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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Healthier Friday Night Pizza - Home Run Hit!

If you are a regular reader, you know we almost always have Friday night pizza at the Flip Flop household.  Usually the teen makes the dough, but this Friday night, I wanted to make a healthier crust than his usual AP flour crust (which is absolutely delicious of course).  So I hit the kitchen while he was vegging in teen-age wasteland...aka his man cave.

Mr. Flip Flop is home and has been hitting the gym for a few months.  After this two-week absence I really noticed a difference!  Wow...I think Mr. Flip Flop lost weight and gained muscle.  Woo hoo baby!  So, in recognition of his efforts, yet his desire for the comfort of homemade pizza, I went for a slightly more healthy version.  Slightly.  Very slightly!  Normally, the teen wouldn't eat this kind of crust...but I guess the thought of having to make his own and wait another hour for rising prompted him to think that maybe specks of flax seed weren't such a bad thing!

So, here it is, the healthier version of our Friday Night Pizza.

Flax Seed Crust Pizza
By Debbi Hook


5 teaspoons Instant Yeast (or you can use Active Dry - 2 packets)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups very warm tap water
       (you can dip your finger in without screaming ouch)
4 cups White Whole Wheat Flour plus extra bench flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
4-5 tablespoons olive oil plus more for rising bowl

Jar of pizza sauce (I used Ragu Homestyle)

Toppings of your choice - today I used:
Sliced Crimini mushrooms
Sliced green onions
Chiffonade of fresh basil
1 slice of lean deli ham, large diced
A few slices of Pepperoni
Kalamata Olives sliced in half
Green Olives with Pimento sliced in half

Grated Mozzarella, Romano, Asiago, Parmesan Cheeses

Corn Meal for Baking Pan


In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, add the yeast, sugar, and warm water.
Although instant yeast does not have to be hydrated, I find it doesn't have to rise as long if I hydrate it with sugar in the blend.  I also keep the little packets of Active Dry Yeast around - but we bake so much pizza and bread, that the 1 pound package is soooo much cheaper!

A great and dependable product.

For this dense crust, I wanted to move things along...hence the hydration.
After 3 or 4 minutes it will have a foam of bubbles on the top of the yeast - that means it is ready to add the flour.

I love King Arthur products - I find the White Whole Wheat
Flour to be a nice alternative to the heavier and darker
Whole Wheat Flour.  Wonderful product!

Add the flour and flax seed meal and turn on the mixer (low speed) and allow it to begin incorporating.
I love adding this - a little goes a long way!

Add the olive oil while it is working.  I started with 4 tablespoons and added another tablespoon when I realized the KitchenAid was struggling.  The dough came together quickly and I moved it up to medium speed for a total of 5 minutes of kneading. 
A beautiful speckled dough!

During the time it is kneading, turn your oven on for 60 seconds at 300 degrees, then turn it off.  Really, no longer, as you are just getting the chill off the oven.  My kitchen is too cool for things to rise rapidly, so I always de-chill the oven and use it for rising.

Oil a good sized mixing bowl with extra olive oil (don't let it puddle at the bottom - use  just enough to ensure the dough doesn't stick to the bowl).  With your oiled hands, remove the dough from the dough hook (it's a heavy dough so most of it will plop into the mixer bowl when you raise the head).  Form it into a ball with your lightly oiled hands and smooth the top with just enough oil that it has a slight sheen...the oil on your hands is likely plenty to achieve that).  Place it in the lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place bowl in the de-chilled-turned-off oven for about 50 minutes.  It will double, up to triple, in size.

I usually spend the last 15 minutes or so of rising time prepping my toppings and setting up the rolling area.

Pull the bowl of dough and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a baking sheet or pizza pan with a dusting of corn meal.

Now, I don't "press out" pizza dough like you are supposed to.  I roll it - no matter how hard I try, I suck at the press out method.  So, I put down some bench flour and took 2/3 of the risen dough (leaving 1/3 for the teen to make his own pizza) and shaped it into a rectangle because I was using a baking sheet today. I gently rolled it to the shape of my baking sheet with a lightly floured rolling pin.  Like all doughs, move it around to ensure it doesn't stick.  Sprinkle more flour if needed (I used the white whole wheat flour for this as well).

Roll the dough on the rolling pin, sprinkling extra flour if needed so it doesn't stick to itself and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet or pizza pan.

Pinch up the sides of the dough so the sauce stays on the pizza during baking. 
See that little dip in the front right bottom side - yep, the sauce
snuck out of there onto the pan during baking..  

Add pizza sauce (I used a jar, but you could make your own if you wanted - you could also use any thickish pasta sauce).  Spread sauce with a spatula or back of a spoon to evenly distribute.  I used about 1/3 of a small jar of pizza sauce.

Next I laid down a layer of sliced provolone cheese from the deli.  I like the bottom layer of cheese - makes for a really cheesy pizza :-)

Next come the toppings.  I sprinkled green onions all over, evenly placed sliced Crimini mushrooms around, placed a few pieces of pepperoni (just a few - trying to keep it slightly more healthy - of course, the cheese...oh well), the bits of ham, and topped with all of the olives.  It looked like a really good pizza.
This was 3 largish Crimini mushrooms and 3 green onions.
The basil was just about 4 or 5 leaves rolled and sliced
thinly.  I used 2/3 and left 1/3 for the teen!
The balance of the toppings - we love olives :-)
Mr. Flip Flop would have liked some bell pepper
and I would have liked some pepperocini...but I
didn't think of it until it was too late!

Next came the grated cheeses - first a light layer of grated Romano, then Asiago, then Mozzarella, and finally Parmesan.  I finished with the chiffonade of basil.
Ready to bake!

Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes and pizza is ready!

The dough took me about 10 minutes to prepare...15 at the most.  I prepped the toppings in under 15 minutes and the baking time was 15 minutes...this is an easy Friday night dinner.  My friend, Linda, said she had been inspired to make homemade pizza after reading my blog.  Her hubs asked her why they ever ordered pizza when they could have this?  Exactly!  Even if you don't want to make the crust - you can buy a pre-made crust or buy some pizza dough from a local pizzeria.  Let the kids do their own toppings.  But, really, if you have a stand mixer, why bother buying dough.  This is EASY!
If you don't want to make the whole grain, healthier crust, there's always the standard AP flour crust - here's the one the teen uses most of the time.  I realize I have gotten to the point where I don't use salt in the crust.  We don't miss it and there's probably enough sodium in the sauce to make up for it!

I use an offset spatula to run underneath to ensure
there are no stuck parts and it slides easily
onto a big wooden cutting board.
Slice and eat...delicious!

I could only eat two pieces - this is a dense crust.  The teen ate his entire "smaller" pizza, and Mr. Flip Flop packaged up the remaining slices from our pizza and I guarantee that's what he'll want for breakfast whenever he wanders out of the bedroom (he sleeps late).  He'll eat it cold...right out of the fridge.  Ick.  He just tells me "I'm a guy, cold pizza is fine".  Okay, whatever!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!


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  1. Friday night is normally pizza night here too. That pizza looks wonderful. I never would have thought to use flax seed meal in the crust. Great recipe1

  2. This looks so yummy! I would love for you to stop by Show Me What You Got Tuesday's at Our Delightful Home via:

    Mrs. Delightful


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