Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fresh Mozzarella Pizza (Fast & Low-Fat)

I am an "I Love Pizza" kind of gal. Honestly, it's so insanely good! I have a deep dish recipe that I am known for, so I was very skeptical (and nervous) to try a new pizza recipe, especially a thin crust. But, I must admit, this was more delicious than I was imagining.

Fresh Mozzarella Pizza (Makes 2 pizzas; 8 slices each)

2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose (or bread) flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package regular yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees F)

My Choice of Toppings:
Homemade Pizza Sauce (Top Secret Recipe)
Green Pepper
Basil Leaves
Fresh Mozzarella

In large bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast. Add olive oil and warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make sure dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets or 12-inch pizza pans with oil (olive or canola). Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 12-inch circles. Partially bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes.

Observations/Suggestions: I actually used less flour than anticipated. For me, when I added 2 1/2 cups, it was too much. Therefore, I was able to use the loose flour in the bowl to flour my board and continue flouring while I kneaded the bread. So, less is more. By the way, nothing makes me feel more like Betty Crocker than kneading dough -- I love it!! Okay, back to the recipe. In the dough, I always secretly add a few shakes of garlic powder and oregano leaves before I start kneading. It adds a little something extra to the dough. (And it smells heavenly!) For toppings, feel free to use whatever you would like. I know they recommend tomato slices instead of sauce, but at my house, we're sauce people and we love my recipe. So, I could not make that sacrifice. Go with your favorites --

Recommended? Most definitely yes! The crust had a wonderful texture. It kept its shape when you picked it up, but it was soft and chewy on the inside. A perfect consistency for crust in my mind and I am not a thin crust person. This pizza was the perfect light, bistro pizza. It didn't feel heavy and it's low in calories, so it's guilt-free. Then again, I think every piece of pizza should be eaten guilt-free!

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