Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Daily Bread: Thin Crust Pizza Dough

Today’s gospel (Matthew 23:1-12) warns us not to be like the Scribes and the Pharisees who “all their works they do in order to be seen by men.” We are called instead to serve with simplicity and humility for “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Looking ahead in Lent, we will see Our Lord wrap a towel about his waist and wash the feet of his beloved apostles. I was moved just the other night when my 3 year old son took a baby wipe, got onto his knees, and started to wash his father’s feet as we got them ready for bed. He wanted to be helpful, as do all toddlers, and had no idea the divine example he was imitating!
Do we serve those closest to us, our spouse, our children, our relatives, our coworkers, our friends, with love and humility? Perhaps the most important tasks of love are those many daily acts of service that will go completely unnoticed, unless omitted: making an effort to be cheerful in the morning, preparing someone’s morning coffee, correcting our children with patience instead of irritabilty, emptying the garbage when we see it is full, refilling the ice trays when we see they are empty etc.
And perhaps the 5:00 hour, affectionately called the arsenic hour, can present the most challenges. Like morning sickness, that can in fact plague even nights, the arsenic hour can sometimes last all day. The moments while the children hungrily await the return of their hungry fathers from work call for heroic service in the form of cheerfulness. Extra smiles can help remind us that we still love our children, a quick application of lipstick can freshen our beauty for our husbands, and a simple recipe for dinner always helps to ease that difficult hour.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
2 ¾- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (120°F to 130°F)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 1 ¼ cups flour, the yeast, the salt; add warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
3. Grease two baking sheets. If desired, sprinkle with cornmeal. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into rectangles large enough to fit your baking sheets. Transfer to pans, you may need to stretch the dough a bit to fit the pans, but he careful not to tear the dough. Bake 425° for 12 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven, top with your favorite toppings and return for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Three Cheese White Pizza with Mushrooms
8 oz. Mushrooms
Grated parmesan cheese
9 oz. ricotta or cottage cheese
8 oz. grated asiago or mozzarella cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
2 thin crust pizza shells, baked (see above)

1. Drizzle olive oil over 1 pizza crust and spread with a basting brush. You may need to crack some bubbles that may have formed during the baking. Evenly sprinkle 1 of the minced garlic cloves over crust. Top with half the ricotta/cottage cheese and then half of the grated asiago/mozzarella cheese. Evenly distribute half of the mushrooms and top with parmesan cheese. Repeat for the second pizza shell. Bake at 425° for 10- 15 minutes.

This meatless dinner is great for a Friday in lent!


  1. Does that ever look good!

  2. The recipe sounds great, but I was particularly moved by the opening of your post. Thank you.

  3. Yes, that is very moving. A beautiful post!