Friday, April 30, 2010

Recipe Friday - Cornmeal Crust Pizza

My two year old daughter is a typical fussy eater. She really isn't into eating vegetables (now that's a shocker). There's only a few things that she'll eat with vegetables, like pesto, or veg chili, and I find myself making those meals every single week, in order to get those veggies in her. Another meal that she loves is Dr. Oetker Spinach Pizza. The other day she ate half of the pizza all by herself! That pizza is loaded with spinach and often goes on sale for $3. The other day I had a pack of chopped spinach in my freezer and I thought, I wonder if I can make my own version. I did some google-ing and found a recipe, and adapted it to work with the ingredients I had on hand. Alright, so here's a recipe I found on the Oprah website "10 Best Recipes from the Last 10 Years". Like I said, I changed a lot of the toppings to make it my way. I'm going to give you the recipe straight from the Oprah website, and in red, I'll explain how I changed it to make it healthier.


  • 1 package (1 1/4 ounces) active dry yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , plus more as needed I used whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal , plus more for pan
  • 1 bunch (12 ounces) Swiss chard - I used chopped spinach
  • 4 strips bacon , cut into 3/4-inch squares - didn't use
  • 4 cloves garlic , thinly sliced - used 6 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese - used light feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese - didn't use
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes - didn't use because I thought it would be too spicy for kids
  • added 1/3 cup tomato sauce

To make crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer (warmed with hot water and wiped dry), combine yeast with 1/2 cup warm water; stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Stir in 1 cup flour (mixture will become thick and stiff). Cover with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Add oil, milk, salt and 1 cup warm water. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with paddle attachment. With mixer on low, slowly add remaining flour and cornmeal. Mix into a soft dough. Change to a dough hook; knead 15 minutes, until sticky.

Form dough into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough, knead a few times and reshape into a ball. Return to bowl, cover and let sit until nearly doubled, about 40 minutes. Divide into 4 balls; reserve 2 for later use. - I used it all, just made a bigger pizza

To make toppings: Strip Swiss chard leaves from stems. Chop stems, tear leaves; set aside, separated. Place bacon in a cold sauté pan; set over medium heat. Cook until fat has rendered and bacon just begins to brown, 8–10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Pour off all but a little fat from the pan; add garlic. Cook until golden, 2–3 minutes. Add Swiss chard stems. Cook 8–10 minutes, until softened. Add leaves and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- I didn't pre-cook any of my ingredients. I just sprinkled them evenly over the rolled out dough.

Preheat oven to 450°. Using your hands, stretch a ball of dough into a disk; using a rolling pin, roll into a thin 10-inch circle. Transfer to a heavy baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Repeat with other ball of dough. Divide greens evenly between the 2 pizzas, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Crumble ricotta over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bacon. Bake until brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking. Sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper flakes before serving.

- I sprinkled everything on a dough, and popped it in the oven for 15 minutes.


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