homemade deep dish pizza with pepperoni (with a surprisingly healthy ingredient)

homemade pepperoni pizza for kids, foodlets

THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT THINGS to say about this pizza: First, it’s (pretty) good for you. Second, it’s only moderately popular at our place. {Wah, wah.} Estelle and I seem to like it best…which makes Paul and Phoebe something of pizza purists. This is after all, Italy… I originally adapted a “Crustless Pizza” recipe by Nigella Lawson, who popped a smaller, less healthy version into her British oven and ate it with such gusto that I could hardly resist trying the same thing! I’ve made it twice now, once with her method (it was okay but needed more flavor) and once with mine (it’s more flavorful, much better for you but still different than the traditional thin-crust stuff we’ve come to expect here.) But if you like thick crust, this is a treat. And adding more butter to the bottom of your pan will indeed make the whole thing more crispy. Otherwise my updates included adding white beans, wheat germ, oregano, salt, pepper, basil and Parmesan cheese–all to the dough itself. In fact, the first time, I added finely shredded carrots–since Nigella used cheddar cheese in her batter, it was easy to disguise the carrots and something I do almost every time I use this kind of yellow cheese. On top I added tomato paste, fresh basil, salt and pepper, plus mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.

When we do homemade pizza night, every 2 or 3 weeks, I almost always serve crunchy raw vegetables. This time I made a dip using about 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt with a couple tablespoons of Caesar salad dressing for our carrots and peppers. And since the strawberries are so gorgeous right now, they were a natural  choice for our after-dinner bribe dessert.

DEEP DISH PIZZA WITH PEPPERONI

ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup white beans, pureed (canned work perfectly, just rinse first)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4 oz pepperoni slices (or any topping you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, diced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed (optional)

instructions

 Preheat oven to 400. Grease bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and if you want a crispier crust, add the extra 2 tablespoons of cubed butter to the bottom of the pan. In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust, which you’ll bake first. Whisk together eggs plus flour, wheat germ, white beans, oregano, salt, pepper, milk and Parmesan cheese. Stir until incorporated then pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until fully set and starting to brown at the edges. Keep an eye on it and if bubbles form on top, pop them with a knife half-way through baking. This will keep your crust smooth. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes until it’s easy to handle OR if you’ve got small kids you can park it here for up to three hours before spreading the toppings and popping back in the oven for about 10 minutes before dinner time. When you’re ready, spread tomato paste on top, sprinkle with mozzarella, pepperoni and basil plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Back in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until everything is bubbly and delicious.

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