Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pesto Pizza


 I have made this pizza three times in the past two weeks. It is a vegetarian pizza that even carnivorous boys love.

The best part about this pizza is the crust. It is buttery and dense thanks to bread flour and olive oil. It is buttery without having any butter in or on it. It is health food.


Puffy post-rise dough is becoming a familiar sight around these parts.

This pizza is easy to assemble. Drizzle some olive oil onto a baking sheet.


Punch down dough and stretch it to fit the sheet.


Use your hands, no rolling pin necessary. Add pesto (I used the pesto I made a few days prior, but you can definitely go store bought.) Then sprinkle on the cheese.



Tomatoes and more cheese follow.


Drizzle the whole thing with more olive oil (taking care to make sure some gets onto the bare crust.) The pizza will bake for less than twenty minutes at 400 degrees.


I like to add a little fresh basil to the situation because I don't know when to leave well enough alone. 

Pesto Pizza (my new favorite pizza crust)
makes 1 pizza

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 c warm water (about 105 degrees... it should feel slightly warm to the touch)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 c bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
pesto
2 Roma tomatoes 
1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
fresh basil
olive oil for finishing
- - -
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and warm water; allow the mixture to sit and activate for 5-10 minutes until bubbly
2. Once yeast has activated, add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment for five minutes to develop gluten (adding more flour or water as necessary)
3. Oil a large bowl
4. Once dough is done mixing (it will be elastic and climbing the hook) place it in the oiled bowl, turning once to coat the top
5. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours... I like to turn my oven on to 150 for 5 minutes, turn it off and place covered bowl in oven (it will retain enough heat to help the rising process)
6. Once dough has doubled in volume, punch it down
*pre-heat oven to 400 degrees*
7. Drizzle olive oil onto a baking sheet and stretch dough to fit (I make my pizzas rectangular, you could also roll dough out into a circle but I prefer to use my hands and go free-form with it)
8. Layer pesto, cheese, and tomatoes on dough; sprinkle with fresh Parmesan and drizzle the top of the pizza with olive oil
9. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until crust is evenly browned
10. Top with fresh basil before serving

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