Sunday, July 4

spinach pesto provolone pizza

I promise I make more than pizza. Taylor really liked this variation, so even though I've posted lots of pizza recipes, I figured this would be worth sharing. I bought pesto in bulk the other day from Costco and divided it up into about 1/2 c. portions to freeze. Now I take one out whenever I want to make anything with pesto! So glorious.

spinach pesto provolone pizza 
dough adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 c. grated colby jack cheese
3 T grated provolone cheese {I ripped up a large, thick slice intended for sandwich making}
1/4 c. pesto
1/4 c. finely chopped spinach
garlic powder
cracked black pepper
Measure flour in a large bowl, make an indentation and measure the yeast and salt. Pour warm water water over the mix and stir lightly until yeast and salt are dissolved. Add honey and olive oil, stirring entire mixture. Mix in mixer with dough hook for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if too sticky, until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Or knead by hand, 8 minutes or so until a piece of it stretches in your hand without breaking. 

Dough should be stretchy and not easily break when pulled but should not be sticky or get stuck easily on your hands. If it doesn't stretch and is too firm, thick feeling after kneading for a while, add a tiny bit of water. If it's too sticky after kneading for a while, add more flour. Kneading introduces air to the dough and builds up gluten, it's really hard to over knead so once it's the right feeling, knead two min or so more.

Lightly oil a bowl with cooking spray (you can use the same rinsed one you made the dough in) Dump in the dough, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in a cotton dishtowel leave it undisturbed for about two hours (ideally in a warm, undrafty place) until it has doubled in size. To speed up this process you can also place in an oven on 150 and it should double in size in an hour. It's ready when two fingers pressed firmly leave an indentation and the dough does not bounce back into shape.*

Oven to 500. Stretch dough out thinly into desired shape on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Should make a circle at least 14 inches in diameter (depending on how long it's had to rise) Spread pesto, sprinkle spinach, top with cheeses. Sprinkle garlic powder over all, generously on the crust. Bake 8-10 minutes until crust is lightly browned. Sprinkle freshly ground cracked black pepper over warm cheese.

*I usually double this dough and after the rise, divide it in half and freeze half in a well sealed freezer ziploc. Once I'm ready to use I let it thaw either in the fridge or on the counter until I'm ready to use it. Once it's thawed in the fridge or even at room temperature, it's still sort of rising so keep that in mind. Roll it out a bit more thinly if it's had lots of time to thaw then rise and it may make a thicker crust. ...but it can't ever really be messed up!

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