Whole-wheat thin crust pizza with fresh tomato, corn, spinach and bacon

My favorite time of year to make pizza is in the summer.  While this may seem strange based on the fact that it requires you to heat up your oven, and therefore your kitchen to 450 degrees, something now one wants to do in the heat of August.  It is also the time of year when you can get the best and freshest ingredients.

I absolutely love pizza with fresh tomato instead of tomato sauce.  I have never been able to get homemade pizza to my liking with tomato sauce, but fresh tomatoes on the other hand I like on everything, especially pizza.

This curst has been a favorite of mine for many years.  It is really simple and makes a nice thin crispy crust.  I have started pre-baking the crust on the pizza stone, before I put the toppings on.  While this step is not necessary to having a great pizza, I find that when using fresh ingredients, it results in a pizza that is much crisper throughout, and a crust that does not get soggy in the middle.

I think that another important factor in making a great pizza is to have fresh mozzarella, either grated or sliced.  I will be taking a course on how to make your own fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheeses in a few weeks time, and will give a full report on this process.

Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine 
 
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1 package quick rise yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup cornmeal 
 
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients, including yeast in the bowl of a food processor and process on low to mix.
  2. Slowly add the oil and water while the food processor is running.
  3. Process until a sticky ball forms and then process for a minute more.
  4. Turn the ball of dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven and pizza stone to 450 degrees.
  7. Slice the dough ball in half with a sharp knife and then roll out one half into a 10 to 12 inch circle.
  8. Place the rolled out dough on a pizza peel with a thin layer of cornmeal (you can also use a cookie sheet without sides or a wooden cutting board) this way the crust should slide easily from the peel onto the pizza stone.
  9. Transfer crust to the pizza stone and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is lightly crisped.
  10. Remove the crust from the oven with pizza peel and top with your desired toppings.
  11. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and lightly golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Makes 2 10 to 12 inch pizzas.

Fresh Tomato, Corn, Spinach and Bacon Pizza

olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, grated or sliced
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 ears sweet corn, cut off the cob
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
 
  1. Spray or brush curst with olive oil and spread 1/2 of the garlic evenly over the crust.
  2. Top with 1/2 of the tomatoes, then 1/2 mozzarella, spinach, corn, onion and bacon.
  3. Bake according to crust directions above.
  4. Repeat for second crust.
Makes 2 loaded 10 to 12 inch pizzas.
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