Saturday, August 28, 2010

Arugula/Parsley Pesto Pizza with Rosemary Whole Wheat Crust

Sometimes I can't write about a new recipe right away, even when I'm dying to.  Life happens and really you can't spend all your spare time in front of a laptop.  When I sit down to write about something I made a few nights ago, sometimes the topic is a little cold.  I have to heat it up in my mind, to remember the taste, the texture, and the actual quantities I used.

What I really like so far about blogging is that I've taken photos of the process that can help with the warming process.

This one is my favorite of the night, but seeing that is like jumping into a pot of boiling water.  If we wanted to start a little cooler, I'd show you these.

We have an overabundance of rosemary in the garden and I love the way it smells and feels.  I decided it was time to put some rosemary to use along with some other home grown veggies and herbs.  

I was reading someone's post the other day about making bread and they were praising the "no-knead" bread.  I always thought that that was part of the fun with making bread or pizza dough.  Working with my hands in the dough can be messy at first, but it's satisfying when it all comes together to make something that you can form and eat and enjoy. 

I took a general pizza dough recipe I've used before and modified it to be part whole wheat flour with a generous helping of fresh chopped rosemary.  Wheat flours absorb more water so I did have to correct for that, but the crust overall turned out splendid.

The pesto was another garden specialty, substituting Arugula for Basil in my Basil Parsley Pesto.  The resulting pesto was creamy and spunky, with that zesty arugula taste.  I topped the pizza with chopped red bell pepper, vidalia onion, and garden cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.


Arugula & Parsley Pesto Pizza with Rosemary Whole Wheat Crust

For dough                                                           
1 c warm water +  1 - 2 Tbsp water
2 1/4 tsp (0.25 oz) yeast
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c + 1/3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
For pesto
1 c Italian parsley
1 c arugula
2/3 c olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 c grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp kosher salt
For toppings (can sub whatever cheese, veggies, etc)
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
3 rounds onion, chopped coarsely
1 small red bell pepper, sliced thinly
15-20 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

To start dough, place yeast and a pinch of salt in a cup of warm water and let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together, whole wheat and all purpose flour and salt.  
Make a well in the flour mixture and when yeast mixture is ready, pour yeast mixture and olive oil in.  Mix together with your hands, until dough just begins to form a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes.  During kneading, the dough may be a little dry.  To make it more workable - add some extra water (1-2 Tbsp) 1/2 Tbsp at a time.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Set aside to rise for about 1 hour.  

Dough should double over one hour.  Punch down dough and add chopped rosemary.  Knead in to dough.  Once rosemary is well dispersed, cover again with damp cloth and set aside for another hour.  

While the dough is rising a second time, you can prepare your toppings and pesto.  The pesto can simply be made by combining the ingredients in a blender or food processor.  

Preheat the oven to 475F about 15 minutes before you are ready to roll out dough.  Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan.  When dough has risen appropriately, roll out on a floured surface to approximately the length of the pan.  Place rolled out dough on the sheet pan and press edges in, to fit pan.  Brush dough with olive oil.  Top pizza with pesto, cheese, and veggies and bake in oven for 12-15 minutes until crust is golden brown and firm, cheese is melted, and tomatoes appear cooked.

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