i spent friday afternoon at the dmv.
let me tell you, it’s like a day at disney world.
if disney world were in a dirty basement with no windows and everyone has permanent pms.
i think they actually tried to suck the soul out of me. and not in the sexy true blood kind of way. i’ll spare you the story, but much wine was needed afterwards. and then i had the good old ‘run into an ex’ moment.
you know, in life, you’re either a fight or flight kind of moment. turns out i’m neither. i’m more of a – kick off my stilettos, hike up my skirt and tasmanian devil out of there – kind of girl.
rewind back to the dmv. i had to become a true illinois-an, begrudgingly. i identify with being a hoosier. indiana raised me and taught me and now illinois gets to take all the credit for the gem i’ve become. i feel like i’m cheating on my home state.
and here’s the other thing. it’s the pizza here. i don’t get it. the whole deep dish thing. if i wanted lasagna, i would just make lasagna. if i wanted to feel like i’m going to die from a rock sitting in my stomach, i would eat a stick of margarine.
it gets worse. my favorite pizza of all time: pizza hut. but only from my hometown, they don’t make it the same anywhere else. it’s true. family friends of ours own a bunch in my hometown and so we have the inside scoop. super supreme pan pizza, ohmygoshgivemeallofit. i should’ve taken the hut with me to the dmv. #fatkidproblems
but recently i underwent a bit of a trauma. i moved a few blocks up the way and suddenly, in my time of need, pizza hut rejected me. he won’t cook, or deliver for me. and the thing is – that i had moved closer to him. but apparently i’m out of “his zone”.
my dear friend katie, who is one of the only people who understands how deep this love runs, came to the rescue. she called them and she convinced them to deliver me a pizza. just that one time. i still haven’t figured out how to repay her.
so i was craving pizza this week. i didn’t want some snobby wood fired pizza and i definitely didn’t want lasagna pizza so i set about to cook my own up. the biggest shocker is that it doesn’t have sausage on it. but i wanted it to be light – and i knew everything else would add enough flavor to it.
let’s talk real quick about homemade crusts. breads are one of my most favorite things to make. they take some time and some work but i am a cooking geek and find it so therapeutic. i know you could just buy one off the shelf but just try it. or make these parker rolls. just bake fresh bread and you’ll see what i mean.
i infused herbs and garlic into this crust to give it extra flavor. it’s da bomb.
- 1/2 cup warm water +1 tbsp
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 package yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- about 2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cup spinach
- 3/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, cut in half
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp dry parsley
- 2 tsp dry rosemary
- 2 tsp dry basil
- 3 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp dry thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Making the Dough
- In a small bowl mix the sugar, yeast, and 1 tablespoon water. Set aside for 4-5 minutes until it starts to foam.
- In a large bowl stir the flour, flour and salt together.
- Pour ½ cup water over flour mixture, add the yeast mixture. knead dough for 4-5 minutes until it’s no longer sticky. adding a bit more flour if needed.
- Baking The Pizza
- brush the dough with oil and cover with a towel, placing in a warm place for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees
- Grease the pizza pan with 1 tablespoon oil. sprinkle with a bit of flour
- After the dough has doubled, knead for 1 minute. Form a ball and place on the pizza pan and let the dough relax for 5 minutes.
- Now stretch the dough into a crust shape with a 1 inch crust.
- Place the crust in the oven as low as possible for 5 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, chop the garlic into small pieces, saute in a small pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil for 1 minute add all the spices and remove from heat immediately
- Remove the crust from the oven, brush a layer of the garlic mixture over the whole crust, spread ½ cup of marinara sauce evenly over the pizza leaving 1 inch around the edges for the crust, place the spinach leaves over the marinara sauce, add the cheese, top with mushrooms.
- Bake at 500 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown