Saturday, May 5, 2007

Herbed Tomato Pizza Crust

Prep: 20 minutes + rising
Bake: 25 minutes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a small saucepan, heat the water, tomato juice and oil to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat until smooth. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down roll into a 12-in circle. Transfer to a 14-in pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray; build up edges slightly.

Spread with pizza sauce and top with desired toppings. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are lightly browned.

Tips and Tricks
I made the dough in my bread machine instead of kneading by hand. Pay attention to the dough ball as it forms, and add extra water or extra flour as needed. When removing dough from the bread machine, coat hands in olive oil first. It keeps the dough from sticking to your fingers.
Make It Healthier
Choose lots of veggies to top the pizza. I used mushrooms, green pepper, onion and tomato. Use low-sodium tomato juice.
How Kids Can Help
Press buttons on bread machine, or measure ingredients into bowl. Older kids can knead the dough. Add sauce and toppings to crust.

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