On The Early Show Thursday, Bon Appetit magazine contributing editor Dede Wilson showed how to make our own pizza, using healthy ingredients just coming into season, such as asparagus and arugula.
By making it at home you can cut away a lot of the calories. Dede showed how, with some farm-fresh ingredients, pizza can be a wholesome meal for the whole family.
Making homemade pizza is a fun family activity, she notes, and the result is healthy, since you control the portion size and what goes into and onto your pizza.
It's also a great party theme: Offer guests a glass of Italian bubbly, their own dough and choices of seasonal and colorful toppings.
Some toppings that are a fresh take on the traditional tomato and cheese:
Throw in some Roasted Tomato Sauce, and a Caramelized Onion-Pine Nut Topping, and you have the fixin's for a gourmet dinner!
This could also make for a very budget-minded party, using Prosecco, a flavorful Italian sparkling wine that you can find for about $10 a bottle. Prosecco can also double as your dessert course: Simply add a scoop of sorbato (a cross between sorbet and gelato), and you have a very grown-up ice cream float!
Dede, of course, makes her own dough, but you can also buy it
Overnight Pizza Dough
The dough gets its slightly tangy flavor from a "sponge" (a mixture of warm water, yeast, and flour that's allowed to ferment). Timing note: The sponge needs to rest overnight; the dough needs to rest for about eight hours.
MAKES EIGHT 9-INCH PIZZAS
1 cup lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast, divided
1 cup all purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
6 cups (or more) all purpose flour
Sauces and toppings
Place 1 cup lukewarm water in large bowl of heavy-duty mixer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon yeast (reserve remaining yeast for dough) and 1/4 teaspoon flour over water. Let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture looks spongy, about 4 minutes. Add remaining flour and whisk until smooth; scrape down sides of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge rest at room temperature in draft-free area overnight (about 12 hours; sponge will look bubbly).
Add 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 envelope yeast, and remaining yeast to sponge, then add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating with dough hook to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until dough is smooth, comes cleanly away from sides of bowl, and is only slightly sticky to touch, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. If dough is very sticky, beat in more flour, 1/4 cupful at a time. Scrape dough onto floured surface; knead into smooth ball.
Brush inside of large bowl with oil. Add dough; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill 6 hours, kneading dough down when doubled (after 2 hours).
About 1 1/2 hours before baking, dust 2 baking sheets with flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead gently; shape into 16-inch log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Knead each piece into smooth ball. Arrange 4 balls of dough on each sheet. Cover loosely with kitchen towels and let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
If using pizza stone, place in oven.
Preheat oven to 500°F for 45 minutes. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough with flour. Press into 5-inch round, then gently stretch and roll out to 9-inch round.
If using pizza stone, sprinkle pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. If not using pizza stone, sprinkle large baking sheet with cornmeal. Place dough round on cornmeal; brush lightly with oil. Top as desired. Slide pizza onto stone or place pizza on baking sheet into oven.
Bake pizza until sauce is bubbling and crust is crisp and brown, lifting edge of pizza to check underside, about 14 minutes.
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