Thin crust Pesto Pizza for a week night dinner
Wow I have tried so many thin crust pizza recipes and this is the one, really. I made two (as you can see) free form pizzas. I am not always so neat and I love it this way. I added diced up garlic and hot chiles to the crust. We like it hot. On top I put mushrooms, olives, onions and more hot chiles for Chuck. This is what I had on hand, but this would be great with italian sausage or pepperoni or both. Give it try, it was fast and easy and if you like you don't have to give it a rise time, just make and bake. I love those words just make and bake. I used pesto, but red or green sauce is fine. Just make sure you don't put to much sauce, this way you keep the crunch. I cooked this pizza on a pizza stone in my little oven. Modified from The Kitchn.
Making the dough
3/4 cups of warm water it should be about 105 to 110 on your instant read thermometer.
1 teaspoon dry instant yeast
2 cups of flour - all purpose
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Set oven as high as 500 degrees or as hot as yours will go. Let heat for 1/2 hour. Put pizza stone in at the same time you start your oven.
Combine the water and yeast in a large bowl and let set for a few minutes. Add the flour and salt to the same bowl and mix until you have a shaggy dough.
Place the dough on a clean work surface and knead until all the flour is incorporated, the dough should be smooth and elastic, this should take about 5 to 8 minutes. Dough should still be moist and slightly tacky. Just try not to add to much flour.
Now is the time to let rise or not. If you do have time, let it rise for one and one half hours. After you let it rise you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
Put a little olive oil in a clean bowl and place dough in bowl and cover with a thin cloth and let rise.
When ready to make the pizza, tear off 2 pieces of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone if using.
Divide the dough in 2 with a bench scraper. Work with one of the pieces of dough and form into a large disk or free form shape on parchment paper, gently stretch and press the dough until it's about 1/4 in thick or less. If you want it extra thin roll with rolling pin. If dough starts to shrink up let it rest for a minute, and continue.
Leave the pizza on the parchment and place on the back of a cookie sheet, you can easily slide the pizza and parchment paper onto your pizza stone in the oven from the cookie sheet. Or cook it on the cookie sheet if your don't have a pizza stone.
Cook until crisp, golden and chesse is bubbly this took me about 20 min.
Spoon a little of the pesto on top of the pizza, add your topping and cheese. Enjoy the process, and eat.
Cook until crisp, golden and chesse is bubbly this took me about 20 min
2 cups of basil or a little more.
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts, I used walnuts this time and sometimes I use almonds. It's all good
Olive oil, it will be at least 1/4 cup and more.
1/4 cup of Parmesean cheese
Add the basil, garlic, cheese and nuts to the food processor, pulse a few times, now add the olive oil just a little at a time to make a thick paste. Add some salt to taste and squeeze a little lemon to taste also. Enjoy the freshness of pesto. You can add a few chili seeds if you like it spicy. I do.