This was first posted August 18, 2011. With everything happening we have been wanting healthy and relatively quick meals and this pizza recipe hits on both! Blog writing is time consuming and I am trying to not overload myself at the moment – so figured I would re-share and old and trusted post. Enjoy!
We think pizza is an Italian creation, but pizza had its start in ancient times. As far back as the Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptians and other ancient Middle Eastern cultures were eating a flat, un-leaven bread that had been cooked in mud ovens and topped with olive oil and native spices.
In the 18th century the flatbreads, called pizzas made their way to Italy. They were cheap to make and very filling and were sold by street vendors to the poor in Naples. When Queen Margherita came to Italy to tour her province, Chef Rafaelle Esposito made a pizza that would represent the colors of Italy, red – tomato, white – mozzarella and green – basil – the first “pizza” as we know it today! Pizza did not really become popular in the U.S. until after WWII when returning soldiers who had occupied Italy had tasted it for the first time. Italian immigrants had been selling pizza for awhile, but now there was a bigger demand for them and their appeal expanded outside the Italian neighborhoods in New York and Chicago.
Last night was pizza night at our house. When we lived in Colorado there was a local restaurant that offered pizza on Friday nights. All us “locals” would go down to the Glen enjoy each others company and the kids would all play on the dance floor – it became a traditional for all of us. The restaurant was sold and pizza night was no longer, but the traditional kept on at our house. Many a Friday night you will find us making pizza – Stella loves to tell her friends that we even made it into the local newspaper for our pizza making! Stella’s best buddy, Mateo, loves our pizza and has gotten quite good in helping out. I guess I should take it as a compliment that when the cheese pizza came out of the oven Mateo stated that it looked just liked we had it delivered – it was perfect!
We make all kinds of pizza – when it is just Stella and me, one is always covered with vegetables – my favorite and one with pineapple and cheese – Stella’s favorite. Last night was an extra large cheese – Stella and Mateo can polish off a whole pizza, which always amazes me because when we go out and they get pizza each usually only eats 1, sometimes 2 slices.
1 package or 1 Tbl yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar (I usually use honey)
2 – 3 cups flour (I use a combination of unbleached white and wheat)
1/4 – 1/2 cup flaxseed meal (optional – I use it and I don’t measure – I just pour in until I think it is enough)
1 tsp salt
Sauce (your choice)
3. In a bowl combine 2 cups of flour, salt, and flaxseed (if using). Add the yeast mixture, mix well.
4. Add another 1/2 – 1 cup flour and turn out onto board and knead. I flour a board put the mixture on the board and then knead in the extra flour. Knead for a few minutes. Let stand about 5 – 10 minutes.
6. Divide the dough in half. On a flour board roll out dough and then place on a greased pizza sheet (I sprinkles some corn meal on the pizza sheet before putting the dough on – tends to stop any sticking). If the dough does not cover the whole pizza sheet, using your finger tips and press from center to edge to push the dough out.
7. Now it is time to do the toppings and I had 2 very anxious helpers. Sauce, cheese, toppings.
8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
9. Take out of the oven, place on cutting board, let cool and then cut. Enjoy!!