The Twins are playing at Target Field, the temperature is finally in the 70’s, and there is fresh Minnesota tomatoes and basil at the co-op. Life is very good. I snatched up the fresh produce from Living Waters Gardens in Wells, MN at Mississippi Market and quickly headed home to make a batch of fresh mozzarella. It’s been a little over 6 months since I’ve last made cheese; I’d forgotten what a sense of accomplishment you have after.  Put it all together on a whole-wheat flax-seed crust (adapted from Betty Crocker’s Bridal Edition) and you have a heavenly treat to celebrate the start of summer.  A well-needed night at our local pizza kitchen!

Fresh Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Pizza

Recipe by Amy Sippl

Ingredients
For the Crust
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C. to 2 C. of bread flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 C. whole flax-seed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 C. warm water (120-130 degrees)

For the toppings
3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 C. of fresh basil, washed and removed from stem
1 batch of fresh homemade mozzarella, thinly sliced. (purchased mozzarella will work fine, or make your own here)
4 oz. of mushrooms (optional, but tasty!)
Instructions
1. Make the Crust: Mix the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the bread flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and flax-seed in an electric mixer bowl. While the mixer is running on low, slowly add the olive oil 1 Tbsp. at a time. Add the warm water. Continue mixing for 3 minutes on medium speed, scraping the bowl mid-way through. Add as much of the remaining bread flour as possible. When the dough comes together in a ball, remove from the mixer and place on a lightly floured surface.  Knead for 5-8 minutes (use a timer it’s longer than you think!) Cover with plastic wrap or a bread towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

2. While crust is resting, slice tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and mushrooms. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3. After dough has rested, gently spread on a greased baking sheet or prepared pizza stone. Partially bake crust 7-8 minutes to prevent dough from getting soggy. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and mushrooms. Return to oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

4. Remove from oven, slice and enjoy!!! (Pairs well with Twins baseball!)

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