pizza pizza

>> January 17, 2009

it's a long weekend and all of my friends who aren't abroad this semester are away on various excursions, leaving me with nothing to do but watch bread rise.

and so i made pizza.

spinach pesto pizza

i've never had good luck with yeasted things, but last time we tried to make some homemade dough it turned out okay. i scourged a few of my favorite blogs, and found this post on smitten kitchen. if it's good enough for her and mario batali, it's good enough for me. the recipe called for 1 pizza, but i divided it into four sections, baked off one, and froze 3. i'm small. i like small pizzas. i also like being able to have pizza whenever i want, so the freezer is my friend.

i changed the recipe for the dough just a little, and whipped up some spinach pesto. if you've got 2 hours to let your dough rise and a craving for some goodness, whip this up. :)

sweet rosemary pizza dough
makes enough for 1 large pizza or four 6" rounds

8 tbl. warm water (original substituted in 2 tbl. white wine, but i'm not stocked right now)
3/4 tsp. active dry yeast (not quick rising)
1/2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tbl. olive oil
1 tbl. chopped rosemary (i only had dried, but use fresh if you can!)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

whisk water and yeast in a medium-sized bowl until yeast is all dissolved. Stir in the honey, salt, olive oil, and rosemary. add the flour and work into a dough with a spoon and your fingers. knead on a floured surface for a minute or two, and shape into a ball. place dough in a well-oiled bowl, rolling to coat. cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. to test if it's done, press your fingers into it and if the indent stays, its done.

once the dough has doubled in size and passes the test, turn it onto a floured surface. at this point, i divided the dough into 4 portions and wrapped 3 of them for the freezer. let the dough sit in a ball, covered for 15 minutes. meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450*. work into a pizza shape on a stone or a baking sheet. cover with toppings (yummy pesto recipe follows) and bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy.

spinach-pistachio pesto
makes roughly 1 cup

2 cups spinach, loosely packed
handful of shelled pistachios
1 garlic clove
1 tbl. olive oil
1-2 tbl. vegetable stock
salt and pepper

in a food processor, combine spinach, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper. process and drizzle in the olive oil and stock until a moderately thick consistency. will keep in the fridge for a few days, and in the freezer for months!

i topped my pizza with about 3 tbl. of pesto, some halved grape tomatoes (i love, love, LOVE little roasted baby tomatoes... the way they krinkle and burst.. ooh!), and a good sprinkling of feta cheese (i've learned that i can tolerate some cheese and yogurt! PARTIES!). tonight i'm going to bake these muffins. i'll let you know how it turns out.

stay warm. it's 12* here.



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