Deep Dish Pizza

Well, tomorrow is my birthday. This has absolutely nothing to do with this entry, I’m just kind of excited. I’ve always liked birthdays. I like that I have an excuse to lay around all day and only do what I want to do. 🙂 In this case, what I want to do is go out for some fun drinks and appetizers, spend some time in the pool (if it doesn’t storm), and be lazy. Sounds like good times to me. 🙂

But, for tonight, all I want to do is blog about this pizza I made a month or so ago. I finally found a pizza dough recipe that I love. We’ve tried a couple different ones, most seemed dry or under seasoned. This one is neither of those things. And it’s pretty easy to make.

The recipe is for a “thick crust” dough, but I just used my little springform cheesecake pan (I think it’s an 8 inch) and pressed the dough up the sides to make a deep dish. We topped it with red and green bell peppers and pepperoni. Delicious.

Use your springform pan for a deep dish, or use a regular pizza pan for a thick crust.

Deep Dish (or Thick Crust) Pizza Dough

Ingredients

2 pkgs dry, active yeast
4 cups flour
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 additional cup warm water
Italian seasoning to taste

1) In large bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm water and mix well.
2) Cover and place in warm place Let rise for 30 minutes.
3) Place the remaining flour in a bowl and add Italian seasoning–as much as you’d like. I use about three tablespoons, plus some additional garlic powder.
4) Stir down batter. Add 2 cups flour, salt, and 1 cup warm water and beat well. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
5) Turn down onto a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes. (I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment–super easy.)
6) Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

7)Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll dough out and place on whatever pizza pan you’re using. Let dough rise in this position for about 30 minutes.

8) Top with whatever you want and bake 20-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Additionally, the last time we made this I made a garlic/butter/Parmesan glaze for the crust. Just melt some butter in the microwave, add some fresh, chopped garlic, and once the glaze is brushed on, sprinkle crust with Parmesan cheese.  Yum!

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: About.com

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Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza

The idea for this super easy pizza recipe actually came from Freschetta. They have a new line of pizzas called “Simply Inspired”, and trust me, they are amazing. The one that really surprised me was the Hawaiian style pizza. It had a simple, tangy BBQ sauce, pineapple, Canadian bacon, and bacon. Yep, TWO “bacons”. Of course I loved it. 🙂

But seriously, it was delicious–something I don’t often say about frozen pizza.

Of course I wanted to try to recreate this pizza on my own. I took the basic idea, made my pizza with BBQ, ham, pineapple, and some Italian cheese and it was pretty darn close to the original idea!

Hawaiian BBQ Pizza

Ingredients:

5 oz BBQ sauce (whatever your favorite is)
pizza dough (buy it already made, or make your own!)
6 oz pineapple, roughly chopped
ham
1 cup Italian cheese

1) Preheat oven to 375.

2) Top pizza dough with BBQ, ham, pineapple, and cheese.

3) Bake 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden and crisp and cheese is melted.

Seriously, the easiest weeknight dinner ever. And we had leftover BBQ sauce, so that meant BBQ meatball subs later in the week! I’ll share that recipe later.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think! 🙂

Easy Pizza Roll-Up

I found a new way to eat pizza! I know, I’m probably behind the rest of the world, but I was really excited about this.

This is a fast, easy recipe, and perfect for a weeknight.

**This recipe has been done a million times by a million people and I based mine off of a random picture that I saw online. I don’t know where the recipe originally came from.**

Pizza Roll-Up

Ingredients:

Pizza dough (homemade or refrigerated)
6 oz tomato paste
oregano
red pepper flakes
pepperoni
Italian cheese
banana peppers
spinach
whatever other pizza toppings you like!
olive oil
Parmesan cheese, grated

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and roll pizza dough into a rectangle.

2) Top dough with tomato paste, oregano, red pepper flakes, pepperoni, cheese, banana peppers, and spinach. Make sure you line the toppings up so each layer has a little of each.

3) Starting with one of the two smaller ends of the dough, roll into a log. Brush top with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese. Cut two or three lines in the top of the pizza log with a knife.

4) Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the pizza dough is brown and crisp. Check the middle to make sure the dough is cooked through. Enjoy!

