is melted and bottom of dough is slightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pizza from oven, transfer to a cutting board and let sit 5 minutes before slicing.
Volume: Makes 4 to 6 servings
What’s your favorite pizza topping combination?
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Brent Garell (@kitchenroadie)