October 24, 2011

The right tools for the job

YJDKIY acquired some new gadgets as a wedding gift (I speculate you're going to be seeing a lot of those featured here!) to aid in the preparation of one of our favorite meals.

Pizza night is almost always on a Friday night (unless it is my FFR version) at our house and I always think I am going to come up with some ultra-groovy new topping idea, but in the end, I always revert to my tried and true (and well-loved) veggie supreme!

But a good pizza starts with a good crust and a good crust starts with a good pan! This one from Calphalon Essentials has lots of tiny holes that allow air to reach the bottom of the crust in the pan so it can breathe.

It turns out crispy on the outside and gooey right where it its the sauce. I have to say, the very first time I used it, it worked wonders for my recipe. (Note: if you are using a store bought crust, I recommend a well-seasoned baking stone for crisping).

We call these zucchini-ronis because they look like green pepperoni!

Hot out of the oven after about 14 minutes.

Using a pizza wheel to slice it was so much easier than trying to cut with a knife or kitchen scissors. The key is a very sharp blade and a large diameter. (hello white balance where are you?!)

YJDKIY Easy Crust
1 packet Fleischman's Pizza Crust Yeast*
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c white flour
1 t sugar
pinch of Kosher salt
2/3 c hot tap water
2 T olive oil
3-5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (optional)

Preheat oven to 425. Combine 1 c flour, yeast, sugar and salt in large bowl. Add water and oil, mix until blended. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough ball forms. Gently knead for a few more minutes in the floured bowl, until soft and elastic. Spread evenly into pan with fingers, or roll out on a flat surface and place in pizza pan. Top with garlic and bake 2-3 minutes before topping with pizza ingredients.

*I always use the quick yeast specifically for pizza. You can use regular yeast, but will need to follow instructions for that brand (usually on package or website).

Topping suggestions: jar (low sodium) marinara sauce, fresh basil, zucchini rounds, broccoli, olives, bell peppers (any color), sliced mushrooms, onions, red pepper flakes, oregano, garlic, crumbled tofu, fresh or (thawed) frozen spinach and of course, MOZZARELLA! 

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