Super good dinner, and very adaptable. You can easily make it vegetarian or vegan (they make vegan “cheese”!) and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. We made it for dinner, but I think it would be a fun, easy party appetizer too.

Veggie Ranch Pizza

We probably all know those people who like to dip their pizza in ranch dressing. Or maybe I just know particularly unique people. Either way, I stumbled across this recipe, immediately thought of a friend I went to college with who LOVED ranch on pizza, and I was curious.

In this case, the red sauce is left off the pizza and the ranch is used as the pizza sauce, not just a dipping accompaniment. Throw on some fresh veggies and lots of cheese and what could possibly go wrong?

Veggie Ranch Pizza

Ingredients

1 unbaked pizza crust
1 1/2 cups ranch salad dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Crushed red pepper flakes

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Place pizza crust on baking sheet. Spread ranch dressing over the top of the crust. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, followed by all the veggies.

3) Top with mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

4) Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until cheese is melted, veggies are soft, and crust is brown and crisp.

Recipe adapted from THIS one.

The only adjustment that I really made was that I just put a thin layer of ranch on the crust, so I didn’t use a whole 1 1/2 cups. That seemed excessive to me.

This pizza would have been amazing–except I’ve discovered that I have never outgrown my hatred for warm cauliflower. I love the stuff cold, it’s delicious, but cooked cauliflower is awful.

Chad thought the recipe was okay. I believe his exact words were that it was “definitely interesting”, so I’ll count that as husband approved.

We might make this again, but I’ll definitely switch up the veggies. And I do not anticipate that I’ll start dipping my normal pizza in ranch. I’ll save that for french fries. 🙂

 

 


Tortilla Pizza

Sometimes a good, easy lunch is born out of a necessity to use up some leftovers. I hate throwing out leftovers. Recently I’ve noticed that I can never seem to use an entire package of spinach and it drives me crazy. One of my cooking goals for the week is to throw spinach into everything I can just to use it up.

Anyway, spinach is not the only leftover food we had hanging out in the fridge. In this case we also had leftover tomato paste, green peppers, pepperoni, onion, banana peppers, and leftover tortillas. I was tired of using the tortillas for veggie wraps so I figured I’d just make a fast and easy tortilla pizza!

Tortilla Pizza

 

Ingredients

Whole wheat tortillas
Tomato paste
Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, garlic)
Red pepper flakes
Italian cheese
Whatever toppings your heart desires!
We used:
Onion
Spinach
Green Peppers
Pepperoni
Banana peppers

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Place tortillas on a cookie sheet. Spread tomato paste onto tortillas and season with Italian seasoning and red pepper.

3) Top with whatever veggies/meats you’ve chosen. Top with cheese.

4) Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges of tortillas are crispy.

 

Chad used some leftover onion, green peppers, banana peppers, and pepperoni on his pizza. I just threw a ton of leftover spinach on mine.

I know I always like easy things like this for weekend lunches (it would be good as an appetizer for a get together too!), and it brought me one step closer to getting rid of that darned spinach!

Spinach and Feta Stromboli

If you know me at all then you know my obsession with the flavor combo that is spinach, feta, and diced tomatoes. Seriously, it’s an addiction. There should be a support group.

But, since there isn’t I just keep finding ways to come up with excuses to eat it. Spinach and feta pizza. Salad. And now…stromboli. This is incredibly loosely based off the spinach and feta strombizzi (I have no idea why they call it that) you can get at Capers, this little local restaurant where I’m from. It’s actually where I met my husband, so obviously it has a special place in my heart.

Okay, enough mushy stuff, onto the recipe.

This doesn’t have exact measurements for most of the ingredients because it really will depend on how big your bread is, how much spice you like, etc. Just play with it.

Spinach and Feta Stromboli

Ingredients

1 loaf of french bread (we get as small a loaf as we can find and just plan on having leftovers)
small jar of tomato paste
oregano
basil
garlic powder
red pepper flakes
spinach, washed
2-3 vine ripened tomatoes
feta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese

If you want to make a glaze for the bread:

two Tablespoons butter, melted
1 clove diced garlic mixed in with butter

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Cut loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Use the butter/garlic mixture to glaze what will be the bottom of your strom.

3) Spread tomato paste onto the tops of both pieces of bread. Sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes, seasoning to your taste.

