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Classic Margherita Pizza with Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

This Italian Simple Cooking with Heart recipe is sure to become a family favorite!

Ingredients

For the Homemade Pizza Crust:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (divided use)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped rosemary

    OR

  • 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • nonstick Cooking spray

For the Pizza and Toppings:

  • 1 12- inch whole-wheat pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup low-fat, part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cup diced, fresh tomatoes

    OR

  • 8 ounces canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil (coarsely chopped or torn into pieces)

    OR

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • nonstick Cooking spray

For the Pizza Sauce:

  • 8 ounces canned, no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1/2 small fresh, chopped onion ( about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (minced)

    OR

  • 1 teaspoon jarred, minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped, fresh)

    OR

  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (depending on your preference of spice level)

Directions

For the Homemade Pizza Crust:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar, stirring to dissolve the yeast and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. When measuring the flour, lightly spoon the flour into measuring cups and level off using a knife. Add both types of flour, oil, and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until all ingredients are mixed well.
  2. On a well-floured surface (use all-purpose flour), turn dough out and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. While you are kneading the dough add additional flour, 1 tablespoon. at a time, so the dough is more manageable. Dough should feel slightly sticky and tacky.
  3. Place dough in a large bowl that is coated well with cooking spray. Sprinkle rosemary and garlic over dough and knead lightly one more time, until slightly incorporated into dough. Spray once more over dough ball and cover. Let dough rise in a warm place (85° F), like a cupboard or pantry for about 45 minutes. Dough is ready when it has doubled in size and when you place two fingers into dough, the indention remains. When it is ready, punch down dough by inserting fist into dough ball and releasing some of the air.
  4. Cover and let rest another 5 minutes. Divide dough ball in half.
  5. On a floured surface roll one half into a 12” circle. Top with ingredients above and bake.

For the Pizza and Toppings:

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook garlic and onion in olive oil until soft, but not brown. Add remaining sauce ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Carefully transfer pizza dough (if using homemade raw dough, see recipe below) onto a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Or if using store-bought, transfer to baking sheet lined with foil. Layer dough or crust with pizza sauce, cheese, tomatoes and basil.
  4. Bake 10-20 minutes. Pizza is ready when crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Cooking time will be slightly longer with raw, homemade dough. Watch closely!

For the Pizza Sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook garlic and onion in olive oil until soft, but not brown.
  2. Add remaining sauce ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

    Recipe adapted from the American Heart Association 

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