PIZZA - brings back memories of my Grandmother making Italian Sicilian Pizza on Sunday night, AFTER an afternoon dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. Her pizza was the best - even though it was loaded with anchovies. I never knew what those little dark specks were on the pizza. All I knew was that her pizza tasted so good. She never used mozzarella cheese on hers - just doused the top with imported Locatelli Romano cheese and olive oil - nothing but imported extra-virgin, cold-pressed. Oh, well, those were the days. My version is just as tasty, and far healthier! Enjoy!
I know. I should have snapped a pic of the entire pizza. I was too eager to cut into it. Glad I thought to take a picture before it was all eaten!
1 cup warm water
1.25 ounce package active dry yeast (not the rapid rise yeast)
1 T sugar (I hardly ever use sugar so I don't mind here; adds a little sweetness to dough.)
1 tsp olive oil (I never use oil, but 1 tsp is OK here. Gives the dough elasticity.)
1 tsp salt
3 cups cups whole wheat pastry flour (Or mix 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour)
Pour the warm water in a small bowl and add the sugar. Stir to combine. Then add the yeast. Stir it just a wee bit and then let sit for about 10 minutes in a warm place. The mixture should develop a foam across the top and maybe even some bubbles. (If that doesn't happen, yeast isn't good and you'll have to start all over again!)
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Once the yeast is ready, add that mixture to the flour along with the tsp of olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon. If you're an adventurous Italian like me, then mix it well with your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. (Put on some nice Italian music, and knead away.) If the dough feels very sticky, add a bit more flour to it as you knead. You'll eventually get the knack of how a good pizza dough should feel. The dough should become nice and stretchy, but not sticky like glue to your fingers!
Once dough feels elastic, lightly oil a large mixing bowl, form the dough in a nice ball, put the dough in the bowl, and turn around so it's well coated and won't won't stick to the bowl.
Cover with a dry, clean towel and put in oven or in some warm area for about 1 hour till it rises (doubles in size.)
Once doubled, punch the dough down. Put a little flour on your large cutting board or counter top, and knead the dough for only a minute or so.
Now you can do one of two things. Divide the two in half to make two pizzas or take half the dough and either keep in frig for a few days or freeze. (I've kept my dough in frig for 3 days and used again, and it's great.)
If you are using a pizza stone to bake your crust, make sure you heat the stone in the oven on about 400 before you put your dough on it. I use a Wilton pizza baking sheet that has holes in it. It works great. With using the Wilton stainless steel pizza sheet, I spray with a little oil, stretch the dough on the sheet and bake for 5 minutes in the oven. Remove the dough and follow the recipe below.
NOW COMES THE FUN PART - CREATING THE PIZZA.
With my pizza, anything good goes, as long as it's veggie and has nothing to do with dairy and animal protein.
After carefully removing the hot pizza sheet from the hot oven,. I spread nice Italian marinara or pizza sauce over the the dough. Topped that with juicy, thinly sliced ripe tomatoes, sprinkled tomatoes with thinly sliced sweet onion, then added some chopped artichoke hearts, chopped kalamata olives, and chopped mushrooms.
Sprinkled all with dried oregano and dotted with chopped fresh basil.
Topped with Daiya mozzarella cheese. (or you can leave out the processed faux cheese and sprinkle with non-dairy Parmesan cheese.) (If you don't use a lot of processed faux foods, then go for it; it's a once in a while treat.)
Baked in the oven for about 15 minutes till nice and crispy.
This is so tasty and hearty.