Tag Archives: pizza recipe

Really simple to make, but it’s as delicious as it looks…

Yup, even in the midst of mini heat wave I still made pizza for dinner…the kitchen was hot but the outcome was definitely worth it. This pizza is made with a 100% whole wheat crust, and is topped with pesto, tomato sauce, four cheese, onion, and broccoli cooked in olive oil and garlic.

Here’s what it looked like just before it went in the oven…

Follow this link for my really simple but delicious whole wheat dough. And follow this link for step-by-step instructions and photos of this pizza being made at a previous time (minus the pesto). Click here for broccoli (and nearly any other vegetable) cooked with garlic and olive oil. And finally, if you are interested in a little history and lore regarding this delectable pie, follow this link.

Urban Simplicity.

Really simple to make, but it’s as delicious as it looks…

Yup, even in the midst of mini heat wave I still made pizza for dinner…the kitchen was hot but the outcome was definitely worth it. This pizza is made with a 100% whole wheat crust, and is topped with pesto, tomato sauce, four cheese, onion, and broccoli cooked in olive oil and garlic.

Here’s what it looked like just before it went in the oven…

Follow this link for my really simple but delicious whole wheat dough. And follow this link for step-by-step instructions and photos of this pizza being made at a previous time (minus the pesto). Click here for broccoli (and nearly any other vegetable) cooked with garlic and olive oil. And finally, if you are interested in a little history and lore regarding this delectable pie, follow this link.

Urban Simplicity.

Another Pie…

So yes, this is another variation on a theme. I made bread today and is often the case I took a small piece of dough and made a pizza with it while the bread was rising. For this one I used a whole-wheat sesame dough, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, broccoli and spaghetti squash aglio e olio, hot peppers, and four cheese (yum!). Links to recipes are below.

For dough recipes using 100% whole wheat flour, click here.

For a really simple 10 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here.

For pesto recipes, click here.

If you want to know how to cook nearly anything “aglio e olio,” click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Another Pie…

So yes, this is another variation on a theme. I made bread today and is often the case I took a small piece of dough and made a pizza with it while the bread was rising. For this one I used a whole-wheat sesame dough, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, broccoli and spaghetti squash aglio e olio, hot peppers, and four cheese (yum!). Links to recipes are below.

For dough recipes using 100% whole wheat flour, click here.
For a really simple 10 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here.
For pesto recipes, click here.
If you want to know how to cook nearly anything “aglio e olio,” click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Pizza Pie…yet another (really delicious) variation

Yes this is yet another pizza variation I made for dinner tonight (click here to see other versions). As is often the case, when I was making bread today I took a third of the dough and turned it into pizza…two meals in one, or at least two things in one, I suppose.

Anyhow, this variety of course had 100% whole wheat crust (click here for the recipe), but I also sprinkled the edge with sesame seed which gives it a nice crunch and interesting flavor. As for the topping: tomato sauce, four cheese, spinach which I first cooked aglio e olio (click here for recipes), and pickled hot peppers. Yum! I home you try this recipe…you’ll be glad you did.

Urban Simplicity.

Pizza Pie…yet another (really delicious) variation

Yes this is yet another pizza variation I made for dinner tonight (click here to see other versions). As is often the case, when I was making bread today I took a third of the dough and turned it into pizza…two meals in one, or at least two things in one, I suppose.

Anyhow, this variety of course had 100% whole wheat crust (click here for the recipe), but I also sprinkled the edge with sesame seed which gives it a nice crunch and interesting flavor. As for the topping: tomato sauce, four cheese, spinach which I first cooked aglio e olio (click here for recipes), and pickled hot peppers. Yum! I home you try this recipe…you’ll be glad you did.

Urban Simplicity.

Anatomy of a Pizza

As is often the case, when I make bread I sometimes take a small piece of dough and make a pizza for lunch or dinner.And is also often the case, I usually put on it whatever I have in the fridge or freezer at the time. For this one there was homemade tomato sauce, pesto, broccoli aglio e olio, and four cheeses on a whole wheat crust. Here it is in photos; recipe links follow.

