A few weeks ago, I had my second dress fitting. I knew that I had put on a handful or two pounds since my first fitting. I also knew that during my first fitting, the dress fit like a glove. No alterations needed.
The days leading up to this second fitting were not without feelings of nervousness and anxiety. I must fit into my dress. Not fitting is not an option. The day came and low and behold the dress zipped. Barely. So barely that
if my wedding wasn't four months away they would have been forced to let it out. Right then and there. And so began my quest to try to lose a few pounds before my final fitting, scheduled a few weeks before the big day.
Coincidentally, this second fitting coincided with my new-found interest of cooking. Perfect timing, right??? I have chosen to embrace this new interest with open arms, focusing on health-y (or -ier) options and if nothing else,
I am burning a few extra calories by standing up more.
Here is one of those health-ier recipes that I made recently. I have been looking for some time for a good pizza dough to make so that I could have my first experience with yeast. I have to say that I was extremely successful.
So much so that I have decided I am either that exceptional or this recipe is that good. You be the judge.
What puts this pizza dough into the "healthier" category are a few things. First, it uses some whole wheat flour. Enough to give the dough a pleasant je ne sais quoi
taste without the taste of cardboard. Second, this recipe uses very little oil... one half tablespoon to be exact. And lastly, this pizza dough is the thin crust style. Less dough, less calories. But it still managed to have the perfect dough-like
consistency balanced with that crispy crunch that provides the foundation for a perfect pizza.
Here she is:
Pizza dough for thin-crust pizza
1 c. warm water
1 Tbs. sugar
2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour, unbleached (plus some extra for dusting)
1 c. whole wheat flour
A splash under ½ tsp of salt
½ Tbs. olive oil
Dissolve the sugar into the warm water.
The water should be warm to the touch, but not too warm or else the yeast will not work properly.
Think baby’s bottle warm.
Add the yeast to the water mixture and set aside for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and has that distinct, yeast smell.
In the meantime, combine the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Form an indent in the center.
Pour in the oil and add the yeast mixture once ready.
Combine everything together with your hands.
Consider flouring your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to them.
This recipe makes 2 crusts.
If only baking one of the crusts, follow this step. If not, preceed to step 7.
Divide the just-formed dough in half. Place one of the dough balls in a greased plastic bag and then into the freezer.
When ready to bake the dough, take out of freezer and place into the refridgerator.
Make sure there is extra room in the bag as the dough ball will take this time to rise some.
Place dough on a floured piece of parchment paper and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough has a stretchy consistency.
If working with the entire recipe, split the dough in half at this point.
Put the dough ball (or balls) in a bowl and cover with a towel for 20 – 30 minutes.
In the meantime, place the oven rack on the lowest position and preheat oven to 500 degrees
Prepare toppings (see below for what toppings I used!)
Once dough has rested, take and place on parchment paper.
Gently push the dough outwards until about ¼ inch thick. Put pizza toppings on dough.
Place pizza into the oven, the parchment paper directly on the rack, for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
The parchment paper will turn dark.
Take out of oven and let cool for a minute before enjoying
Serves: 4 – 6 (for entire recipe; each crust serves 2 – 3)
I had some feta and mozerella left over from other experiments so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use them up!
The following recipe is for one crust.
Spinach feta pizza
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp dried basil
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
½ small red onion, chopped
2 small green peppers, chopped
1 c. shredded mozzerella cheese
¼ c. crumbled feta cheese
Mix the garlic, salt, and basil together and sprinkle over crust
Evenly cover crust with remaining ingredients
Fiancé (Mike) and I really enjoyed this entire pizza – no leftovers.
The crust was perfect. Have been instructed to make again (little does he know, I have another dough ball waiting on deck!).
The toppings were a nice change of pace, not having tomato sauce and all, but I think next time we (I) will continue experimenting… this time making fresh tomato sauce from scratch.