everyday spectechols

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in honor of the weekend – spinach pesto pizza!

There are a few foods that our family really likes to eat when we go out.  Usually they are things we don’t like to make at home – sushi, gyros, ribs, etc.

For a long time, pizza was on that list as well, but NO MORE!  We have finally found a recipe that we enjoy more than any pizza we could get at a restaurant.  What’s more, it’s relatively fast and you can make it to taste/ with what you have in your refrigerator at the end of the week :)

If you’re wanting to try something different but still in this vein, try out these calzones.  They are pizza-esque but a lot less messy to eat :P

Spinach Pesto Pizza
dough recipe adapted from family.go.com
enough for two 12 in pizzas

Ingredients
dough…
1/2 envelope (1 teaspoon) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flou
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
cornmeal to sprinkle on baking sheet

toppings…
spinach pesto
1/2 lb italian sausage (optional)
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can sliced olives
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella
basil for sprinkling (fresh or dried)

Instructions
1) Begin by making dough…
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar.  Let dissolve for about 5 minutes until foamy.  Add oil to yeast mixture then stir in dry ingredients and mix.  Turn dough out onto a floured dish towel on a flat surface and knead (adding as little flour as possible but enough so dough doesn’t stick to your hands) until dough feels smooth and springy — 8 minutes or so.  Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.  Flour your fist to punch down dough and use a sharp knife to cut it into two pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, cover balls loosely with flour-covered dish towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

2) About 45 minutes in to dough-rising, preheat to oven to 500 degrees and start making your toppings….
Saute together italian sausage, onion, and pepper until sausage and veggies are thoroughly cooked.

3) Now for the fun part – shaping your dough…don’t get too picky/ be too hard on yourself – it’ll taste GREAT no matter what shape it ends up being ;)
The idea is to stretch it in a kind of coaxing way until it’s thin but not tearing. Begin by using the heels of your hands to flatten dough as much as possible, then hold the dough down in the middle with one hand while using the fingers of the other to gently pull the dough outward around its perimeter. If it stops stretching, let it rest for a few minutes. Try holding the dough aloft on your knuckles and gently stretch and turn it, letting gravity do some of the work for you, until the dough is more or less 12 inches in diameter. If a hole forms, pinch it closed.

4) Once you have the shape/ size you want, place dough on a parchment paper-lined, cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet (if you have a pizza stone, preheat this in the oven then remove, dust with cornmeal, and place shaped dough on pre-heated stone).

5) Top with desired toppings (in this case pesto, pepper-onion-sausgae mixture, cheese, and olives), sprinkle with basil, and bake at 500 degrees for 7-12 minutes until crust is firm and cheese is slightly browned and bubbling.

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2 comments on “in honor of the weekend – spinach pesto pizza!

  1. Sharon Gakin
    March 9, 2012

    Does this crust come out thin or thick? I’d like to learn thin and crispy. Gram

    • everydayspectechols
      March 9, 2012

      This crust will work great for you! It’s really thin but still sturdy and you don’t feel like you are eating a saltine :P If you’re worried, baking it on a preheated pizza stone will max-out the crispyness possibilities :)

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This entry was posted on March 9, 2012 by in grains, greens, main courses, peppers, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , .

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