Saturday, February 2, 2013

Easy Pizza Crust

What a week!  After days of a yucky tummy bug, I took my youngest to the ER Monday morning as she was very dehydrated and in need of medical help.  I am so glad we went.  We weren't in the ER very long before they admitted her, thus began our 3-day hospital stay.  In the meantime, my husband was just coming down with the virus, and was in quarantine at home.  I have to say, I am blessed with some amazing people in my life, who took the stress of worrying about my three-year-old off my shoulders.  Between my incredible mom (who came down with the bug herself, days later), and a couple of friends, Grace was well cared for.  And between the stellar nurses, doctors, and staff at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, so was Emma!  And here's a quick caution about the superbug Norovirus - it is a very stable virus.  It lives on surfaces for up to two weeks, and is not easily killed.  Hand sanitizers are not effective in preventing the spread of this illness.  So, please, wash your hands frequently, wipe down surfaces diligently and repeatedly.  And most importantly, stay home if you are ill to prevent spreading it.

Spending a few days in the hospital really had me itching to get outside for a run and into my kitchen to bake.  Our first night home, a dear friend blessed us by bringing us dinner.  The next night I was still playing catch-up around the house and opted for easy spaghetti.  But, by yesterday I was back at the gym by 5:30am and ready to get back in gear in the kitchen.  I decided to give homemade pizza a shot.  This afforded me the opportunity to use up our leftover spaghetti sauce as well as to spend some much needed one-on-one baking time with Grace.  We had a blast, and dinner was delicious.

Homemade Pizza Crust
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons Spectrum shortening
1 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Toppings (Your choice. I used tomato sauce, shredded goat "cheddar," chicken sausage, sun-dried tomatoes)
1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Coat a pizza tin or cookie sheet (with edge) with olive oil.
2.  Combine flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda in a medium bowll.  Set aside.
3.  Combine the shortening, hemp milk, and vinegar in a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute.

4.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and blend for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.

5.  Pour the batter into the pan.  Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly to the edges.  

6.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

7.  Remove the partially baked crust from the oven.  Add desired toppings.

8.  Bake for 12-18 minutes more.  

Next time I make this, I will bake the crust in pie dishes for personal-sized pizzas.  I also may double the batter, as this recipe is a relatively thin crust.  No complaints, though.  Everyone ate seconds, some had thirds!

Lucky for us, we had a Bob's brownie mix in the pantry.  So, we whipped that up for dessert.  And when my three-year-old bakes, she bakes with sprinkles.  So, sprinkled brownies we had!  Yum!

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