4) Place a layer of spinach on top of bread. Dice tomatoes (removing seeds) and add those on top of spinach, followed by the pieces of feta cheese. Finally, add shredded mozzerella.

5) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

I could eat this every night. It’s the easiest recipe ever, it’s fast, it’s better for you than frozen pizza, and anyone who can turn down feta cheese is crazy. Mmmm…I want some right now.

You can obviously change this recipe up and make it more like a traditional strom if you wanted to. Throw whatever you want on there and enjoy!

Spinach and Feta Pizza

I love, love, love pizza. I could probably eat pizza several times a week. I don’t…but oh how I wish I lived in a world where pizza had no calories and I could have it whenever I want.

I used this pizza crust that I blogged about recently. It’s a simple recipe and delicious.

These pizza toppings are just based on my favorite pizza combo that they serve at Capers, one of my favorite restaurants. It is obviously a special place for me since Chad and I met there.

Spinach and Feta Pizza

Ingredients

1 pizza crust (from above recipe)
pizza sauce
3 oz spinach
1 package of mozzarella cheese
1 package Feta cheese
2 vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced (you can use any tomato, I just like vine ripened best)

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Top pizza crust with sauce, spinach, feta, diced tomatoes, and mozzarella.

3) Bake for 20 minutes until crust is crisp and cheese is bubbly.

A simple recipe, great for a busy night. The part that takes the longest is the crust, and you can walk away from it while it’s rising.

This is one of my favorite recipes and it’s the one I always come back to when I am craving pizza.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I recently took the plunge and bought a Kitchen Aid Artisan stand mixer. Anyone who knows me knows this is a big deal because…well, I hate spending money. I can talk myself out of buying pretty much anything if I stay in a store long enough. Hence the reason I have been wanting a stand mixer for two years and just now got one.

I will say I got a good deal on it. I found it at one of the kitchen stores in the mall, and it was refurbished, so it was MUCH cheaper than a brand new one. Plus it still came with a warranty, so if anything happens I can get it replaced. Considering the fact that Kitchen Aid stand mixers tend to be known for their durability, I’m not too concerned.

What does this have to do with pizza crust? Well, the mixer comes with a dough hook attachment and I decided pizza crust was the perfect first recipe to try out.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust


**I got this recipe from THIS blog. She has a TON of good recipes.**

Ingredients:

1 packet fast acting yeast
1 Tablespoon honey
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup of all purpose (AP) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1)  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a stand mixer, using dough hook attachment, add the water, yeast, and honey. Stir to combine, then set aside for ten minutes.

2) Add whole wheat flour, salt, olive oil, and 1/2 cup AP flour. Turn on low and begin to mix. Add more AP flour as needed to prevent dough from being too sticky. (I ended up using the whole 3/4 cup and I still felt like it was a little sticky.)

3) Turn mixer up to medium and knead dough for five minutes. Then set dough aside to proof.

4) Once dough has doubled in size, roll out onto pizza pan and flatten into shape.

5) Top with whatever you desire and bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is crisp and cheese is bubbly.

I know I was going to make a separate blog entry for the crust, so I didn’t worry about choosing any crazy toppings. We just did basic toppings: tomato paste (it’s thicker than sauce and I prefer it), oregano and a little red pepper to season, cheese, banana peppers, etc. The blog I pulled this from had the instructions for the crust mixed in with the instructions for the toppings (which were more labor intensive than mine) and so I wanted to make sure I had this recipe in a separate entry so it’ll be a little easier to follow next time.

I was ridiculously worried about messing this crust up. It was my first time ever working with yeast, so that was my main concern. I watched the dough for the first few minutes, was a little paranoid that it didn’t seem to be doing anything, and made myself walk away. When I came back about 10-15 minutes later, it was perfect and ready to be rolled out.

I got distracted during cooking, so the cheese is a little browner than I like, but it wasn’t burnt and it was still good. I love oregano to flavor pizza sauce and the red pepper made it just a little spicy.

We’ll definitely be using this recipe again. It is so much better than any store bought crust. Next time I’ll focus more on toppings. There is a spinach and feta pizza recipe that I have been dying to make. I’ll share it when I get a chance.