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Weekend Well-Being: Make Your Own Pizza

Making your own pizza is one of the most satisfying things a person can do. A lot of time, effort, and love goes into a homemade pizza, and it tastes like nothing else.

Now I don't mean buying a ready-made crust like Boboli - I mean making the pizza dough. Once you know how, it's really quite easy, and healthier too. It'll take some time to let the dough rise, so that's why making pizza is great for the weekend.

Want to see my recipe for Homemade Pizza? Then

Homemade Pizza

Let's start with the pizza dough. You first need to make the "sponge," when you feed the yeast to make it grow (this is what makes the bread rise). You'll need:

2 pkg (2 Tbs) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (NOT hot or cold! - this will kill the yeast)
1 tsp honey (this is what the yeast eats)

  • In a glass bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in the water. Let it stand for 5 minutes or until you see the mixture start to bubble.

Now it's time to make the dough. Want to know how? Then

You'll need:

4 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano
1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

  • Add the oil, salt, and herbs to the dough and mix it well.
  • Gradually mix in 3 1/2 cups of the flour.
  • Place dough on a lightly floured wooden board and knead the dough (with your hands) for about 10 minutes or until it's smooth and elastic. The extra 1/2 a cup of flour can be sprinkled in as needed to prevent it from sticking to your hands and the bowl.
  • Wash the bowl, lightly oil it, place the dough back in it and cover the top with a wet dish towel. Set it aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. If it's cold in your home, turn the oven on "warm" and place the bowl ON TOP of the stove (that's why you use a glass bowl).

Now is the fun part. While the dough is rising, you can get your toppings ready.

    Cut up fresh peppers, tomatoes, basil leaves, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, or onions. I love to put broccoli and carrots on my pizza too.
  • You can lightly sauté your veggies first, or keep them raw.

After the dough has risen...

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Knead the dough another 3 minutes.
  • Grease a 14-inch round pizza pan with olive oil. If you don't have one, you can also use cookie sheet.
  • Spread the dough out evenly on the pan.
  • If you like your pizza crust thin, allow it to rise for only 15-30 minutes and then bake it. If you like a thicker crust, allow the dough to rise for 30-60 minutes before baking. Cook the crust for about 10-20 minutes or until it's slightly hard and golden. Then pull it out of the oven.
  • Top your pizza anyway you like with tomato sauce, veggies, and cheese. You can get creative and make designs if you want.
  • Bake for 10-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  • Allow to cool for 5 or so minutes before cutting.
  • Enjoy!

Fit's Tips: You can also make the pizza crust, bake it, and then freeze it for later.

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