Monday night… pizza night?

People have some way out ideas about who they were in past lives. The Queen of Sheba, King Henry VIII, Joan of Arc…

But I’m pretty sure that if I was around in a past life I wasn’t anything nearly so fancy – I think I was a baker.

It’s the only way to account for my total obsession. I love getting up early in the morning to knock down the dough for its second rising. I love the smell that fills the kitchen when you’re baking it. And I adore eating the stuff.

But today’s baking effort was far from an intentional early morning ritual to celebrate the wonders of yeast & wheat … It was more of a last minute “there’s no way I’m starting the week with greasy take-out” scramble.

To explain: Today was the first day at a new school for the kids. They were understandably a little nervous when I dropped them off – so I was thrilled that when I picked them up they were happy and excited to tell me all the great things that had happened during the day.

On the way home I asked “what do you guys want for dinner?” and my middle guy unhesitatingly answered “pizza! to celebrate!”.

My first thought was to say no – I mean it’s Monday. We don’t do take-out during the week. And especially not pizza.

But how many times do you start a new school and day one goes really, really well? So I compromised – Yes to pizza. No to take-out.

Fortunately the NY Times recipe app has a fantastic (& very quick) whole wheat pizza dough

I mixed one packet of dry yeast with 1 cup of warm water & 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then in a large bowl I mixed together 3 cups of plain flour with one cup of whole wheat plus one tablespoon of salt.

Then I made a well in the flour and slowly added the yeast liquid as I stirred. After adding all the liquid I used my hands to bring the dough into a ball. I then left the mixture to rise, covered with a dish towel, for about 15 minutes.

To finish the bases I floured a work surface and rolled half the mixture out at a time, placing the bases on a well oiled pizza tray when ready. I baked each base for 8 minutes at 400 F.

My favorite pizza topping is red onion, kalamata olive, mushroom & spinach. I simply cooked those ingredients over low heat for a few minutes before topping one of the par-baked bases with this mixture. The pizza then needed about 10 more minutes at 400F and it was ready.

And for the kids? Cheese pizza of course (non-dairy Daiya to be precise) cooked exactly the same way as the veggie recipe – 8 minutes for the base, then topped with sauce & ‘cheese’ and baked for a further 10 minutes at 400F.

So while it may not be exactly how they do it in Napoli, it hit the spot for us – and was the perfect way to celebrate the end of a very successful day!

#vegan #kidfriendlyvegan #mindfuleating #wholefood #baking #pizza

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