I’ve been making this pizza for years, and thought it was time to share! It’s from a cookbook called “the Quick & Easy Vegetarian Cookbook,” by Ruth Ann Manners. (Available for one penny plus shipping on Amazon!) This pizza really is fast, fresh, and tasty, and really can be on the table in under an hour. Is it as fantastic as an artisanal pizza baked with heirloom tomato sauce in a handmade clay oven made with clay from Mt. Vesuvius and fueled with vine clippings from Tuscany? Probably not–it’s not quite as crisp as such a pizza paragon would be–but it’s still awfully good, fresh tasting, and can be varied infinitely.
Note: The recipe can be made more prosaically with 8 ounces of pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, pre-sliced pepperoni and Parmesan, but the topping below is what I used today. The Priano Rosso Pesto Sauce is a red sauce made with sun dried tomatoes, and can be purchased at Aldi, as can the fresh mozzarella and Parmesan.
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 package dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm/hot water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
6.7 ounces Priano Rosso Pesto Sauce
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
sliced fresh basil
handful of sliced olives
freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Pour flour into a large bowl, and mix with the dry yeast and salt. Add the water, olive oil and honey, and stir into a rough ball of dough. Knead it lightly for a few minutes until smooth. The dough should be fairly light and springy–add a tablespoon more water if it feels dense. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about ten minutes while you prepare the topping ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Punch the dough down. Pour a glug of olive oil onto a 14-inch pizza pan, and spread over the pan. Spread the dough onto the pan, pressing with fingers to evenly cover bottom of pan. Then layer on the ingredients: first the pesto sauce, and then the mozzarella. Sprinkle on the sliced basil, and distribute the sliced olives. Sprinkle with black pepper, and top with the freshly shredded Parmesan cheese. Pop into the oven and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes.
Next photos show the unrisen and risen dough.
Baking notes: The white whole wheat flour is from is from Trader Joe’s, but the pizza can be made with regular whole wheat. As I’ve noted, you can use ready made pizza sauce, but I thought I’d try something different with the Rosso Pesto Sauce. You can also use pre-sliced mozzarella. To slice the fresh basil, stack some leaves, roll up, and slice crosswise with a sharp knife. You could also sprinkle with dried basil. You can do anything you want! I measure the olive oil and honey by estimating, rather than using measuring spoons.
I don’t claim to be an experienced “birder,” and when the following bird appeared in my garden, I had to ask a local expert. Turns out it’s a juvenile female cowbird. Never would have guessed!
Just a bee, doing his thing. The pollen looks like gold dust.
Lastly, a coneflower, one of the newer varieties. I like it! Peace to you. Fran