For the whole wheat dough recipe, click here. For a really simple 20 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here. For the pesto recipe, click here. For the broccoli aglio e olio recipe, click here. And finally, to see a multitude of other pizza recipes–in words and photos–click here.


Urban Simplicity.

Anatomy of a Pizza

As is often the case, when I make bread I sometimes take a small piece of dough and make a pizza for lunch or dinner.And is also often the case, I usually put on it whatever I have in the fridge or freezer at the time. For this one there was homemade tomato sauce, pesto, broccoli aglio e olio, and four cheeses on a whole wheat crust. Here it is in photos; recipe links follow.

For the whole wheat dough recipe, click here. For a really simple 20 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here. For the pesto recipe, click here. For the broccoli aglio e olio recipe, click here. And finally, to see a multitude of other pizza recipes–in words and photos–click here.


Urban Simplicity.

Three Loaves and a Pie…

I haven’t posted this recipe in a while and I made it this morning so I thought I’d re-post it (as it is one of my favorites). It’s my basic whole wheat bread recipe with the addition of oats…delicious and nutritious. And is often the case, after the first rise of the dough (before I cut it into loaves) I pinched a piece off and made a small pizza for lunch (which I baked while the loaves rose and ate while they baked). And the pizza itself is a sort of reflection of this past summer…the tomatoes (which are now sauce) and the eggplant were both grown just outside my front door.

Whole Wheat Honey-Oatmeal Bread
Makes 2 or 3 loaves

6 cups whole wheat flour, divided
2 cups oatmeal, plus additional for coating
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
3 ½ cups water, divided
2 tablespoons instant yeast, divided
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt


Separate the ingredients into two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, two cups of oatmeal, the wheat gluten, and 2 ½ cups of water; stir until just combined. In the second bowl combine the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of yeast, and 1 cup of water; stir until just combined. Cover the bowls and allow the ingredients to rest and begin fermenting for at least an hour, but up to 12. Then combine the contents of bowl bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining tablespoon of yeast, along with the olive oil, honey, and salt. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover and allow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two or pieces, gently shape it into loaves. Dust the counter with extra oatmeal and roll the loaves in it, gently pressing oatmeal into the surface of the raw dough. Place the loaves into oiled loaf pans, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Urban Simplicity.

Put some stuff on it! (or, Pizza: history in every bite)

Pizzas Pictured (from front to back): Za’atar and shanklish; Margherita; boursin cheese with smoked trout and smoked salmon; pesto and portobello mushroom (click the image for a larger view).

One of the aspects of food that I have always found interesting—besides cooking and eating it—is its history. And to study food history is in a certain way studying civilization itself. Even common everyday foods have a history…someone had to be the first to make it. Case in point: Pizza, which of course is nothing more than bread with stuff on it.

While pizza is so common in America it may as well be an American product, but of course it is not (and of course I am writing this from purely an American view). Nor—some may be dismayed to learn—are its origins Italian, at least not exclusively. Pizza, or simple versions of it, most likely began east of Italy; Greece maybe, or possibly Egypt or the Levant. Some speculate that the ancient Phoenicians first developed a seasoned flatbread that was pizza’s precursor and brought it on their nautical travels. The etymological origins of pizza are said to come from the Greek word pita (or pitta), which means pie or a sort of flat cake. The Eastern Mediterranean is the area where bread, and specifically flatbread, first came into existence. In many Middle Eastern countries today, where bread is still baked flat, it is not only a foodstuff, it is also a utensil. It was surely only a matter of time before food was baked onto the bread.

What I find truly interesting is that while more toppings were added as pizza evolved, there were originally no tomatoes to be had; they didn’t arrive in Italy (from the “New World”) until the 16th century and weren’t considered edible until the early 1700’s. One of the first recorded pizzas to resemble those that we know today is the still-famous Pizza Margherita. It was first baked (or at least first served) on June 11, 1889 by a cook named Raffaele Esposito. He was catering an event for Queen Margherita di Savoia and paid homage to the colors of Italy’s flag: red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). I can’t help but wonder what the cook’s outcome would have been should the Queen not have liked the new fangled food.

