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A 200 calorie pizza dough. That’s enough said, right there.

This recipe for pizza dough comes to me compliments Erik’s Italian-inspired evenings. Months ago, maybe even years ago we first dabbled in pizza nights living in a really hot second-floor apartment in mid-summer heat. Can we make our own dough? Can we grow our own vegetables? Can we just get outside and cook on the bbq? Can we put all these things together while we drink a bottle of wine and listen to Puccini?

I think this all may have started with heat and Nessun Dorma – we sat down and watched a live production of it in Puccini’s Turnadot and fell into the moment. The moment where you think, I’m going to stand and cheer or going applaud wildly or burst into tears — or all three. It’s just one of the most amazing sounds you’ll ever hear coming out of the human mouth. We watched it one night while sitting in our yard trying to cool down and decided to make pizza. Opera –> pizza. Okay, we’ll go with it.

…which then means…we’re kind of sentimental about our pizza night. Can’t we diet and have pizza night? We think we can, and so I’ve adapted a recipe for pizza dough that may have originally been full of white flour and olive oil, and while I recognize both of those ingredients piled into a thick crust are amazing, we can also do a smaller thin crust whole wheat dough. What you get in the end is a kind of crispy flatbread pizza that is truly delicious in every single bite.

I guess the first thing is: take note of the size. This recipe originally makes 2 regular sized (which I take to mean large 10 piece) pizzas. Our adaptation is to make our pizzas  no more than 4-6 inches in diameter (that’s roughly the size of your hand). Reformatting the size means that the original recipe now makes 12-14 pizzas. You will happily being snacking on pizza for the next few days, and at 200 calories a pop – nbd.

When you set the dough to rise, you can have it in one big ball or you can roll them into 12-14 golf ball sized balls of dough.

Pizza or Pizzetta Base Dough

Note: The cookbook I am cooking from suggests that pizza is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven. These ovens generate around 600 degree Fahrenheit heat. No oven can replicate that kind of heat – so the best we can do is use either a pizza stone or a cast iron skillet. Either the stone or the skillet goes into the oven as you preheat to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Where you lay your dough should be just as hot as the oven. 

Well…I.did.not.know.that. If you’re using a stone you can can 3 pizzas on it. A skillet you have to do one at a time, either way it doesn’t really matter. Cooking a 4-6 inch diameter pizza then at 500 degrees is going to be very fast – no more than 6-8 minutes a pizza. So watch them.

Serves 12-14 pizzas:

  • 1 package of fast-acting yeast (8g)
  • 1 1/4 cups tepid water
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl combine flour, salt and yeast with olive oil and water and form the mixture into a ball.

Start your pizza workout. Knead the dough on a floured work surface by pushing the dough back and forth, stretching it then pushing it back into a ball. Repeat this for 10 minutes as you feel the dough getting more and more springy. (This is a good thing.) Push the dough back into a ball, flour the top, place it in a bowl and cover. Leave for at least 30 minutes in a warm place.

As the dough doubles in size start setting out your toppings. We tried four different pizzas, and enlisted our young son to roll the dough.rolling dough

This should give you an idea of just how small the diameter of the pizza is, it looks like a small wrap or a little smaller than a pita. I also set aside different ingredients in bowls so that he (and us) could choose some interesting combinations. Both my husband and son are kind of odd when it comes to cheese. My husband won’t eat it at all, and my son won’t eat any cheese that is “stringy,”pizza night which makes melted cheese a kind of cardinal sin and definitely rules out mozzarella. While I would happily eat mozzarella until the cows came home, for the sole purpose of milking  them again just to make more mozzarella, it is not to be in this house. I take it as a good thing. The best we did with cheese in mind was a cream cheese base on one of the pizzas and a shaved parmesan topping put on after it came out of the oven.

Olive and Italian Tuna Pizzetta:

  • 5-6 Manzanillo olives
  • can of tuna
  • torn basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil (drizzle before serving)
  • top with parmesanpizza night

Whipped Cream Cheese, Potato, Vidalia Onion and Rosemary

  • 2 tsp whipped cream cheese spread as a base
  • leaves from a sprig of rosemary
  • 2 baby red potatoes put through the food processor slicer at the thinnest setting
  • very thin sliced onion
  • top with parmesan

I learned something really important with this particular pizza. Why make such a concerted effort to get the toppings on the pizza. We were cooking our pizzas in a skillet, so I just dumped all the toppings in without really taking heed of the pizza edge, then when the pizza came out I scraped up the toppings from the skillet’s edge and piled them on top. Best decision of the night! A note about this pizza – the potatoes need to blanched for 1 minute in boiling water in order for them to be both cooked and crisp when the pizza is done. Because of the short time in the oven (6-8 minutes), uncooked potatoes will still be crunchy.

pizza night
pizza nightTurkey sausage and Pickled Peppers

  • 1 turkey sausage with sun-dried tomatoes put through the thinnest slicer on the food processor
  • chopped pickled peppers
  • marinara as a base

My beautiful pizza had cheese on it and I find it more aesthetically pleasing than Erik’s.

The last pizzapizza night was extremely simple and yet entirely satisfying. It doesn’t seem like a pizza at all – it’s truly just a flat bread with olive oil, salt, rosemary, sliced tomatoes and onions. It was so delectable that I couldn’t get a picture of it – it was gobbled up far too quickly. I’ve taken the picture from the cookbook to show you what it is capable of being in the categories of delicious.

Pizzetta Bianca (from Polpo)

  • 1 small handful of mozzarella
  • 1 small handful of parmesan
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12-15 picked thyme leaves
  • black pepper, salt
  • we added sliced cherry tomatoes

Add the pepper just before serving, sprinkle a little olive oil and salt.pizza night

Perfection.

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