Pizza Fridays

Most Friday evenings, I come home from work, exhausted from the week, and desperately wanting dinner to just magically appear after my week-end cocktail. In the dead of winter, we don’t want to bundle up and go back out in the cold to go to our local pub. Even making a simple soup usually requires a bit of chopping and dicing, more energy than I’m willing to devote to the evening’s supper. But I have a recipe that allows even the laziest of moods to make a healthy and easy dinner—pizza.

I love whole wheat pizza dough, but it’s sometimes hard to find one that is tasty. After many tries at different recipes, this is by far the best I’ve found; I discovered it years ago online, so my apologies to the lack of direct credit. When I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make up a batch of this dough, divide it into three or four portions, wrap it in plastic, and freeze it. (This makes at least two pizzas.) Friday mornings, or any morning  that pizza is on the dinner menu, I’ll take out a portion and thaw it in the fridge. When I’m ready to make dinner, just roll it out, top with leftover spaghetti sauce (my favorite is a local one, Bove’s roasted garlic), cheese, and any vegetables that are hanging out in the bin. Pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes, and dinner is served. I don’t worry about making a perfect circle, as you can see from photos; free form is best–and the easiest! If you’re feeling really ambitious and feel you need your greens, throw together a simple salad with some olive oil.

My favorite pizza toppings, a hold over from college (where we used to scrounge together $2.75 for a personal pizza with extra toppings; times have changed!), is green peppers and onions. Although this past week, I added black olives and chopped mushrooms. Whatever is on it, a hot dinner is waiting, and I am very happy and content, and ready for the weekend!

Before.

After!

Basic Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 packet of yeast (or 2 ¼ quarter teaspoons)
1 Tablespoon honey or sugar
1 cup warm water

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon olive oil (if desired, it’s not imperative this is included, but it makes the dough more flavorful)

1. In a large bowl, add the water  and honey and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes or so until it becomes foamy.

2. Add whole wheat flour cup by cup. Add white flour, or enough to make it elastic and ready to roll out.

3. On a floured surface, take the dough, knead until smooth. Place dough in a clean bowl that is lined with either cooking spray or oil. Place in a warm spot for 30 minutes or so, or until doubled. (Sometimes I don’t wait until it is doubled and it’s fine.)

4. Divide for later, or roll and place two crusts on a cookie sheet lined with a little bit of oil and cornmeal. Dress the pizza to your liking, place in preheated 350 degree oven, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until done.