Oct 1, 2013

Pesto and Balsamic Glaze Pizza



You guys. I know I said I'd perfected pizza making before. Actually I said it twice. But this time I have really done it. I've been making this dough for months now and it is amazing every time. I'm still using the same technique as before, but now I have a new recipe. And it is heaven.

We have pizza and a movie every Friday night, so I make a lot of pizza. And on the days that my kids are crazy, the laundry is taking over my life, or my husband is out of town, we order delivery. And every time we order delivery, we vow to never do it again. This homemade pizza is just that good. It puts all of those chain pizzas to shame.

As much as I love my Margherita Pizza, sometimes change is good (this coming from the girl who always orders the exact. same. thing. every time I go out to eat). I love balsamic on basically everything, and really wanted to try it on pizza. Tomato sauce didn't seem like a good match, but pesto was perfect! This is definitely the very best pizza I have made to date, but I've now learned that I can't say it's the best pizza ever... because I just may top it someday!


Ingredients:

Dough - Yields one 15 inch pizza (12 slices)
1 1/8 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cups flour (I usually do 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white, but all white is delicious, too!)
1 teaspoon salt

Topping:
3/4 cups Basil Pesto
6 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2-4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese - depends on how cheesy you like your pizza
1/4 balsamic glaze

Directions:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix on low speed until combined, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, mixing on low for 5 minutes. Check the dough consistency. If it is still sticky, add about 1/2 cup more flour and mix again until the dough is tacky, but doesn't completely stick to your fingers. You don't want a completely dry dough, but you still want to be able to remove it from the bowl without making a big, sticky mess. Rub a large bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

While the dough is rising, preheat your oven with a pizza stone in it to 465 degrees. (If you don't have a pizza stone, you can save the preheating until the dough is done rising, but I highly recommend the use of a pizza stone!) Allowing the pizza stone to heat for the full hour will ensure your pizza cooks just right!

After the dough has risen, lay a piece of parchment paper (about the size of your pizza stone) on your work space. Punch the dough down and place it in the center of the parchment paper. Using your hands or a rolling pin, spread the dough into a 15" circle. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.

Spread the pesto on the dough, all the way to the edges. Top with tomatoes and cheese.

Open the oven and carefully transfer the dough and parchment from the counter to the pizza stone. Usually my husband and I each grab a corner of the paper and put it on the stone together, but you could also remove the stone from the oven, place it next to the pizza and slide the pizza off the counter and on to the stone.

Cook pizza for 10 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Remove from pizza stone (and turn oven off, letting the pizza stone cool in the oven), and drizzle balsamic glaze on pizza. Slice and serve hot!



pizza crust adapted from how sweet it is.

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