Summertime PizzaI’m amazed how much pizza we ate when we were young.

I was going to school at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and working too.  Still, my roommates and I made regularly treks the two blocks to the local pizza joint, the King’s Kup.   The pizza was good and the pretty blonde waitresses didn’t hurt.  When it was cold outside, as cold as fifty below, we stayed forever—and consumed mountains of pizza.

Now most commercial pizzas seem heavy and rich to us.  We much prefer lighter pizzas, especially in the summertime.  A summertime pizza is a lighter pizza made with fresh vegetables, fewer toppings, and a crispy crust.   In this article, we’ll tell you how to do it.

It’s amazing what you can put on a pizza.  You can serve many of your favorite garden vegetables on a pizza, everything from tomatoes to potatoes and broccoli to beans.  Some may seem a little strange but if you like the veggies, chances are—you’ll like them on a pizza.

Your veggies are usually placed on a base, often a marinara sauce.  It doesn’t have to be a red sauce.  White pizzas are made with either a white sauce like alfredo or simply a nice coating of olive oil.  You need enough that your pizza is not dry but no more, especially if you want a crispy crust.

Except for tomatoes, cook your veggies first.  It just doesn’t work to load up a thin light crust, one that was intended to be crispy, and then bake the pizza until the vegetables are cooked.  Stir fry the vegetables until they are almost tender, load them on a prebaked crust, and cook them for five more minutes.   Top your veggies with just enough cheese to balance the veggies and hold things together.  Of course, you can add meat but we’re trying to make summertime pizzas here.  Cook the pizza just until the cheese melts, about five minutes.

And the crust . . .

You can’t make a thin crust with bread flour.  It’s too stiff and springs back too much.  You need a soft, pliable dough with not too much gluten.  You can do it with all-purpose flour.  Better yet, add a little rye flour.  Rye flour does not contain the proteins that make gluten and effectively dilutes the gluten in the wheat flour.  You can use our pizza mixes and make soft, pliable dough.

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