I’m thinking I need to promise myself that I’ll make and eat pizza at least once a week. That’s because pizza is just such a comforting and delicious food to eat, right? So I’m starting my promise with this Homemade Eggplant & Bolognese Pizza.
The best thing about making homemade pizza is that it can be made as healthy or as naughty as you want. Personally, I love making healthy pizza that tastes naughty. I do that by always using whole wheat crust and fresh, delicious ingredients.
But it all starts with a wonderfully healthy homemade crust. And because I’m not gluten-free, it’s easy just to use a good-quality whole wheat flour. I also like to add dried rosemary, and use a little more vinegar and salt in the dough for added flavor.
Making Homemade Pizza Dough is Easy!
If you’re worried that making your own dough is too time consuming, don’t be! It really takes just a few minutes of your time – especially if you have a KitchenAid with a dough hook. But don’t even worry if you don’t have one – kneading dough for about five minutes can actually be fun and even a bit therapeutic.
For a bit of different taste and texture, I used my Bolognese sauce. If made ahead of time, it really helps in cutting down the cook time for this pizza. The reason is, when making a tasty Bolognese sauce, it’s all about layering flavors which could take a little extra time. If you’re in a rush, it’s ok to use your favorite quick sauce, or even store-bought sauce in jar (it’s really ok!).
One last note about making your own pizza: Everything can be customized to your taste. This means you can customize the size, amount of sauce, cheese, and ingredients. Don’t like eggplant? Use mushrooms! Like ricotta cheese instead of mozzarella? Switch it up! You get the point.
Either way, just have fun with it and enjoy!
- For the dough
- 4½ cups all white whole wheat (I prefer King Arthur’s)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional for rubbing on dough)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- a little rosemary (optional)
- For the topping, use more or less of ingredients to taste
- ½ cup slices mozzarella cheese, sliced in small pieces or shredded
- 1 cup prepared Bolognese sauce. (See recipe link in blog post)
- 1 small eggplant, cut in small 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsely, roughly chopped
- crushed red pepper if desired
- Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano cheese if desired
- a little cornmeal to dust on pizza
- For the dough, add the yeast to the 2 cups of water for several minutes until it becomes foamy. Add the sugar, olive oil and vinegar.
- While the yeast is dissolving in the water, add the flour, rosemary and salt to food processor jar and pulse a couple times.
- Add the water and yeast mixture gradually to the flour mixture and process until the dough begins to form a ball and comes away from the sides of the container. Turn out onto floured surface. Sprinkle with flour and knead for several minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
- Place in bowl rubbed with olive oil, cover with towel and let sit for 1½ to 2 hours until it doubles in size.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the eggplant by frying in olive oil in a small pan until light golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- After two hours, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, knead a couple times and cut in ½ or in three equal pieces.
- Form into balls and use as needed. To use the next day, rub lightly with olive oil, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight (I prefer using the next day for better flavor).
- For the pizza, heat oven (with pizza stone if you have one) to 500 degrees F on center rack.
- Stretch dough and push downward in center with fingers to desired shape and size.
- Dust pizza peel (or parchment paper) with a little cornmeal and lay down your dough on top of it, reshaping it and leaving a little more thickness on the edges.
- Spread out layer of sauce in center of dough, leaving about an inch for the crust.
- Arrange eggplant pieces and cheese evenly over sauce. Sprinkle top with fresh parsley.
- Lightly rub a tiny bit of olive oil on the edges.
- Slide onto pizza stone and let cook for about 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crust looks browned.
- Remove and garnish with the fresh parsely, parmigiano cheese and crushed red pepper if desired.