New York City and Chicago are the pizza capitols of this country - and I was fortunate enough to grow up smack dab in the middle of them. There is no doubt that the city of Cleveland benefitted from and was influenced by pizza makers in both cities. In my humble opinion, Cleveland boasts some pretty fantastic pizza.
Despite all of the incredible pizzerias, my favorite pizza to eat when I was growing up was my mom's homemade pizza. My mom was by far the best pizza maker in town. She always baked her pizza on a rectangle cookie sheet and cut it into slices with kitchen scissors. (The true Italian way. LOL)
I will never be able to make pizza like my mom, but I do like to carry on the tradition of making homemade pizza for my family. We all like homemade pizza night. Everyone gets involved in the process: rolling dough, slicing toppings, sprinkling cheese, spreading sauce. Most of the time we end up with a half and half pizza.
I created this pizza to be just a little bit healthier than my usual thin crust pizza. A little parsley, whole wheat flour and tomato juice really pumps up the flavor of the crust. I loved the added nutrients in the dough but more importantly, we all loved the flavor of this pizza so much that the three of us ate the entire pie for dinner.
Veggie Pizza with Herbed Tomato Crust
1/2 cup whole wheat flour Toppings
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley 8 ounce can pizza sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon active dry yeast 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 teaspoon pepper crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups flour
Arrange toppings over sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 25-30 minutes at 400. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
My mom still makes homemade pizza for us when we go to her house for a visit. She is STILL the best pizza maker in town. My pizza will never compare to hers so I don't even try to make her version. This is a pretty tasty homemade pizza though - you really need to give it a try.
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