Food scientists at the University of Maryland are working on ways to make pizza healthier to eat.
Jeffrey Moore, a doctoral student, says baking whole-wheat crust at higher temperatures, and for longer periods, can increase the antioxidants in the crust. So can letting the dough rise longer.
Diets rich in antioxidants — which are found in many fruits and vegetables — may help to protect against heart disease and cancer.
Mr. Moore experimented only with whole-wheat pizza because most of the antioxidants found in wheat are largely removed in refined flour. He says his findings are good news for fans of deep-dish pizza, since it takes longer to cook.
PIZZA, ONE OF the great pickup meals, is being claimed by gourmets and faddists. Restaurants under the influence of California are putting goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and onion confit on pizza and calling it nouvelle. So are trendy cooks, who are kneading exotically flavored doughs and declaring war on salty tomato sauce and stringy mozzarella. Is pizza actually better left to the familiar corner restaurants that satisfy late-night cravings with the contents of steaming, grease-spotted boxes? No. Whether you choose to copy an old favorite or go nouvelle, pizza is best when you make it at home.
Perhaps the main reason that homemade pizza is catching on is that even a klutz can make a good crust. Yeast dough invites abuse. It takes time, though, so it’s a good idea to make a lot and freeze it in individual portions. If you remember to defrost a package, you can pick up a few groceries or use leftovers and assemble a great pizza in a half hour. Or using another recipe you can start from scratch and in a half hour have a less-than-perfect pizza that’s still better than one from a store.