Pizza has developed a somewhat undeserved reputation as junk food. Indeed, it can be junk food, if an all-white flour crust is covered with processed tomato sauce, questionable slices of processed meat, and something vaguely resembling cheese.
Pizza can also be a gourmet dish, or a delivery mechanism for all sorts of fruits and vegetables, depending on what goes into, and onto, it.
My family loves pizza, although we don’t make it too often. Still, it’s a nice treat on a night when we all have a few minutes at home. Last night I made up a crust slightly different from my usual one, since I had no semolina, and went through the fridge looking for toppings. We had zucchini, mushrooms, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, broccoli, olives and feta, as well as the usual suspects of tomato sauce and cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Because everyone here has slightly different tastes (nothing green for my daughter, no olives for me), we made up three pies. The leftovers will make our lunches for the rest of the week.
I won’t give a recipe, per se, since everyone’s tastes run differently, but I will write down my usual crust ingredients, and I will invited everyone to share your favourite pizza toppings and combinations. Shiitake and gorganzola? Brie and roasted pears? Asparagus and garlic, no cheese? Thick crust? Thin crust? What do you enjoy on pizza?
My standard crust has 1 cup semolina flour, 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 TBSP yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 TBSP sugar, a splash of olive oil, and about 1 cup of warm water.