As one of my favorite foods, pizza has fueled more of my long runs than I’d like to admit. My go-to night before a race meal is usually pasta with grilled chicken, and while I know you should practice what you eat sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I think pizza gets a bad rap for being unhealthy. Sure fast food style pizza isn’t great for you, but I do a lot of homemade pizzas too – some more healthier than others, but when it comes down to it I really just think moderation is key.
Last weekend Ian and I made a couple pizzas. Friday night we did one of my favorites to make at home – a buffalo chicken pizza. This combines two of my favorite things to eat making it a shoe-in for the favorites list. We used a whole wheat crust made in a bread machine with a recipe from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. We pan cooked the chicken before adding it in with the sauce.
The sauce recipe is adapted from a Rachel Ray FoodNetwork.com wingless buffalo chicken pizza recipe. I honestly can’t stand Rachel Ray’s show, but for the sake of this delicious pizza have decided to bury the hatchet. We topped it with mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of parmesan after it came out of the oven. We baked it on a pizza stone for 21 minutes at 425, and served it with some ranch on the side for dipping. It had a relatively thin crust with a good crunch to it and the sauce had a great kick. It was delicious!
Sunday’s pizza didn’t take a lot of effort, but it did take a lot of time. We wanted to try out a pan pizza recipe highlighted on Serious Eats last week and decided the weekend was a good time to test it out. The dough recipe was a no knead easy recipe, but needed to be started a day ahead of time. We got that ready on Saturday and let it sit over night in a large mixing bowl tightly covered in plastic wrap.
Sunday we had to get things going a couple hours before we were ready to eat. We floured the dough and dumped it onto the counter also covered in flour. After rolling into a ball, we placed it into a 9 inch pie pan with a couple tablespoons of oil. After rolling it around in the oil, I flattened it with my palm and made sure the oil covered the entire pan before covering the pan with plastic wrap and leaving it along for two hours. At the one hour mark we preheated the oven to it’s max temp – 500 degrees and also got our toppings ready. Ian cooked up some meatballs and grated a mix of mozzarella and colby cheeses.
At the two hour mark I realized we really should have started earlier – I was starving! I used my fingers to spread the dough to the edges and made sure to get all the air bubbles out before adding the sauce. Ian followed up with a layer of cheese, the meatballs and a final layer of cheese plus some italian seasoning. Being a pan pizza, we spread the sauce and cheese right to the edges. Making it in the pie tin reminds me of the Pizza Hut style pan pizzas I used to get when I was little for every five books I read as part of the Book It program – only this tasted way better!
We put the pie tin into the piping hot oven for about 13 minutes. A downside to such a small place – taking the steaming pizza out of the 500 degree oven that had been on for more than an hour now set the smoke alarm off twice. Fortunately we were able to get it under control before it set the alarms off for the entire building. It was totally worth it. The pizza was amazing. The bottom of the crust was crunchy yet the middle filled with air pockets making it spongy and delicious. The meatballs and the combination of cheeses (we added a sprinkling of parmesan to the top as soon as it came out of the oven) added the perfect flavoring. We’d make this again any day!
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Whole Wheat Dough:
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp SAF yeast or 2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
Makes 2 thin 12- to 14-inch pizzas. Run through dough cycle of bread machine, remove, divide into 2, and let sit covered for 30 minutes. Dough can be frozen or refrigerated, but should sit out for 20 minutes before rolling out.
2 chicken breast cutlets
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot – Hot Buffalo
8 oz. tomato sauce
In medium skillet melt butter over medium heat, stir in tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Add cooked and sliced chicken. Add sauce to pizza dough, cover with cheese and bake for 19-23 minutes on pizza stone at 425.
Fool Proof Pan Pizza
We didn’t make any changes to this one other than choosing our toppings and cheese, so find out everything you need to know from the Serious Eats blog post.