Pizza as a recipe is exceedingly easy to prepare. Most people are afraid of homemade dough but it is really very simple and will get easier the more you make it. There are plenty of pre-made and often frozen doughs available, but with the aid of an electric mixer you can make good quality dough in the time it takes to thaw one out. A couple key things to remember are to preheat your oven and don’t overload the pizza with too many or soggy ingredients otherwise the pizza itself will be soggy. And remember, also, that the next time you bite into a slice of steaming hot pizza, whether you made it or purchased it, what you have in your hand is not only food…it’s a veritable (and edible) slice of history.

Basic Pizza Dough
Yield: 4 (12 inch) pizza crusts
2 1/3 cups water
2 packages yeast
6 cups bread flour, divided
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon salt

Combine the water, yeast, and 2 cups of flour in the bowl of an upright mixer; stir, cover, and allow to ferment 30 minutes. Add the remaining 4 cups flour along with the olive oil and yeast. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and begin mixing on low speed. Once it forms a ball turn the speed to medium and knead about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap; allow the dough to ferment and rise for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size. At this point it may be rolled out for pizza, used to make bread, or refrigerated for a few days; it can also frozen for up to 6 months.

Pizza Margherita
Yield: 2 (12 inch) pizzas
1/2 recipe pizza dough
2 tablespoon cornmeal
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
8 large leaves fresh basil, very coarsely chopped
8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat an oven to 475 F. Lightly oil 2 (12 inch) pizza pans (or square baking pans). Divide the dough and roll out and transfer it to the pans. Distribute the ingredients across the dough with the cheese being last. Bake the pizzas for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are crisp and the cheese is golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Spinach-Feta Pizza with Honey-Brown Rice Crust
Makes 2 Pizzas
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach, washed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces feta, crumbled
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded

Preheat an oven to 450F. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion and sauté for a minute or two. Then add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the spinach and salt to the pan, turning and stirring it to coat it in oil. Cook the spinach just a minute or two, or until it wilts; transfer it to a plate to cool slightly while you roll out the dough. Lightly oil (2) 12 inch pizza pans (or square baking pans). Divide the dough and roll out and transfer it to the pans. Distribute the ingredients across the dough with the cheese being last. Bake the pizzas for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are crisp and the cheese is golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Pizza Primavera (yum!)…cooking like it’s springtime even if the weather won’t cooperate

I made this for dinner tonight and it was another one of those meals where you look in the fridge and realize there’s not much there. In this case I usually either put it (whatever I happen to have) on a pizza, make a sandwich out of it, or toss it with pasta (which is pretty much 90% of my diet). Anyhow this is really easy (and really delicious) and this is how I made it.

I started with a whole wheat dough which I let rise while I went out to do a few errands (I used 1/3 of this recipe, which has step-by-step instructions with photos). I then layered it with tomato sauce that I had in my freezer (use jarred or make your own in twenty minutes). I then separately cooked asparagus and spinach aglio e olio (with garlic and oil…here’s a really easy recipe). Lastly, I topped it with four cheese.

This may seem complicated but it’s really not when you break down the steps. And this, of course, is simply a guide…use whatever ingredients you have at hand or those that you personally like.

Urban Simplicity

Two Loaves and a Pie…

This evening I made a couple loaves of honey-whole wheat bread, and as is sometimes the case–like tonight–I pinched off a piece of the dough to make a pizza for dinner (some believe that this was actually the origin of pizza…the bakers made themselves a little something to eat while the rest of the bread rose). Anyhow, I looked in my fridge and saw that I had a small bag of fresh spinach, so I cooked it with oil and garlic (no surprise, right?); to see how to do this click here. I also layered the pizza with tomato sauce and three cheeses. And lastly I topped it with a layer of thinly sliced raw onion, which caramelized nicely as the pie baked (yum). Anyhow, the recipe for the bread is below. If you want to see it being made–with step-by-step instructions–click here. The recipe listed is with maple instead of honey, just substitute with honey (the maple would have too strong of a flavor for pizza). It makes two or three loaves…or two loaves and a pie. This is just a suggested recipe, use your imagination and put on it what you happen to have in your fridge…or at least what you really like. You may be surprised how good it is.
 
