“Beer should not be fucking light beer!”
-Tim on health food
Like Tim, I’m not a huge fan of “healthy versions” of foods that were made to be rich or high calorie. Beer, risotto, chocolate cake, fettuccini alfredo, BUTTER… you get the picture. In my opinion, if you’re looking to eat healthy food, eat food that’s naturally healthy to begin with (hello rice and beans!).
The thing is, I’m a little tossed up when it comes to pizza. I love pizza. I love the act of tearing off a slice and eating it with my hands. But as my diet has changed over the years, so has my tastes, and I simply no longer enjoy massive piles of cheese like I used to. Instead, I relish in the taste of fresh vegetables and the texture of paper thin pizza crust. Cheese can be a wonderful compliment to both of these things, but for me it is not the focus. As ludicrous as this may sound, I often just skip the cheese altogether, or do dabs of goat’s cheese or gorgonzola. Again, whatever works best with the toppings.
For these reasons, the pizza I like best is the pizza I make at home. Now some might argue that there’s no point in making pizza at home when most home ovens don’t get hot enough to make perfect pizza crust. I used to think this was the case, but things are looking up since I’ve reunited with my pizza stone. It all boils down to expectation. I may not be able to master the crisp, flaky paper thin crust that I so love at Story Deli in East London, but I can still get a delicious crust that holds its own, even under a mountain of fresh veggies.
The following recipe was adapted from Pizza Dough for Thin Crust Pizza and it’s the best I’ve made so far. It’s made with part white, part whole wheat flour. If you’re looking for a 100% whole wheat pizza crust, my sister and I both love the one at wolfgangpuck.com.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
What I do is pre-bake the crusts, use one straight away, then freeze the other one for a quick handy pizza later!
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
cornmeal, for sprinkling
Mix together the yeast, honey and water and wait for about 10 minutes, until it gets all foamy.
Combine flours, salt, and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and combine.
Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to).
Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to as hot as it will go. If you are using a pizza stone, put this in the oven so it preheats as well. If you aren’t using a pizza stone, lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans.
Sprinkle your pizza pans or a pizza peel with a little bit of cornmeal.
Divide dough in half.
Place each half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan.
Put the crusts in the oven then pre-bake the crusts for 3-5 minutes.
Turn down the oven to 425 F.
Decorate the crusts with toppings of your choice.
Bake at 425 F for 10-20 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot.
Diary for Saturday, 1 March, 2009
Woo-hoo. 35 laps in about 50 minutes. I worked in a few fast ones, too. I want to be a faster swimmer, and the only way to get faster is to swim faster, so I took some lessons from my running days and did an interval workout of sorts. Good stuff. Hard stuff.
Bircher muesli with bananas and hazelnuts
Scrambled tofu with spring greens
The tofu: onion, carrots, peppers, potatoes, oregano, parsley, tomato, nutritional yeast flakes, a little Braggs, parsley, salt and pepper.
No, I didn’t eat all this cake. Just a bite of each. Alex brought it over from Belle Epoque, our nearby French Patisseri that does yummy bread and desserts.
Two turns around Clissold Park with Tim. (~5km)
Pizza!!! With some salad and leftover breaded tofu from last night’s meal.
- Homemade pizza dough (using 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups white flour)
- Leftover eggplant tomato sauce
- Green peppers
- Baked eggplant slices – made these last night with the tofu
- Buffalo mozzarella (85g worth for the whole pizza)
Not shown: a glass or two of Barbera D’Asti red wine.
This grapefruit put me over the edge. I was stuffed!