Today was an extremely humid day here, a drastic change from the breezy weather we've enjoyed the last few days. I stayed busy indoors getting caught up on a number of things around the house. I actually took the day off today, but ended up working all day on other projects...so I didn't feel like spending a lot of time cooking this evening. I decided to keep it simple and pull out the pizza crust I froze a couple of weeks ago. I intentionally froze it to see how well it would reheat. I frequently get asked whether the crust freezes well, but had never actually tried to before. I'd like to report that it freezes excellently, which is good news for those that like to get a head start on meal prepping or those that just want to be able to make a few crusts ahead of time to pull out later and use as a "convenience food". I had wrapped it in Saran Wrap since I wasn't planning to freeze it for very long. It froze beautifully and had no ice crystals on it at all. I decided to treat it like a "frozen pizza" and simply top the frozen crust with Rao's pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, cooked fresh mushrooms, onions and then pop it in the oven to bake. I baked it for about 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees F and then ran it under the broiler a bit. After it came out of the oven, I topped it with some diced cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. It turned out great and I will definitely make an extra crust or two next time to freeze so I can pull it out and make a quick dinner in quicker than "fast food speed". I snapped a few photos below as well as the recipe. Enjoy!
Almond-Flax-Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust
Makes 1 10-inch round pizza (approximately 2 servings)
2/3 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (decrease salt if using saltier cheeses and toppings)
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
4 - 5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute such as Egg Beaters)
1 tablespoon olive oil (a little more, if desired)
1 to 2 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon of water and add the second, if necessary)
Pizza sauce, pesto sauce, etc.
Cheese: shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced or diced fresh mozzarella, etc.
**Pre-cooked vegetables of choice: onions, green peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc.
**Pre-cooked meat of choice: sausage, ground beef topping, etc.
Other: artichokes, olives, pepperoni, etc.
**Tip: Fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked and drained to prevent crust from becoming soggy
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together; add wet ingredients and mix well. Let the dough sit for approximately 5 minutes to thicken.
Spread dough on a lightly oiled large pizza pan or cookie sheet lined with greased parchment paper (you can also use Reynolds non-stick foil, lightly brushed with olive oil). Using a lightly oiled rubber spatula, press the dough out to desired shape and thickness (I usually make it about 1/4" thick -- *see note below). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through (check crust after 15 minutes and remove from oven when it looks and feels done). Spread with a thin layer of sauce, cheese and desired toppings (fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked to prevent soggy crust); place back into the oven to bake an additional 5-10 minutes to melt cheese. If desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes to lightly brown the toppings and make the cheese bubbly (be careful not to burn it).
*Note: For a crust that is flat, smooth and even in thickness, lightly spray a 2nd sheet of parchment paper with olive oil spray and place it on top (oiled side down) of the ball of pizza dough that is centered in the middle of your prepared pizza pan or baking sheet. Using either your hands or the flat edge of an object (I use a big container of black pepper) press the dough smooth by swiping it the direction you want the pizza crust to go. When it is the desired thickness and shape, carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper...and "Voila"...perfectly flat, smooth, thin pizza crust! If you don't have parchment paper, pressing the dough out with a lightly oiled rubber spatula works just fine, too.
Don't Forget to Enter the Swerve Giveaway!
The kind folks at Swerve
recently contacted me and have allowed me to offer Gourmet Girl Cooks' followers a chance to win an exciting "Celebration to Summer's End Giveaway"! One lucky follower will win a: Weber 22.5” Silver One-Touch, Kettle Grill AND
a Three-Pack of Swerve (see below). As most of you that follow me already know, I have been using Swerve for almost a year now and it is my favorite "zero calorie" natural sweetener to bake with. It tastes great and measures cup-for-cup just like sugar, which makes it super easy to substitute in recipes...no calculations involved! It contains no artificial ingredients and comes in both granular and confectioners (powdered) versions. With the upcoming Labor Day weekend ahead, I will be posting some delicious "end of summer" recipes using Swerve...so stay tuned! Ready, set....GO! Begin entering now!
P.S.-- if you are already a Swerve lover
like I am, and your supply is getting low...Swerve is currently running a special through Tuesday, September 3rd, for $9.99 each (for a 16-oz bag) or you can grab 6 packs of Swerve for $49.98 ($8.33/each + free shipping). You can click here to grab this special ---> Swerve
HOW TO ENTER:
The winning contestant will be chosen at random (must be a U.S. resident). To enter a chance to win, all you need to do is: Leave a comment here on my blog and include the words "Swerve BBQ Contest" (1 entry per person per day)
. Contest ends Friday, September 6, 2013 at Midnight EDT.
The winner will have 24 hours after being announced to contact Gourmet Girl Cooks (by email at GourmetGirlCooksBlog @ gmail.com) with their shipping address. If no response is received in 24 hours, a new winner will be selected.
*The product provided in this giveaway is contributed by and will be sent directly to the winner by Swerve.