Thursday, 3 March 2011

Pesto Pizza

Pizza Dough
{120g} plain white flour (plus more for doughification!)
{1/4 tsp} sea salt
{1/8 tsp} brown sugar
{1/2 tsp} active dry yeast
{75 ml} warm water
{1/2 tsp} olive oil

In the water, dissolve the brown sugar, and then add the yeast. Leave for ten minutes or so, until it gets frothy. Whisk up with the olive oil. Then, stir in the flour and sea salt. The mixture will be gloopy, so gradually start adding more flour until you get a dough-like consistency; something you can knead. Sprinkle plenty of flour on to the work surface and knead the dough for ten minutes, stopping occasionally to sprinkle over more flour when it starts sticking.

Warm up a bowl (I used the oven because I had some flapjacks on the go) and grease the inside with either a) vegan butter (I used Pure Soya Spread) or b) a little oil. Make your dough into a ball and plop it into the bowl - cover with cling film and leave in a warm place (it has to be warm so it will rise: toasty airing cupboards or the tops of radiators work for me) for about an hour. Punch it; hard. And knead it for about a minute, until you get it back into a good shape. After your done bullying the dough, set it aside to recover for fifteen minutes. Then, on a floured surface, roll out your dough into a pizza shape. Be gentle, and try not to stretch it.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Spread a layer of vegan pesto (Zest is best) on to your pizza base, leaving a bit of a border around the outside.

Add your toppings. I used: artichoke antipasto, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, and portobello mushrooms. To soften them up, I gave the mushrooms and onion a quick sizzle in the frying pan first. Then I seasoned everything with fresh thyme and black pepper.

note: as much as I love-love-love kalamata olives, for this pizza, they were a bit strong. Next time, I'll use a milder olive or take them out altogether.

Fold over the outside to make a crust and cook in the oven for 15-25 minutes until crust is nicely brown.

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