Ok, so if I could pick two foods to eat everyday for the rest of my life, bagels with cream cheese would be one (in fact, growing up, I was often called “the bagel queen” by my family lol) and pizza would be the other. Pizza is the most well-balanced food out there. No, seriously. Just the base of any ordinary pizza has carbs (dough), protein (cheese and any meats), veggies (tomato sauce), and then of course you can add whatever other veggies or fruit (pineapple, for example) you’d like. How can you get more well-balanced than that? Of course, I neglected to mention fat content but for many pizza options out there, you can totally cut down on fat content…
This was one of those attempts. I made up a quick tomato sauce (with onions, garlic and a few dried herbs), topped it on 1 pound of rolled out, pre-made dough that I bought at the grocery store (either in the dairy or deli sections), then added shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, a touch of dried oregano, sauteed onions, sliced roasted garlic chicken sausage, and sliced turkey pepperoni (which by the way, didn’t make the pizza greasy at all). It was a hot night with the AC blasting, and I cranked the oven up to 500 degrees to get the pizza stone heated, which of course counteracted the effect of the AC but it was so worth it! What a treat this was!!
A few tips about making pizza:
- always let the dough rest to room temperature before you try to roll it out
- USE LOTS OF FLOUR to roll the dough out. I know there are a few different techniques to getting the dough into the “perfect circle” but really, the most important thing to remember is that the flour will keep the dough from shrinking as you roll it – and don’t worry about making that perfect circle – pizza is pizza no matter what shape the dough ends up as
- Here’s what I do: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Flour your work surface, the ball of dough, and the rolling pin. Start rolling the dough out from the center to the outside (always work the dough this way); after a couple of rolls, carefully flip the dough over and sprinkle some more flour and roll out with long rolls from the center. Repeat until dough is to desired thickness and size, all the while making sure there is enough flour on the work surface, dough, and rolling pin.
- I use a pizza stone but a large cookie sheet works just as well. Whatever you use, make sure that you sprinkle corn meal on the stone or the cookie sheet before you put the dough on. In order to get the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven, I prepare the pizza on a large wooden cutting board that is well-sprinkled with corn meal, then carefully slide it off the board onto the stone in the oven (this is a two person job!!) – making sure the board has enough corn meal will ensure that the pizza almost rolls off the board with the help of a couple of spatulas. Someday I’ll get around to buying a pizza peel with a long handle which will hopefully make it easier to do this step.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 475 degrees and cook for 12 to 13 minutes.