I was a busy Christmas elf today! My son, Eric and I spent much of the day doing our Christmas shopping, dashing to and fro around southern New Hampshire looking for just the right gifts for Silent Bob and the girls in the family. No real time for messing about in the kitchen this evening! And that means ...pizza!
Pizza ... a complete meal when you put plenty of vegetables and meat on a thick crust of dough! The cheese just adds the ultimate 'comfort food factor'! Yum!
I like my dough full of body, so I use wheat germ and whole wheat flour along with good white flour. I also like my crust thick and bread-y, so I use all the dough for one 18-inch round pan. I let the dough rise for about 45 minutes, so it develops nice loft and then I gently press it to the shape of the pan, top it quickly, and pop it in a hot oven for about 15 - 20 minutes. Dinner is fast and relatively care-free.
Tonight's pizza was topped with julienned sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, salted black olives, fresh spinach leaves, and cooked chicken (shredded) that I marinated in olive oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. I used a combination of mozzarella and pepper jack cheeses and a generous sprinkling of black pepper over it all. I'll admit. I cleaned out the refrigerator a bit on this one, but Silent Bob never suspected!
Cold beers and pizza - what a treat!
2 c. white flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 c. plus a bit more warm water
3 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
Mix the dry yeast and the water in a measuring cup and set aside to proof for about ten minutes.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a deep bowl.
Make a well in the flour mix and add the yeast mix and the olive oil.
Stir to form a loose, wet dough. Use a silicone spatula to push it about and knead it around the bottom of the bowl for a few minutes.
Scrape the dough from the edges of the bowl and into a ball. Cover with a clean, damp, dishtowel and place it in a warm draft-free spot. Leave it for about half an hour to 45 minutes.
Prep the pizza toppings and pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
Lightly grease your pizza pan. Dump the dough into the center of the pan and using the same silicone spatula, gently push the dough outward to form your pizza.
Top your pizza and pop it in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Let the pizza 'cure' on the table for about five minutes before you cut it. Crack a beer and enjoy!