Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Flatbread Pizza

Friday night is pizza night! The tradition seems to go back in my family to the days when Catholics weren't supposed to eat meat on Fridays and the vegetarian choices were limited. For me, Friday night pizza brings back memories of eating dinner in front of the TV with my family watching TGIF. My parents were sticklers for family dinners at the table, so watching TV while eating dinner was a real treat. Those were the days! While we do have a number of good pizza joints around us (Pittsburgh is a college town, after all!) I prefer to make my own pizzas. More goodness, less waiting, and no mark up or delivery fees! While my husband likes his pizza the traditional way (thick crust & lots of cheese), these days I have been very into my flatbread pizzas, which I make with a thin crust and top with Italian-y hummus plus whatever vegetables we have in the fridge. Tomatoes are a must, but onions, red peppers, spinach, artichoke, mushrooms, and olives all make regular and tasty appearances. With my preference for a thin crust a quick and easy baking powder crust works just fine for me, but my husband prefers a fluffy yeast crust. I include the recipes for both below, so pick your poison! If you're patient or have foresight and a bread maker, go with the yeast crust but otherwise the easy baking powder recipe will do just fine. This week, branch out to try a vegan pizza... you won't regret it! (If the idea of hummus a pizza sauce is just a bit too much for you to wrap your head around, there's always my Pesto Pizza too.)

Breadmaker Pizza Crust (2 crusts)

1 1/2c warm water
1/2T salt
1T olive oil
3 3/4c flour
2t rapid rise yeast
2T sugar

Place ingredients in the breadmaker in that order. Create a "volcano hole" in the top of the flour pile and fill it with the yeast followed by the sugar to be sure that the yeast doesn't touch the salt or water too early. Run the dough cycle (~1.5hrs). Once completed roll out the dough.

Simple Thin Crust (1 crust)

2/3c whole wheat flour
dash salt (optional)
1t baking powder
1/4c warm water

Combine dry ingredients, then add warm water and olive oil. When the dough just starts to stick together, roll it out into your crust.

Tomato-basil hummus

1 can chickpeas
Juice of one can of tomatoes (retain the tomatoes for your topping)
1/4c nutritional yeast
garlic, basil, oregano (to taste)

Food process all ingredients until smooth.

Put it together: Spoon and spread tomato-basil hummus onto crust. Top with tomatoes, onions, peppers, spinach-- any vegetables that you have in your fridge! Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast and Italian spices. Bake for 10 minutes at 400F, or until the edges of the crust start to brown. Enjoy!

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