By Lori Meszaros, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student
Farmer’s markets and grocery stores are filled with all of the freshest ingredients you need to make this homemade, garden fresh pizza at home. And with the weather starting to warm up, what better time than now to have your neighbors and family over and cook for them!
In our house, we love pizza Thursday’s. It’s the one day the kids know they get creative control over what goes onto their pizzas, and I love to have them help in the kitchen!
The pizza sauce is made from fresh ingredients you can find at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, and can be made over the weekend (or stored for up to 3 months in the freezer). The dough only takes 30 minutes to make and is a fun project for the kids.
Here’s what you need for the pizza dough…
This makes 4 small or 2 large pizza crusts
1 ¼ cup warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups white flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp each- oregano, basil, parsley
How to prepare dough…
- Mix warm water and yeast, set aside to activate the yeast- about 3 minutes
- In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients (flours, salt, and herbs)
- Pour water/yeast mixture and oil into dry ingredients and mix to combined*
- On a clean lightly floured surface begin kneading the dough until it is soft, (think of the consistency of play dough)
- Let dough rise, covered for 30 minutes or until doubled in size
- Don’t allow the salt to come in direct contact with the water/yeast mixture. Salt will deactivate the yeast and prevent the dough from rising properly.
- The dough can be made in advance- Place kneaded dough in a plastic zip lock bag and leave the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
While the dough is rising, it’s time to make the pizza sauce…
Makes around a pint of sauce that will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months
2-3 cloves, garlic
1 brown onion
1 stalk, celery
1-2 small chili’s (optional)
1 red pepper
6 sun-dried tomatoes
few sprigs each- parsley, basil, oregano
How to prepare the sauce…
- Chop or add to a food processor- garlic, onion, celery, chili and carrot, then sauté over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until aromatic
- In a food processor add the remaining ingredients, then pour into pan and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes
- Remove from heat and blend with a stick blender*
*Note- You can use a food processor or high speed blender, just make sure to cool the mixture before adding so not to over heat the motor.
Now, to make the pizza…
- Heat oven to 375F
- Once the pizza dough has doubled in size, punch down dough, and divide into 4 small balls or 2 larger balls
- Roll dough into desired thickness and place on a lined baking sheet or heated pizza stone
- Cover with sauce and what ever yummy topping you like
- Finish with cheese and sprinkle with herbs
- Bake for 20 minutes