Wolfgang Puck Pizza Recipes
When it comes to the most widespread New Year's resolution, to cook and eat more healthfully, it sometimes seems as if the only thing we know for sure is that we don't know anything for sure.
Take carbohydrates, for example. All kinds of experts suggest all sorts of things about the role carbohydrates should play in our diets.
For a while, we were told to cut way down on all carbs (foods high in starches or sugars), pretty much limiting our diets to proteins, green vegetables, and dairy products.
Then, edicts switched to eliminating fats while eating diets that were high in non-sugary carbs.
Now, it seems, recommendations have reached a sensible balance, suggesting a wide variety of foods -- whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fats, milk, meat, and beans -- for a diet that is well rounded without making your body well rounded.
(For easy-to-follow guidelines, see the latest version of the USDA's Food Pyramid, posted at www.MyPyramid.gov.)
That means eating so-called "good" carbs, complex carbohydrates rich in nutrients and dietary fiber and low in sugar.
And one of the easiest ways to achieve that goal, as the government guidelines suggest, is to look for ingredients in which the word "whole" appears in front of the name of the grain.
With that in mind, I've developed a whole-wheat pizza dough to help you eat more good carbs in the foods that you love.
Not only is it better for you, but it also has more flavor, and a chewier texture, than regular white dough. (For a less chewy dough, feel free to substitute white flour for up to half of the whole-wheat.)
Make the dough as you would any yeast-leavened dough. The recipe starts with a regular packet of dried yeast, dissolved in warm water with a little honey that not only jump-starts the yeast's activity but also adds a touch of mellow sweetness that complements the wheat's flavor. A food processor makes mixing and kneading easy and fast. Then, all you have to do is wait an hour or so for the dough to rise before you shape it into balls the perfect size for generous individual pizzas.
Finish those pizzas off with your choice of toppings.
Use pesto or your favorite pizza sauce, if you like; or just lightly brush the dough with olive oil. I like to add an assortment of thinly sliced grilled vegetables, precooked on an indoor countertop grill or in a stovetop ridged grill pan until tender and golden brown. Finally, scatter on a little low-fat cheese of your choosing, and some fresh herbs.
You'll have a pizza that tastes deliciously grown up, one that makes you feel like you might finally be able to keep your New Year's resolution.
Makes enough for 4 individual pizzas, each 7 to 8 inches
Ingredients - Good-Carb Pizzas with Whole-Wheat Dough
1 packet active dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
1 tablespoon organic honey
3-3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup cool water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup pizza sauce or pesto sauce
1 to 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced grilled vegetables, or other toppings
6 ounces low-fat organic mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or thyme leaves (optional)
Preparation - Good-Carb Pizzas with Whole-Wheat Dough
In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the warm water until it has dissolved.
Stir in the honey.
Leave the mixture at room temperature until the yeast foams, about 5 minutes.
Put the flour in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade.
In a measuring cup, stir together the cool water, olive oil, and salt.
With the machine running, slowly pour the water-olive oil mixture and the yeast mixture through the feed tube. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball that rides around the side of the work bowl on the blade.
Transfer the dough to a large oiled mixing bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Leave the dough to rise at warm room temperature until it has doubled in bulk.
Punch down the dough and then transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Knead it for 1 minute, repeatedly pressing down and away on the dough with the heel of your hand, then folding it back over onto itself and rotating the ball a quarter turn.
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each portion under your palm on the work surface to form a tight ball.
Place the balls on a clean kitchen tray or baking sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and let rest for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator before use.
To make pizzas, place a pizza stone or baking tiles on the middle rack of your oven.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out or stretch each ball of dough to form a circle 7 to 8 inches in diameter.
One at a time, place a circle on a floured wooden pizza peel or on a baking sheet.
Spread one quarter of the sauce on the dough, leaving a narrow rim. Top with one eighth of the cheese, one quarter of the vegetables, and then another eighth of the cheese. If you like, sprinkle with a pinch of the herbs.
Slide the pizza from the peel directly onto the pizza stone or baking tiles, or place the baking sheet on top of the stone or tiles.
Bake until the dough is well browned and the cheese is bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pizza from the oven with the peel or on the baking sheet and transfer to a firm heatproof cutting surface.
Cut the pizza into wedges with a pizza-cutting wheel or a large, sharp knife.
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Good-Carb Pizzas with Whole-Wheat Dough - Wolfgang Puck Recipes
(c) 2010 Wolfgang Puck
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