Pizza Components – Suggestions for healthful pizza

The crust is usually made of wheat flour and should be a blend of whole wheat flour and white flour. You can use
either a pre-made crust or make your own. Flour provides the structure in pizza dough. Different flour protein levels
will lead to differences in functionality – higher protein flours make firmer, stronger doughs while lower protein
flours produce softer, weaker doughs. Thinner pizza crusts call for greater protein content.
The sauce is often tomato based and seasoned with spices and herbs. It is important that the pizza sauce be of a
consistency that will spread evenly but will not make your dough or pre-made crust soggy. Other sauces that can be
used include pestos, barbecue sauces, or bean purees (refried beans or hummus).
The softer the cheese, the quicker it melts and the better it covers the pizza. Firmer, harder cheeses add distinct, full
flavors but take longer to melt and do not flow as consistently. Cheese should be grated and not sliced so that it will
melt more evenly. Traditionally the cheese of choice is mozzarella. It is common to use other types of cheese such as
provolone, ricotta, or Monterey jack.
Toppings are a matter of preference, but there is no limit to the toppings you use on pizzas. Be creative with lean
meats and meat alternatives, vegetables, and fruits.


Pizza Styles
Traditional Crust Pizza
This crust is usually made by rolling or tossing the dough into a round circle then topping it with sauce and cheese. This thin, chewy crust is often found in
the neighborhood pizza parlors in New York.

Deep-Dish Pizza
A thick crust and dense toppings usually characterize deep-dish pizza, also known Chicago-style pizza. Baking time tends to take longer and one slice might
make a meal.
Thin Crust Pizza
Also know as California-style pizza, the very thin crust pizza has a cracker-like crunch. It is crispy on the bottom, bubbling on top, and never soggy or
Folded Pizza
This is basically a stuffed pizza. The uncooked crust is filled with traditional toppings then folded and baked. The calzone is typically a semi-circle shaped,
and the stromboli is rolled to resemble a loaf.
Pizza Bread
Also known as French bread pizza, it is perhaps one of the easiest to make. The French bread loaf is usually sliced down the center into two halves. The
sauce, cheese, and toppings are then placed on the flat, sliced surface.


Tips on Preparing Fresh Vegetables
To insure doneness and to prevent excess moisture seeping from vegetables and making the crust soggy, most fresh vegetables must
be pre-prepared.

Cut or chop vegetables.

Uniformly cut vegetables will cook evenly.
Bite-size pieces are easier to eat.

Precook vegetables.

Blanch vegetables, such as broccoli or cauliflower, by boiling or steaming to partial doneness. Immerse the vegetable in cold water
after blanching to prevent overcooking.

Sauté select vegetables, such as mushrooms, in a small amount of oil to release moisture and prevent a soggy crust.

Suggestions for healthful pizza toppings
Toppings are a matter of preference, but there is no limit to the toppings you use on pizzas. Be creative with lean meats and meat alternatives, vegetables, and fruits.

Meats and Meat Alternates

chicken breast strips

scrambled eggs and ham


smoked salmon

smoked turkey


tuna fish



green onions
sweet peppers



Pizza from the Grill
Grilled pizza has a crisp crust, and a delicious smoky flavor. Follow these tips for a kid-pleasing pizza:
A hot, wood or charcoal-fired grill works best.
Stretch dough onto an oiled cookie sheet being careful to avoid holes in the dough.
Place dough over the hot coals, close lid, and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Flip crust over and move to a cool side of the grill.
Add the desired toppings. Keep quantities light so they cook quickly.
Return pizza to hot side of the grill for 4 to 5 minutes.

Suggested pizza crust variations:
Homemade whole wheat dough
Purchased, pre-baked crust
Purchased unbaked dough
Flour or corn tortilla
Pita bread
French bread
Whole wheat bagel or English muffin