Feast Your Eyes Upon This

As I've mentioned here before, we opted to stay at home on Valentine's Day and celebrate quietly by making ourselves a scrumptious meal. I think I've also mentioned that a few months ago, we had a wonderful pizza at West Crust Pizza here in town, and we decided to try something similar: a homemade pizza with honey-wheat crust, prosciutto, spinach, dates, and fancy cheeses. We chose asiago for the base and a bit of parmesan for a complement.

I found a recipe (here) for a fairly simple honey-wheat crust on allrecipes.com, but unfortunately did not take any photos throughout the process. It was, however, a pretty simple and relatively quick recipe. Here's what you need:
--1 (.25 oz.) package ative dry yeast {I used the rapid rise kind}
--1 cup warm water
--2 cups whole wheat flour
--1/4 cup wheat germ {honestly, I had no idea what wheat germ was or where it was located in my grocery store before Saturday. I'm still as clueless on the first point, although I now know it's used in some pizza dough recipes.}
--1 teaspoon salt
--1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and add honey and yest mixture. Stir well to combine. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for a few minutes. {I let mine sit for almost ten minutes.}
4. Roll or pat out dough on a floured pizza pan and poke some holes with a fork. {Make sure and pat the center a little further in, so that you have a raised outer edge like you're supposed to. I neglected this step and regretted it when all of the toppings on the outside wanted to roll off.}
5. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.
{Another note here: the recipe states that this amount of dough will make a thin crust, but that doubling the recipe will make a thicker pan-style crust, so I opted for the thick-crust route. I will know better next time; ours was over an inch thick, and was altogether too much bread for a pizza crust. I'm pretty sure that the original recipe amounts, given above, would have produced a perfectly suitable crust somewhere in between thin and crispy and deep dish.}

I didn't photograph the crust on its own before we added our toppings, but here's what we did next:
1. I brushed a thin layer of olive oil on top of the crust and then sprinkled on a little garlic powder.
2. We'd grated our asiago cheese, and we added that next, followed by prosciutto, then dried dates which we'd sliced up, then spinach last.
3. For an extra flavor, and also partially to cover up the spinach and keep it from getting quite so wilty, we added a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan for the finishing touch. Here's what it looked like after all toppings had been added and before it went into the oven for the final baking.
4. Since the crust is already baked, you'll put it in the second time mostly just to melt the cheese. We baked ours for about another 8 minutes.

Ta da! (Sorry my photos seem so red and yellow -- terrible light in my kitchen, and we took these at night.)

Since this little recipe post turned out to be longer than expected, perhaps I'll save the red velvet cupcake recipe for a later post this week. In the meantime, if you decide to try a handmade pizza, let me know how it works out! What would your special toppings be? Nate and I are fancy pizza people -- we do like to experiment with our toppings, and we also like the addition of a sweet ingredient, like dates or pineapple or pear. What about you? Prosciutto or plain pepperoni?


  1. You know how I feel about the date thing on a pizza, but I love either pepperoni or any kind of ham (can't spell the other kind!). Looks delish!

  2. mmmm! My mouth is watering. It looks SO good!


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