Whole Wheat Maple-Oatmeal Bread

Makes 2 or 3 loaves

6 cups whole wheat flour, divided

2 cups oatmeal, plus additional for coating

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

3 ½ cups water, divided

2 tablespoons instant yeast, divided

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons kosher salt


Separate the ingredients into two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, two cups of oatmeal, the wheat gluten, and 2 ½ cups of water; stir until just combined. In the second bowl combine the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of yeast, and 1 cup of water; stir until just combined. Cover the bowls and allow the ingredients to rest and begin fermenting for at least an hour, but up to 12. Then combine the contents of bowl bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining tablespoon of yeast, along with the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover and allow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two or pieces, gently shape it into loaves. Dust the counter with extra oatmeal and roll the loaves in it, gently pressing oatmeal into the surface of the raw dough. Place the loaves into oiled loaf pans, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Urban Simplicity

Two Plus Pi…

I bake bread about once a week, sometimes more frequently. And most often it is made with whole wheat flour. Sometimes the bread making coincides with dinner time, as it did tonight. So after the first rise I will sometimes pinch a piece of the dough off and make a small pizza for dinner as well…hence the two (loaves) plus pi (pizza pie). And often I will quite literally put whatever I happen to have in the fridge on the pizza. If you really think about it, what is pizza? It’s nothing more than flat-bread with stuff on it. Tonight, for example, I found small container of cooked spinach, and a half head of both broccoli and cauliflower. So I cooked everything aglio e olio (seasoned with plenty of aglio and hot peppers), topped topped it with cheese and baked it. I ate it with a small salad while I baked the two loaves of bread. It was one of the most flavorful pizzas I’ve had in quite a while. Sometimes it’s the simplest concoctions that turn out the best. To make this pizza crust use any of the whole wheat bread recipes found here. And to see how to cook virtually anything aglio e olio, see these links. And in the meantime…make some dough and put some stuff on it…

Urban Simplicity.

Eating Local…Pizza Della Casa

If you’ve been to this blog before you know that I make a lot of bread and a fair amount of pizza, and most of it is made using 100% whole wheat flour. This is the case of the pizza pictured here. And I’m proud of this pizza (not that I’m not proud of other pizzas I’ve made). What I’m proud of is that it can’t get much more local or hand made than this (unless I grew the wheat and made the cheese). Anyhow, the dough was made with my own hands (okay, I used a machine to mix it) using all whole wheat flour. I used the basic bread dough recipe listed below and turned half into pizza and the other half I baked as a loaf of bread. The sauce was made with tomatoes I grew in my front yard. The broccoli, peppers, and eggplant were grown in my front and back yards. I can’t believe what a slacker I am that I didn’t have time to make the cheese… 🙂

Anyhow, as mentioned, the dough recipe is below; if you’d like other ideas for pizza, to see them being made, or a couple other recipe for the dough (one made with white flour and one made with brown rice), click here.

 

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2 loaves

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
————————
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups water
————————
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons instant yeast
3 teaspoons kosher salt

In one bowl make a preferment by combining 2 cups of whole wheat flour with 2/3 cups water and 2 teaspoons of instant yeast. Begin the autolyse in another bowl by combining 4 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 1⁄2 cups water. Stir each bowl just enough to combine the ingredients, taking care not to get yeast into the bowl with the autolyse. If the contents in either of the bowls need more water, add a small amount. Cover both bowls and allow to rest and ferment for 30-90 minutes, during which time the preferment will begin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak the grain, swelling the gluten.

After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains.

Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Urban Simplicity.

Two Loaves of Ezekiel Bread, a Pizza, and Why it Took Nearly 48 Hours to Make them

Firstly, this post is not about how to make Ezekiel Bread, per se, but more about how to incorporate bread making into the rhythm of your daily life rather than upsetting it. I have always thought, and still do, that the bread mostly makes itself, we simply provide the correct conditions and guide it along. And while this can be applied to any of the bread recipes on this blog it just happens that I was making Ezekiel bread. There is a recipe for Ezekiel bread below, but if you’d like more detailed instructions with additional photos–and to read about my views on this bread–click here and here.

