Garden Fresh Pizza
Add it to your family's menu every week. And why not? Homemade, from-scratch pizza, delivers in flavor and nutrition, far exceeding anything you can buy in the frozen section of the grocery store or order from a restaurant. You'll save $$ too, when you make it right in your own kitchen.
What's a good pizza without a good crust? I've made more crusts than I can count, trying to find one that I like. Here is my own personal recipe which I hope will be as successful in your kitchen as it has been in mine.
I've discovered it also takes more than a good crust recipe and so I've described in detail how to make a great crust, from the choice of a baking stone to the "special techniques," resulting in a pizza that delivers. My pizza recipes are for all the Moms out there who want dinner to be fun, tasty, and nutritious! Do it together and make dinner prep a fun, family tradition that will be loved and remembered for years to come!
Garden Fresh Pizza
When choosing your ingredients, use home-grown, grass-fed and organic ingredients whenever possible.
A delicious pizza, loaded with veggies and great flavor! Even your meat-lover pizzas will be surprised at how satisfying this pizza is. Change it out with other veggies, as the growing season progresses.
Yield: Makes one - 14" Pizza
Dianna's Quick 'n Easy Crust:
2 1/2 cups (300 gm) all purpose flour or your favorite whole grain, such as einkorn or spelt
3/4 cup kefir or buttermilk (6 oz)
3 TBSP (42 gm) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp baking powder (level, not heaped)
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
Pizza Crust Directions:
Preheat the baking stone by placing in the oven on lowest rack (approximately 4" - 5" from the bottom of the oven) and setting oven to 425 degrees. Preheat the stone approximately 20 minutes. While the stone is preheating, mix up the pizza dough as follows:
Add all ingredients together in order listed to a 2-quart bowl and mix with a Danish Dough Hook or bamboo stirring spoon. If dough becomes too thick to stir, dump onto a clean counter and knead the remaining flour in. Knead dough for 1-2 minutes until smooth, then cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (Use this time to wash the veggies and prep for cutting.)
On a lightly floured clean counter or on a pastry mat, roll out the dough to a full 14" diameter, using a rolling pin or a baker's roller, dusting lightly with flour to keep from sticking. Remove the hot baking stone from the oven and place on a trivet to protect surface, as it will be very hot. Sprinkle the stone lightly with coarsely ground old fashioned oats (I do this in the blender). This will keep your crust from sticking to the stone and also help in creating a crispy and delicious crust!
Fold the pizza dough in quarters and place on the hot baking stone, then unfold so that it is the full circle. Prick the dough generously with a fork or a meat tenderizer tool, which works perfectly and creates a beautiful pattern to your crust! These tiny holes allow steam to escape and keep your pizza crust from puffing up during the baking. It also tenderizes the dough and allows the garlic olive oil to penetrate into the crust.
Place the stone again on the lowest rack. Bake for 7 minutes, check and add 2-3 minutes more if necessary. Ovens vary, so it is important to check and keep an eye on your crust. This is the prebake, so it is not necessary for the crust to completely bake.
While the crust is baking, prepare the toppings:
Garden Fresh Pizza Toppings
2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, freshly pressed
8 oz shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese or a combination, divided (4 oz + 4 oz)
2 oz Parmesan, Romano or Pecorino cheese, grated (or use 10 oz of the above cheeses)
1/2 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper or 4-5 small sweet peppers, cut in strips or rings
2 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/4" slices (Roma tomatoes have less juice, so are the best choice to avoid getting a soggy crust)
Optional: 4 oz cremini (baby Portabella) mushrooms, sliced
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning (I never measure, I just shake and apply to the amount that I like!)
Flip the crust over, then spread the hot crust with the olive oil and freshly pressed garlic clove mixture, all the way to the edges, using a pastry brush.
Now arrange the pizza toppings in this order:
Cheese (4 oz)
Cheese (4 oz cheddar/mozzarella + 2 oz Parmesan, Romano or Pecorino)
Your pizza should be looking beautiful now, like a garden!
Return the pizza to the lowest rack of the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 13-17 minutes, or until bubbly and just beginning to be golden. Don't overbake!
Allow the pizza to cool 5 minutes on a cooling rack while you wait for the family to come to the table. Serve with a green salad -- or just as as!
This pizza feeds 3 very hungry adults (with no added salad), or more, depending on the size of the appetites and if you add a salad or not.
This will become a basic go-to pizza recipe that you can vary by adding cooked chicken (8 oz) or switching out the veggies, i.e., small broccoli florets, spring onion, or adding black olives, etc. Don't have mozzarella cheese? Substitute with a quality cheddar cheese. This is my favorite (Sierra Nevada) or this (Organic Valley).
Treat your family to homemade pizza tonight!