As requested, I am posting my top secret Facilitated Dialogue pizza recipe. Before starting, don’t forget to make a pro/con chart about making your own pizza instead of ordering out…..
Facilitated Dialogue Pizzas:
Crust (makes enough for 2 9X13 rectangular pizzas):
2 cups warm (wrist temperature) water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages (or ~ 4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
~3 – 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
~3 – 3 ½ cups white flour
Mix the water, honey, olive oil, salt together, then add the yeast and mix. Add about half the flour and combine to a batter consistency. Continue adding flour until it is no longer practical to mix with a spoon. Add the rest of the flour, and begin kneading with your hands. To make clean-up easier, I always just knead the dough right in the mixing bowl, but if you prefer you can transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface for kneading. Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough starts to become elastic. The dough should be smooth and soft, and should not stick to the bowl/surface as you knead. If the dough is still sticky, continue adding flour just a little bit at a time and continue kneading. The dough is ready when pressed gently it springs back a little. Form the dough into a smooth round ball and coat it lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a warm, moistened towel, and place the bowl in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until you are ready to make pizzas. If it is particularly cold, I like to preheat the oven to warm or turn on a burner and let it warm up a little, and then turn it off and put the dough in the warm oven or on the warm burner. While the dough is rising is a good opportunity to get started on the sauce.
Sneaky Spinach Sauce:
We recently discovered that spinach can be really delicious when it is added directly into the pizza sauce. It started out as an experiment in our Eating Right class at the Cascade People’s center, and it was a huge success. The spinach is not overpowering, you wouldn’t even know it was there if you weren’t looking for it, and it adds a really creamy texture to the sauce. We tried sneaking it in again last night in our Kids Up Front class, and the kids were at first skeptical of the green stuff in the sauce, until they covered it up with cheese and forgot that it was even there. So here is our recipe for sneaky spinach sauce, feel free to experiment and let us know what you think!
1 small onion, diced
30 oz. of tomato sauce or crushed/diced tomatoes.
1 bag frozen spinach
Basil, oregano, salt, pepper to taste.
Sauté the onions on medium heat until they are translucent. Add spices (more if you are using plain tomatoes, less if you are using pre-made sauce) and sauté a couple minutes longer. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add frozen spinach. Reduce heat and simmer until you are ready to assemble your pizzas. Stir every now and then to allow spinach to thaw and mix in.
Get creative with your toppings! Thinly sliced vegetables such as mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, and zucchini work well. One new favorite that I made for the facilitated dialogue training on Monday was butternut squash, caramelized onions, and ricotta cheese. Here is how I prepped the toppings:
2 large onions
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
Cut onions into thin strips. Heat oil or butter in a large skillet, add the onions, and continue to heat over medium low heat. It is good to start this as one of the first things you do when you get into the kitchen because it takes a lot of time and patience to cook the onions slowly. The heat should be so low that you don’t really need to pay attention to them all that much, in fact at first it might even look like they aren’t cooking at all. Just stir them every once and awhile when you pass by them in the kitchen. After about 45 minutes- 1 hour they should be really caramelized and ready to go on the pizza! If you are impatient or forget to start early, you can add a little bit of sugar to the pan to speed up the process.
Peel the squash and cut it into ½ inch cubes. Cover the bottom of a small saucepan with about ½ inch of water, add the squash, and heat it covered over medium/high heat to steam the squash. Remove from the heat when the squash is starting to soften but still firm, as it will continue to cook the rest of the way on the pizza.
Assembling the Pizzas:
Okay, now you have everything all set, and you are ready to assemble your pizzas. Preheat the oven to 450 °F. Punch down the dough and knead it 3 or 4 times. Lightly grease or coat in cornmeal two 9X13 baking sheets. Divide dough in half, and use a rolling pin to shape each half into a thin, uniform crust. Place each crust lightly onto a baking sheet and cover with sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and delicious!