Anyhow, the reason it took me 48 hours to make this bread is not that it is any more difficult to make than other breads, it’s just that, well…sometimes life gets in the way of your plans. Here’s a quick story and an example of what I mean.

Two evenings ago I thought I’d start a batch of this bread and let it ferment overnight, so I boiled the grains and beans in the evening. After they were boiled I shut them off on the stove to let them cool and forgot about them. Literally. So I just put a plate over the pot and went to bed for the evening. I had to work yesterday evening but thought I’d make the bread prior to going to work so I started the preferment and autolysis first thing in the morning. Well, you guessed it, time slipped away from me and I never even mixed the dough let alone baked the bread. So I covered the bowls of preferment and autolysis and placed them both in the refrigerator, and then went to work. This morning when I initially woke, I took the bowls out of the fridge to let them come to room temp for about an hour or so. Then–finally–I combined the two bowls and mixed the dough. After placing the dough in a rising bucket I returned it to the fridge and went to church. When I came home the dough had risen so I pushed it down and replaced it into the fridge while I did some yard work. Later, I removed the dough from the fridge, cut it into three pieces–two for bread and one for pizza–and panned all of them up. After allowing them to warm a bit again, I returned them to the fridge while I did some errands and stopped at the grocery store. When I returned, I removed the doughs from the fridge for the last time and preheated the oven while I made the pizza. By the time I put together the pizza the oven and pizza stone was hot enough so I baked the pizza. After removing it, and allowing it to cool for about 5 minutes, I baked the bread while I ate the pizza. All-in-all, it was about 48 hours from boiling the beans until the bread came out of the oven and–while the above text may make it sound complex–it barely disrupted my life. One can postpone the dough from rising and fermenting it by refrigerating it, thus controlling how it progresses. 

This recipe in general is delicious, but because of the long slow fermentation it tastes especially full-flavored. And yes the pizza was/is delicious as well. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll go grab another slice.

Whole Wheat Ezekiel Bread
Makes 2 or 3 loaves
12 cups water
2 tablespoons white beans
2 tablespoons red beans
2 tablespoons spelt berries
2 tablespoons lentils
2 tablespoons barley
2 tablespoons millet
2 tablespoons bulgur wheat
___________________
cooked beans and grains
1/2 cup cooking water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
___________________

4 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups cooking liquid
___________________
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Boil the grains in the water in logical succession according to cooking times: first the white and red beans (about 60 minutes), when they are soft add the, spelt berries, lentils, and barley (about 30 minutes); lastly, add the millet and bulgar (about 10 minutes). The key is that after each addition the previous grain must be soft enough so that when all of the grains are in the pot they will all be equally soft; undercooked grains (especially the beans) can really ruin this bread. And as the grains cook add more water to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which is full of nutrients, will become part of the recipe (keeping a lid on the pot will slow it’s evaporation). After the grains are cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature, refrigerating if necessary. After the grains are cooled drain them, squeezing them with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.

Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked and drained grains with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 2 teaspoons instant yeast. Stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups cooking liquid; stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at room temperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment will begin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.
After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains.

Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Deep-Dish Pizza with a Whole-Wheat Seven-Grain Crust, Five Vegetables, and Three Cheeses

Deep-Dish Pizza with a Whole-Wheat Seven-Grain Crust, Five Vegetables, and Three Cheeses…that’s a mouthful if I ever heard one (pun intended). This is yet another variation of pizza that I made tonight for dinner. The vegetables (onion, pepper, carrot, cauliflower, and broccoli) were cooked aglio e olio style before being placed on the dough. The cheeses I used were cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan. When I shaped the dough I formed a sort of ridge around the edge to hold all the ingredients (yum!). Anyhow, for a recipe for the seven-grain bread (with photos and directions), click here. To see how to cook vegetables aglio e olio, click here. For additional pizza recipes, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Whole Wheat-Oatmeal Pizza (crust) with Rapini and Three Cheeses

