Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pesto pizza

It's been a while since I've made pizza from scratch, so I figured it was time to use up some yeast and go for it.

My favorite pizza to make at home is pesto pizza, because it's different and so much better than any frozen pizza I've tried. It's like regular pizza, except replace frozen pizza dough with awesome fresh pizza dough, and replace red sauce with pesto.

I use Wolfgang Puck's pizza dough recipe and Ina Garten's pesto recipe. Top with mozzarella cheese and you're done!

First I make the pizza dough, because it has to rest for a while. It's an easy dough recipe and actually rises quicker than a lot of bread doughs I've tried. However, as I said, I haven't made it for a while, so I forgot how damn sticky this dough is - so sticky that it basically bonded to the wax paper I had it resting on.

I was going to make half yesterday and save the other half to make a red sauce pizza today, but after un-sticking the dough, I had just enough to make one pizza. The rest went in the trash with the wax paper it clung to.

Once the dough is ready, I put it on a cornmeal-dusted stone and start heating up the oven. That way, by the time I am done with the pesto, the oven will be nice and hot.

The pesto is easy enough, although anything that absolutely has to be made in the blender or a food processor is usually pretty easy. Just throw all the ingredients in - basil, black pepper, pine nuts - and pour olive oil in as you blend. It creates a nice emulsion of delicious pesto.

Ina recommends adding Parmesan cheese to the pesto, and I'm sure that's really good, but since it was going into an already cheesy pizza and I'm trying to watch the calories, I left out the Parmesan and it tasted just fine.

After a brief bake in the oven (because it's so hot and the dough is fresh), the pizza comes out looking like this:

Holy crap, right?

The dough came out super soft, as always. I don't make anything else of Wolfgang Puck's except this pizza dough, and there is a reason - it is amazing. Maybe I should try more of his stuff... I bet, being German, he has an amazing recipe for spaetzle!

We each ate a quarter last night for dinner, and we each had a remaining quarter for lunch today. I freaking love this pizza.

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