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Unleashing the pizza dough glory!

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Old 01-22-2011, 01:41 AM   #1
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Default Unleashing the pizza dough glory!

Since starting out on the weight-loss trek, we have searched high and low for a low-calorie-yet-delicious pizza dough. Using pita bread, tortillas, flatbreads, or even large mushrooms will indeed serve as an adequate substitute in times of need, but sometimes, they just aren't enough.

Taking a look at this dough, you'll note that the calories come in at right about 1100 (that's rounding up, you may have more exact numbers). The trick to this is splitting the dough in half after it rises. Yes, it's a thin crust, but it didn't burn or get flimsy like so many do. I'll be giving you our procedure...not sure if it matters exactly, but it is what has worked for us.

That said, this recipe is enough for two 12", thin-crust pizzas. Before toppings, this is (again, rounding up) 550 calories for the entire pizza's worth of crust. Behold, the best low-calorie pizza crust that we have discovered so far:

3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

-Put the water, salt, olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
-Stir to dissolve the salt
-Add yeast and herbs, stir again
-Add the flour (I added 1 cup, stirred it until it mostly mixed, dumped in the other cup and began mixing and kneading with my hands)
-In the beginning stages of kneading, add in the minced garlic and any last-minute herbs that sound lovely.

Knead the dough. Don't just pass it around it your hands; dig your fingers in deep, work it! This dough seems awfully dry at first - don't add water or oil, just keep kneading...it helps sometimes to make a crater in the dough mound, scoop up all the loose flour and dry bits, and fold them in that way...

As you keep kneading, the moisture in the dough will make itself known. I kneaded for probably close to ten minutes...your mileage may vary, but know that if your dough is flaky/crusty/dry, you probably just need to keep working at it!

Once all the dry bits are worked in (it won't be all that stretchy, don't stress about it): put the dough back into the mixing bowl, lay a damp bar rag/tea towel/paper towels across the top of the bowl, and let rise for about 45 minutes.

(This is a good time to make your sauce, chop up your veggies, so on)

The dough should have grown significantly. It came in at a little over 17 ounces on our handy scale, so divided it into two approximately 8.5 oz balls. Smear a little dab of olive oil on the inside of a ziplock bag and keep one of the balls in the fridge for another pizza within the next couple of days.

Preheat your oven to 425F

Take the remaining ball and roll it out flat (you might need a little flour to keep it from sticking to your rolling pin, but we didn't find it necessary). Place the dough on your pan (we have a 12", and there was enough dough to round the edges to form a little bit of outer-rim).

BEFORE you put on any toppings, put the dough in the oven for about 5 minutes. This firms it up and I believe contributes greatly to the end product.

Take it back out, put on all of your toppings.

Bake for 10 minutes...it shouldn't take much longer than that. Keep an eye on it *smiles*

Ta-da! You're done! Enjoy the delicious pizza goodness.

I hope this helps someone in their own pizza-making endeavors. I'm not sure what it's like for those of you on other diets, but as a calorie counter I love having something that I can actually work into my day...and is actually worth it.

(Giving credit where it is rightly due: this recipe is pretty much this recipe from KitchenSlave. However, we did not use a bread machine, added some herbs...little changes like that.)
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:54 AM   #2
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Looks good, thanks for sharing!

Also, your thread title made me giggle.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:13 PM   #3
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Awwwwyeahhhh, it's pizza night now!

That's really similar to my usual recipe, but zhuzhed up with herbs and garlic that I usually don't add (mostly because I'm lazy). It is SO worth it to make a homemade pizza, so anyone who's reading this and thinking "hmm, should I?" the answer is: yes, you should!

Another great thing about pizza dough is that you can modify servings as you like. I generally use six-ounce servings of dough and eat the whole thing, but sometimes it's good to chop it in half and pair it with soup and a salad.

And toppings? OMG, toppings!? Some of the ones I've tried and love:

- sauteed onions, shreds of ham, and a sprinkle of Gruyere cheese with nutmeg, light on the sauce

- Leftover shreds of chicken and stewed garlic cloves from yesterday's chicken-with-40-cloves-of-garlic, spinach, thinly-sliced red onions, light on the mozzarella

- No sauce--just paper-thin slices of tomato, spinach (love that stuff), a little mozzarella, a lot of parmigiano reggiano, and fresh basil leaves drizzled with a teeny bit of balsamic vinegar

Oh, man. I am jonesing for pizza now--which is awesome because I don't have to fret about calories to have it! Thanks for the recipe; I'll be trying it tonight.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
chicken-with-40-cloves-of-garlic
*swoon* That sounds amazing...I like chicken on pizza, especially with mushrooms and jalapenos (maybe pesto too, if it were worth the calories to me right now).

I probably should add that we used our own happy seasonings to suit our own tastes - the herbs actually listed are what came recommended with the basic recipe. I would recommend taking the time to include the garlic in the dough - adds great flavor and texture.

Our usual dough recipe is a bit heavier than this - incredibly tasty, yes, but right now I'd rather be spending those extra calories on cheese/toppings. That recipe still has it's place, but this definitely helps and makes it that much easier to fit pizza into my day. Also, since we split it in half, we can have another, even quicker pizza tonight! Helps with that after work apathy.

Let me know if you have any problems with it. Not that I can do much, but *shrugs*...
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