Well, I try for healthy pizza. And really, there’s no reason that whole-grain bread, a moderate amount of cheese, as well as a generous amount of veggies and lean protein shouldn’t be a perfectly nutritious dinner – it’s just the gut-bomb delivery and restaurant version that does the major damage. (And can you say sodium? Pizza Hut = serious balloonness, I’d hate to know the sodium content and I like salt.) I’ve linked to this whole-wheat crust recipe before and I’m here to say again that it is really, really fantastic. It makes two baking-sheet size thin-crust pizzas, or three slightly smaller, cracker-thin crusts (that’s how I like it).
I pre-bake the crusts, on a pan, for about 5 minutes first. Then I top with a quick, chunky sauce (crushed tomatoes simmered briefly with a couple of cloves of minced garlic, a generous pinch of red pepper flakes and dried oregano), a small amount of shredded cheese (mozzarella works, of course, but provolone or fontina packs more flavor-punch), and a whatever-I’m-in-the-mood-for mix of vegetables and protein. Pepperoni and green olives for my son. Caramelized onions and pancetta for adults. Shrimp and artichokes if I’m motivated (which I was – above are baby artichokes, sauteed with garlic).
After topping, I slide the pie directly onto the oven rack (no pan – thus the pre-bake, it has enough shape to sit directly on the rack) and bake until the toppings are bubbling and crust is crisp, about 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. If you add heavier toppings, bake at 400 degrees for a bit longer. Have fun and improvise freely.