Pizza. Proof that humanity is on a different plane than the animals. And the reason we haven’t consumed each other; we’re too busy consuming pizza instead.
I make a good pizza. A really good pizza. Like, good enough to end Batman and Superman’s fight from ever starting. It’s a perfectly-crafted recipe slowly developed over 500 different attempts, each one slightly modified from the last, with successes and failures, and now the only reason to order in is for a quick fix.
And I’m not sharing it.
Okay okay, I won’t share the secret one, but I can share the one that I first started with, a simple family recipe that still tastes good, while not being the worst thing ever. And now’s a good time to try, since there’s a massive surplus of cheese in the US.
All right, so confession; I don’t really use recipes. I’m like an abstract artist, the Hans Hoffman of cooking. The wife does the same thing. But, for the sake of you folks, we’ll try to at least get close.
Basic Pizza Dough
Prep time: 10-20 minutes plus rising time (About 2 hours total)
Bake: 425 for pre-baking (2-6 minutes, depending on pan type) then 375 for about 15 minutes
Keep in mind this is for TWO people. So adjust accordingly.
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons or one packet of yeast. (A standard packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- Pinch of sugar (If using standard flour)
- 2 cups flour or baking mix. Johnny’s 7-Grain Baking Mix works well, and is less calories than flour. It’s pretty hard to find though, I’ve only seen it at Grocery Outlet.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ~1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons melted butter. I suggest Kerrygold.
- Garlic or garlic salt, to taste
- A few shakes of grated Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning, maybe a little over a teaspoon
- I’ve found it’s a good idea to get everything that’s going to go into the mixing bowl together and stick it on the counter. If you’d rather try to Eidetic memory it go right ahead, but it always helps me to have the ingredients handy.Either way, preheat the oven to 425.
- Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl, lightly stir it, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it’s a gray-brown with a little bit of bubbles, so you know the yeast is alive.
- Melt butter. Add olive oil and salt
- Add flour and mix until a dry solid forms.The key here is to get the right consistency. If the dough is wet and sticky, add more flour. If there’s extra flour that isn’t mixed in, add more water. You want it to feel a little wet, but not stick to the bowl or leave your hands covered in goop.
- Knead dough for about 5 minutes
- Cover with a towel and let sit for 1.5-2 hours. This lets the yeast activate and turn the tiny bagel bite into a meal.
- Remove dough and place on pizza pan. Use a rolling pin to spread it around thin, but even. You don’t want tears in it. If for some reason you messed up earlier and the dough is sticky, put some flour on the counter and slide the rolling pin through it first.
- Now for the complicated part. Depending on your pizza pan, it has to cook for different lengths of time. I recommend a ceramic pizza stone; they have a superb flavor and don’t need any cooking spray, at least, once they’re seasoned. (I know, I know, I’m not using one up top, but I couldn’t find one big enough for all the people who came by to eat this) Put the pizza on the pan into the preheated oven (425) and bake for about 5-7 minutes on a pizza stone or solid pizza pan. If you have a perforated pizza pan (The one with holes), only do 2-3 minutes, or skip this step entirely.
- Add whatever you want and enjoy! I know there’s hundreds of different pizza recipes and we each prefer our own thing (Everyone I know eats pineapple, for some reason), so stop here if you just want the dough. Of course, this recipe is pretty standard, it’s the toppings ingredients that set it apart as healthy.
Still reading? How about my most common topping choice?
Low-Cal Chicken, Bacon, Artichoke (and more!) Supreme Pizza
All right, so I’ll address the swine in the room: How can bacon be part of anything healthy? I mean, isn’t it one of the worst foods of all time? Normally, it’s true. A big slab of greasy pork butt, something that sounds gross but is oh so good. Normally, bacon is high in fat and low in protein. But Hempler’s Uncured bacon has more protein than fat. Seriously. A normal serving size has almost twice as much protein as fat, and I wouldn’t recommend this kind of pizza without a superbacon like that.
Now it’s the heifer’s turn. Cheese is normally seen as the arch rival of healthy eating. It doesn’t have to be. Luckily for most pizza eaters, mozzarella is one of the lower calories options, especially when it comes from 2% (or less) milk. I personally think that Lisanatti Almond cheese is pretty good and it’s almost all protein. Of course that means it’s spendy, but at least it’s not expensive and gross.
Those are the most important, as for the rest of the ingredients:
- Chicken, about 10 oz.I like to use a can of Costco’s chicken breast, since it takes a lot less work.
- Artichokes ~1 can, around 5-6 oz. Make sure they’re marinated in water, not oil
- Red and Green bell pepper, if you like it. I use half of each
- Onion. I use Walla Walla sweets, around half of a medium onion
- Bacon bacon bacon! Just don’t over do it. I break them into small bacon bits, like the ones from the can but better. And real.
- Olives. Always olives. I love these things. Just the plain black ones, not those fancy-boy Kalamatas that are fancy for being fancy. I use a lot of these, probably more than most people. You don’t have to use an entire can.
- Pizza sauce. Muir Glen has fantastic pizza sauce. It’s kind of rare though. Classico is pretty good too, as commercial sauces go. Or just make your own.
- Add a dash of Parmesan on top. I use the fresh shreds on this one instead of grated.
Cook this for 10-12 minutes on 375, and enjoy a healthy and BACON pizza!