Greetings denizens of the internet. It’s time for another installment of Simply Playful Fare. This week, we thought we would dive into the world of pizza. When it comes to quick and easy dinner, pizza is tough to beat. All you do is pick up a phone and in thirty minutes it is at your door. The problem lies in the calorie bomb that is hidden within the cardboard. What we thought we would show you is a way to take control of your pizza. Sure, it takes a little longer than ordering, but the results are worth it. The calorie count is much lower, and the flavor level is higher.
Let’s talk about the dough. You have a lot of options. You can buy pre-made pizza shells, pizza dough in a can, make your own, or turn to the fridge section. Having tried all of these, we think that making your own is best, but might not always be worth the time. Between the time and results, the pre-made dough that you can get in many grocery store fridge sections is the way to go. It’s quite reasonable, and the final product is really good. For this week’s pizzas we will be using that style of dough.
We made one pizza in the oven and one pizza on the grill. We used a pizza stone for both of the recipes. A pizza stone is definitely worth the money. The pizza stone makes cooking a pizza on the grill just as easy as doing one in the oven. We’ll walk you through the steps, and then tell you about the toppings we used. Remember, you can play around with your favorite toppings. We used things that we had around, which is always a good way of going.
Let’s start with the temperature. We rocked these out around 425 degrees. The first step is to heat your oven or grill to 425 degrees. In the time it takes for your oven or grill to preheat, you can get your pizza ready to go.
1.) Toss the dough. Put a little flour on your cooking surface. Work the dough into a pizza like shape. If you think you are going to do this with a rolling pin, you are wrong. It’s like when Crystal thought that “Dream On” wasn’t by Aerosmith. She was just as wrong as you were when you thought you could roll out pizza dough with a rolling pin. You need to work the dough around the edges. The goal here is to stretch the dough, not roll it. Work the dough with your knuckles. You can toss it in the air if you like. It actually makes sense, but it really isn’t necessary.
2.) Add Corn meal to your pizza stone. Trust us. If you miss this step, you’ll regret it later. After that, add your pizza dough to the stone.
3.) Dress the pizza. We did two different pizzas. One with a red sauce, and one without. Here’s what we did.
Three Tablespoons roasted garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup artichoke hearts
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
1 sliced tomato (See tomato notes)
1 cup reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup pizza sauce
40 slices Turkey Pepperoni
¼ cup mushrooms
¼ cup sliced onions
1 cup reduced fat Mozzarella Cheese
(Calorie information coming soon.)
Tomatoes note – If you are using fresh tomatoes, add them to the top of the pizza in the last five minutes. If you add them earlier, you are going to have their juices ruin the pizza. So don’t do that.
Add the toppings to the pizza. Put them on in any order you like. Obviously, you should put the sauce on the bottom. I hope you know that (this is a regular pizza, not a Chicago deep dish). After the sauce, put the toppings on, and finish it off with some cheese.
4.) Once the oven or grill is hot, add the pizza. Ours took about twenty minutes total. Start checking your pizza about half way through the cooking time. At about the halfway point, you are going to want to rotate the pizza 180 degrees. I wanted to use the symbol for degrees, but I don’t know how to do it on the computer. This will assure even cooking.
5.) You’re pizza will be done when the crust is slightly brown, and the cheese is slightly brown, too. At this point, remove the pizza from the heat, and transfer it to a cutting board. Wood is best, but plastic will do.
6.) Slice up that delicious pizza and eat. You’ll find that the little extra time is well worth it. Until next week, and happy pizza eating!