This is really a variation on two themes I’ve touched on before…vegetables cooked aglio e olio and a pizza recipe. In this version I used rapini, which I cooked with oil, garlic, and hot pepper, and the pizza crust was made using a hand-kneaded oatmeal crust (click here for the recipe). The main difference with rapini, I think, is that it is often blanched or briefly par-boiled before sauteing. This is an option, and some cooks may disagree, but I feel it removes some of its bitterness. Nonetheless, this is a delicious preparation for any vegetable, so I should warn you to cook extra…if you’re like me you’ll eat a good portion of it before it makes it to the pizza. Anyhow, here it is in pictures; if you’d like a recipe of vegetables and pasta being cooked in this fashion–and a better explanation with photos–click here.

As aforementioned, I used this recipe for the pizza dough but if you’d like other versions and variations–with pictures, recipes, and direction–click here. If you want to learn a bit about the inner workings of pizza dough, follow this link to an article I wrote for Artvoice a few years ago.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#376)…and how I ate it for dinner

A cardboard box containing two freshly baked loaves of whole wheat bread and a piece of raw dough.

Interesting, when I think about it…I made the starter for the dough last night, mixed the dough this morning, and took it to work with me to bake. But as I was panning the dough I had a bit too much so I thought I’d make pizza for dinner with it. Like pioneers before me carrying their dough starter with them, I carried raw and baked bread back and forth to work on my bike…

Anyhow, pizza to me is nothing more than flat-bread with stuff baked on it. It’s delicious and can be nutritious, but people sometimes make too big of a deal out of it (or it’s pretend complexities)…for simple and really delicious and nutritious pizza recipes (with pictures and instructions), click here. So as usual I rummaged around my fridge and freezer for pizza toppings. I came up with a partial bag of frozen spinach, a head of broccoli which had to be trimmed of a bit of mold, tomato sauce, some cooked turkey (frozen dark meat left over from Thanksgiving), a partial bag of shredded cheese (“Mexican blend”), and an onion, which I sliced and put on the pizza last. I baked the pizza while I did a few chores around the house and it was ready when I was. It was delicious and barely interrupted my evening plan (and having the oven on warmed the rear of the house). Making your own pizza is as easy as making your own bread (easier actually)…I think everyone should do it. The recipe below can be used for bread or pizza dough; and it can be frozen raw or cooked. To see more recipes with a full discussion on how to bake using whole wheat read this Artvoice article. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go grab another slice of pizza…

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2 loaves

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
————————
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups water
————————
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons instant yeast
3 teaspoons kosher salt

In one bowl make a preferment by combining 2 cups of whole wheat flour with 2/3 cups water and 2 teaspoons of instant yeast. Begin the autolyse in another bowl by combining 4 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 1⁄2 cups water. Stir each bowl just enough to combine the ingredients, taking care not to get yeast into the bowl with the autolyse. If the contents in either of the bowls need more water, add a small amount. Cover both bowls and allow to rest and ferment for 30-90 minutes, during which time the preferment will begin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak the grain, swelling the gluten. 
 
After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes. 

 
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains. 

 
Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

How to Make a Really Delicious and Nutritious Deep-Dish Pizza (and a loaf of bread, too)

Pizza is one of my favorite homemade comfort foods to make (click here for additional pictures and recipes). And while many believe it to be time-consuming and somewhat laborious–or even difficult–to make, it is neither. It’s basically bread dough with stuff baked on it. Thus, when I bake pizza at home I usually make twice the amount of dough as needed and use half to make a loaf of bread…it rises and ferments while the pizza is baking. Over the years I’ve gravitated to baking almost exclusively with whole grains and whole wheat flour and this is no exception. What’s a bit different about this particular recipe is that I made it a deep-dish pizza, meaning I made a sort of rim around  the edge to hold even more stuff (mmm…). And in this night’s variety I used broccoli, which I par-cooked and chopped before adding it to the pizza, homemade tomato sauce, made with some of the last tomatoes from the garden (click here for a recipe), and a 3-cheese blend I had in the freezer.

