So here we are, finishing November with cold weather arriving to Nashville and less hours of daylight. I need to confess that when I am on my way to work at 4:30pm, there’s not much sunshine and I feel like just staying at home and cuddling in bed with a mug full of hot cocoa with a bite of french bread but duty calls and the bills doesn’t get paid with an empty checking account! So I decided that I was going to inspire myself everyday preparing something in the oven, like the braided pesto bread or a pizza. I love the smell around the house when something is cooking because it makes it feel more like home and the other day I was thinking what can be more delicious than a hot slice of delish home made pizza? It’s like having some comfort food, so today I decided I will share with you this recipe for an almost vegetarian pizza that I prepared the other day for the family. It’s fairly easy to prepare and in a matter of a short time you will have a delicious pizza smell around the house.
For the dough, you can follow the recipe I shared with you to prepare the braided pesto bread that you can find here. You need the same ingredients and preparation is the same all the way until step three. The only change will be that instead of using the rolling pin to extend your dough in a rectangle, you need to form a circle, as big as your pizza stone or tray of your choice and instead of filling, you will need to get the toppings that I describe herein.
You will also need a round oven stone for better results, plus the regular rolling pin, a chopping board, a good knife, a shredder for the cheese and a pizza cutter..
So on with the recipe!
Portions: yields 8 slices.
Ingredients for the dough
5 oz or 160 ml of whole milk
1 sachet of rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp of sugar
10 1/2 oz or 300g all purpose flour
1 fl oz or 30 ml of oil
1 tsp of salt
Ingredients for the filling
1/4 jar of pasta sauce, I use the great value organic tomato pasta sauce
6 slices of cooked ham
1 can of black olives
1/2 bunch of spinach, rinsed and dry
5 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 avocado cut in slices
1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese or italian cheese blend
Preparing time: 1 1/2 hr.
Baking time: 20 min.
Since I am more used to measure things in milliliters and grams but I am still waiting for my cooking scale to arrive, I measure the ounces with a little jar of baby food. It made my life easier, and don’t worry about the exact amounts, as long as you end up with a beautiful soft dough.
Instructions to prepare the dough
- Mix the yeast with the lukewarm milk and sugar until it is completely dissolved, pour it in a large bowl and stir in the flour, oil and salt. Knead to a smooth dough. In this step you can use the hook attachment and knead for 10 minutes or until you can pinch the dough and it goes back to it’s place.
- Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let it sit for an hour in a warm environment. When i was preparing this recipe I also was cooking pinto beans in my slow cooker, so i just let the bowl sit next to the slow cooker for one hour.
- After one hour, your dough should have doubled in size. Punch it in the center and place it in a flat floured surface.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to form a circle, the same size of your pizza stone.
- Spread flour on top of your pizza stone and transfer dough to the stone.
Preparing the pizza
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 Centigrades.
7. Spread the pasta sauce on top of your dough, allowing a little margin of 1/2 ” (1.5 cm) on the edge.
7. Spread the meats, veggies and the rest of the toppings adding the cheese and avocado at the end.
8. Bake for 20 min at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 Centigrades or until the edges are golden brown.
9. Take out of the oven and divide into 8 slices, serve.
You can add variations to this recipe making it totally vegetarian, adding more meats, using just cheese, etc. The possibilities are endless but the basics are these, so enjoy cooking.
I would love to hear about your pizza preparation tips and flavors, please comment below and if you liked this recipe, share it with your friends. See you the next time!