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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pizza at our house.

I don't think I know a single person who doesn't love Pizza. Thin crust, thick crust, plain cheese, tons of toppings, no cheese. It has something for everybody... in our house Pizza now means homemade crust, sauce, and tons of veggies. Now some of you busy working type, might not have the time on an average Tuesday to want to tackle making your homemade pizza dough. But on a weekend I encourage you to try it 1 time. Because it will put Pizza Hut and Domino's to shame. I don't care if domino's did just redo their recipes... Mine still conquers it, with less calories and grease!!!
Now I don't want to take all the credit. The recipe for the dough I get out of Betty Crocker's cookbook. And it is another one of the tattered pages in my cookbook collection. But that is just proof positive at how good and simple it really is. The directions may seem daunting, but try it once and you will most likely agree that it was easier than it looks.

As for the homemade sauce, well I tried it once, because I started really looking at how many chemicals and sodium were added into the sauce. Not to mention the cost of buying it, b/c I can take a 1.00 worth of Tomato Sauce and make it into a healthier version of Pizza sauce... I'm going to do it. So it saves us calories, water retention and money. And I can change it according to what kind of mood I'm in... Sorry Michael, for all the times that it was a little spicier, b/c I was in a mood. You ate it and never gave me weird looks.

Pizza Crust
2 1/2-3 cups all purpose flour (I use wheat most times)
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 Tbsp Olive oil
1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)

Mix 1 cup of flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add 3 Tbsp oil and the warm water. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough pulls away from the side and is soft. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

For thin crusts: Heat oven to 425 degrees, Grease 2 cookie sheets or 12 inch pie pans with PAM. Divide dough in 2 balls. Pat or roll each out, to a thin even layer. Then place it onto the pan, taking a fork poke holes in the dough, so that it won't bubble up. Partially bake it 7-9 minutes or until crust begins to get brown. Add topping as bake another 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
For thick crusts: Grease 2 pans (I use 9 inch cake pans) with PAM. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough in half, and press each half in bottom of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Move oven rack down to lowest position. Heat oven to 375 degrees, partially bake 20-22 minutes or until dough begins to brown. Add toppings and bake again for another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Pizza Sauce
For the sauce if you like extra dipping sauce you can substitute 1 -28 oz can tomato sauce for the 2 I have listed.

1- 15 oz can Tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 - 8 oz can Tomato Sauce (no salt added)
sprinkle of rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, ground red pepper (optional if you don't like spice), parsley.
I also put a pinch of Baking Soda in the tomato sauce, it will foam up. But it helps to take some of the acidity out of the sauce... aka heartburn later.

Place all of this in a sauce pan, and on the stove for 25-30 minutes on medium heat, uncovered for 30 minutes or until thickened. You can adjust the seasoning to your tastes. Be creative!!!

As for the toppings, We love Canadian bacon, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, turkey pepperoni (which we don't always have unless I get it on sale at the store) and of course cheese. Also thanks to some friends of our in Atlanta, we had a pizza there that has sliced Roma tomatoes on it, and it was heaven, so I try and get 1 or 2 and slice it up.
For the cheese, with WW I could choose a more point friendly cheese (less calories for all you non-WW'ers) and go with a low fat or fat free, but I just don't like them. So I splurge and go for the real stuff.
I usually chop up most of the veggies and give them a little saute to cook them down. I like them, but not super crunchy on my pizza. Before I throw them on the pizza.

So that's our version of pizza. With all the toppings I use each slice comes out to 3 pts a piece. But I will put this disclaimer, if your a WW, check the toppings that you put on there. Because you may want different stuff and lower calorie cheese.

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