Perfect Pizza Crust and Roasted Garlic Chicken Pesto Pizza


I've been wanting to make my own pizza crust for a really long time, but for some reason I've been hesitant. I've never been much of a bread beaker and I tend to avoid recipes that deal with kneading or rising. Yesterday, though, Ross and I decided to be brave and try making our own pizza dough for Valentines Day dinner. (On a side note: I absolutely love when Ross gets involves with a cooking project. It makes it a lot more fun. Ross, if you're reading this. Hint, Hint!)

If you're going to start making pizza dough I figured that a recipe called "Perfect Pizza Crust" was the place to start. I cannot express to you just how impressed I was with this recipe. It had a big name to live up to, and it did. The crust really is pefect. It's the perfect thickness and it's crispy yet chewy at the same time. The pizza that came out of the oven was one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten. I couldn't stop marveling in our accomplishment and that made every bite taste better! I can't wait to try this recipe again subbing some of the white flour for whole wheat.

If you're at all thinking about tackling pizza dough from scratch, search no further. This is the recipe you want.

I chose to throw some roasted garlic, pesto, chicken, mozzarella, and parmesan on mine, but with this dough I'm sure you could put anything on it and it would still be amazing!

The Perfect Pizza Curst
Source: Annies Eats (great blog!) orginally from Baking Illustrated
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, at room temp
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plug more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cornmeal
  • olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing bowl
Directions:
  1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
  3. To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
  4. Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Top as desired. Slide the dough onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.


Recipe: Roasted Garlic Chicken Pesto Pizza Adapted from Annies Eats Ingredients:
  • 1 perfect pizza crust (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto (store bough or homemade)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  1. To roast the garlic: Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Remove garlic gloves and smash with a fork.
  2. Spread roasted garlic over pizza dough. Do this to taste. I used almost the whole (small) bulb, but I LOVE roasted garlic.
  3. Spread the pesto on the pizza.
  4. Add the sliced, cooked chicken.
  5. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
  6. Top with fresh grated parmesan.
  7. Bake on preheated pizza stone for 8 - 12 minutes.

34 comments:

Katrina said...

Oh wow, this looks great! Can't wait to try!

acekard said...

Yummy! Can't wait to taste. I will mmake it soon. Thanks for such spicy mouth watering pizza recipe. Keep posting!

cookies and cups said...

this does look great! I love that combo of flavors!

Asperger's Sucks said...

Looks delicous.

telesma said...

I use a similar recipe for pizza dough, but there is a bit of honey used at the beginning to feed the yeast, and I replace half the water with non-alcoholic beer. It gives it a great flavor.

telesma said...

Forgot to add...using bread flour makes a big difference in the end product. The texture is far more like pizza crust from a pizzeria than if you use a recipe that calls for all purpose flour.

SugarCooking said...

Telesma - That's a great idea about the honey and beer. I'll definitely try that next time! Thanks!

foodtale said...

I love pizza with extra cheese. this is absolutely delicious.

Sherpa said...

This is the recipe I use a ton. I often add half whole-wheat and half bread flour which works well. This recipe makes 3 medium size pizzas so I freeze the remaining two for later (pizza dough freezes amazingly well).

Kevin said...

That is one really nice looking pizza!

Meghan said...

I'm making it tonight....hope it works out!

Meghan said...

This is probably the best pizza I have made EVER! I used whole wheat dough instead and made sure I put seasoning on the crust as well (little garlic and onion powder, some salt and pepper).

Anonymous said...

I JUST made this pizza and it was absolutely amazing! i will stick with this dough recipe from now on. Thank you so much for posting it! delish!

Suzy - suzybowler@hotmail.com said...

I LOVE roasted garlic and have just made some (and blogged about it!) and am going to try this asap. Your pizza base recipe looks like the one I have been searching for - thin and crispy. I'm hungry!

Lean the drink said...

WOW! This is fantastic!

Anne Nichols said...

I made this last night and it was a-mazing! Definitely the best pizza I've ever made. I had some problems with the dough recipe, I'm guessing because either my measurements were off or the water was too warm, but I ended up having to add at least another cup of bread flour to make it the consistency of dough rather than cake batter. It turned out great though, and I ate WAY too much of this yummy pizza. Will definitely save this recipe and make again. Thanks! :)

Stephanie said...

I made this last night using a different crust recipe and I added mushrooms to the pizza. This was DELICIOUS!!! My boyfriend said its the best pizza I've ever made!

Christina said...

Sounds fantastic! Can't wait to make one! Thanks for sharing!

Regina said...

I am like you. I have wanted to make my own dough, just never got into it. I will try this, sounds delish.

Regina from cooking-with-mama.com

AmberDavid said...

Making this for dinner tonight! Cant wait for the fam to try!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the recipe. Instead of the roasted garlic I added some arugula and the pizza was so delicious. Never tried it with pesto yet, so the amount of flavours was a total surprise.

Next time I am going to try the roasted garlic version for my dad. He doesn't like pizza but loves garlic - I think this could probably convert him to a pizza lover also :)

Brooke said...

This looks so good! I found you on pinterest! Hope you don't mind if I follow!

http://www.thdietels.blogspot.com

CJ @ Morsels of Life said...

Looks great - love the pesto and garlic instead of tomato sauce!

Anonymous said...

I added mushrooms to mine. This was sooooo good!!

cziggy said...

Thanks so much for this delicious recipe! Made the pizza tonite and it was AWESOME!!

Emily said...

This was delicious! Thank you for sharing. I know this will be a regular in my kitchen!

Anonymous said...

Out of the many crust recipes I have tried, this one is by far the best! Fluffy yet crunchy crust. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I just made this pizza tonight, and it rocked! I have tried many times to make a good pizza crust and failed miserably! The bread flour really makes ALL the difference! Thanks for the recipe!

Erin said...

WHOA! I have got to try this & hopefully it tastes as nice as your photographs look!! I must do my grocery shopping tomorrow so I plan to select up the ingredients I require & make it over the weekend. I am positive my relatives will go nuts over this!!

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing and now I will even try to make it. Thanks for sharing.

Alyssa said...

I made this and added caramelized onions. So good! An awesome new way for us to use up our endless amounts of pesto this summer!

Loni said...

Making this over the weekend, looks amazing!

Loni said...

Just linked this recipe from my blog, thanks for posting this one, looks fantastic!

http://thesportsmanswife.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Anonyn...

i made this tonight and just bought the pillsbury crust from the store and followed the recipe for the rest (and added some garlic and herb seasoning to the crust) and it was AMAZING!!!!!! It was SO SO easy and SO SO delicious! thank you for the recipe and i will add this to my recipe book!!!!

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