My favorite homemade pizza ~ Mediterranean

We make a lot of homemade pizza in our house. A couple things to know when you are making homemade pizza: you can make all the parts (even the cheese if you want to make a raw nut cheese).

When I make a regular pizza, I make my own pizza sauce with tomato sauce and a few spices. It's super easy, and best of all....contains no preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, or salt (depending on the tomato sauce you buy or make).

We make our own pizza dough using whole wheat flour, yeast, water, olive oil, and a few spices. My kids love this part. They love to dump in all the ingredients and always want to help knead the dough.

I usually cut the dough in half and make two pizzas. I roll them out really thin. A quick tip on whole wheat and/or thin crust pizzas: When you roll out a crust really thin, sometimes it's rips. Roll it out most of the way, then put it on your baking pan and stretch it the rest of the way by hand. Tip #2: Put a little flour or corn meal down if you are using a baking stone or ungreased pan because thin and whole wheat crusts stick easily. They almost cook to the stone.

When you make homemade pizza, it's really important to pre-bake the crust before you add the ingredients. This can make all the difference between having a good pizza and a gummy, yucky pizza. You should do this even if you are using a pre-packaged pizza crust. You only need to bake it for 5-6 minutes (higher heat is better here, maybe 500*) You can use this time to clean up the kitchen or prepare your sauce.

Then layer your ingredients. The pizza pictured is my favorite, a Mediterranean inspired pizza. Once I've pre-baked the crust, I spread about 1 Tbsp of olive oil on the crust. Resist the urge to add more. Resist it! If you keep spreading, it will cover the entire pizza and you won't need any extra. Then I rip up spinach and throw it on top. Next comes oil-packed sundried tomatoes. I made the mistake of using sundried tomatoes not packed in oil, and they got way too crispy in the oven and didn't taste very good. Of course, we had people over that time.....

Then I layer a little bit of fat-free feta cheese (the one cheese that still tastes good in a fat-free version) and a little reduced-fat (2%) mozarella. I go light on the cheese because of the high saturated fat, but you can add as much or as little as you like. Cook at 425* for 8-10 minutes. When your cheese is melted and the crust looks done, then you're ready to pull it out of the oven.

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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