The combination of the above said ingredients–for the dough and it’s filling–translates, in my mind, to not only flavor but also nutrition…this is anything but junk food. As usual, these recipes are just suggestions; use your own adaptations for an equally good outcome. Anyhow, here it is in pictures and recipes.

7-Grain Whole WheatBread
Makes 1 (14”) pizza and alarge loaf of bread
or 2 large loaves of bread
1 cup (6.6oz/187g) 7-grain mix
3 quarts (96floz/2.83L) water
____________
fully cooked grains
2/3 cup (5.3 oz/157ml) cookingliquid
2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheatflour
2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vitalwheat gluten
2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instantyeast
____________
4 cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheatflour
1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cookingliquid
____________
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) honey
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) olive oil
3 teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) instantyeast
3 teaspoons (.5oz/14.1g) koshersalt
Combine the grain and water in a mediumpot and bring to a boil; lower the heat to simmer and cook the ricefor about 45 minutes or until very soft. As the grain cooks add morewater to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which isfull of nutrients, will become part of the recipe. After the grainsare cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature,refrigerating if necessary. Then drain it, squeezing it with yourhands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.
Place two bowlsside-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. Inone bowl combine the cooked and drained 7-grains with 2/3 cup (5.3oz/157ml) of the cooking liquid, 2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheatflour, 2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vital wheat gluten, and 2 teaspoons(.2oz/5.6g) instant yeast. Stir just until combined then cover itwith plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups (21oz/595.3g)whole wheat flour and 1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cooking liquid;stir just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take carenot to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at roomtemperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment willbegin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and theautolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.
After an hour or so, combinethe ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixerfitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) of yeast (add the yeast and salt on oppositesides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover itloosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled inbulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30minutes.

Turn the dough out onto afloured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loavesand place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves withplastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until doublein size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentationremains. Preheat an oven to 450f (232.2C).

Bake the breads forabout 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (eitherwith ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every tenminutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and soundhollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allowthem to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Garden-Fresh Tomato Sauce

To see the original posting for this recipe–with additional pictures of it being made–click here.

(This is a simple but excellent tomato sauce that can be used as is or as a base for other sauces. I usually make this a few times throughout the summer months–as the tomatoes ripen in the garden–and freeze it in increments. This way I have homemade sauce throughout the winter. This recipe makes about 6 quarts but it’s really just a guide)

4 quarts fresh tomatoes (click here to see them)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 bunch fresh basil

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds; discard the seeds and dice the tomatoes. Heat the oil in a heavy sauce pan; add the onions, then the garlic, then the sugar, salt, fennel, and hot pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and the chicken broth (or vegetable broth). Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook the sauce for about 45 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened. Stir in whole basil leaves and remove from the heat. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Taste it for seasoning, then puree in a blender. Refrigerate until needed.

Whole Wheat Brown Rice Garden Fresh Pizza

With the weather turning cooler I’ve been baking bread at home again (opposed to taking the raw dough to work to bake it where the ovens are on all day long everyday). And is often the case when I bake at home I’ll take half the dough and make pizza for dinner…and this is just what I did for my son and I tonight (seems like there should be a comma or two in the title of this post/recipe). I’ve posted on pizza making a few times before and this is just another variation. For printable recipes, including the whole wheat honey-brown rice dough I used for this pizza, click here. As aforementioned, this is just a variation on a theme…but what is pizza anyhow, just flat-bread with stuff on it, right? Anyhow, the garden still has plenty to offer so after foraging through the choking weeds I came up with: sweet and hot peppers, tons of basil and Italian parsley, Swiss chard (which I par-cooked), and a small amount of broccoli. I also used sauce that was made from tomatoes from the garden (click here for a recipe), and a shredded three-cheese blend I had in the freezer. Chock full of vegetables and made with whole wheat brown rice dough this not only tastes great but it’s likely packed full of nutrition.  And now after typing these words and looking at the pictures as they upload I find myself salivating a bit…so if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll go grab another slice.