Pesto Mozzarella Pizza

Pizza can be your go-to dinner on a busy weekday or game night or a weekend special, be it a get together or a birthday party. Whatever the occasion, it is not all that difficult to make one yourself with the added benefit of making your own toppings (not the same kind you would pick from a pizza joint) and keeping it healthier than the store-bought one. For variety, the recipe below is for a half-and half pizza with two different sets of toppings but the same base sauce. I have used basil pesto and this is a great way to use any leftover pesto. All quantities for toppings are based on half pizza. You just have to double them if you plan to make a pizza with just one set of toppings. There is no limit to exploring!

Pesto Mozzarella Pizza

Yield : One 14-inch pizza

Ingredients:

For the dough:
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Wheat flour – 1 cup
Active dry yeast – 1 envelope
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Warm water – 3/4 cup

For the toppings:
Basil pesto – 6 tbsp, see recipe here
Fresh Mozzarella – 8 oz
Sliced white mushrooms – 1 cup
Tomato – 1 large
Spinach – 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Place the warm water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast. Let it stand for 5 minutes till it gets foamy
  • Combine both the flours, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or your food processor
  • Pour in the yeast mixture and oil and mix together until a sticky dough is formed
  • Transfer to a floured surface and knead by hand
  • Place the dough in a bowl brushed with oil. Make sure the bowl is big enough to hold the dough when it will almost double in size
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in a warm place for about an hour to hour and half
  • While the dough ferments, saute the mushrooms with some salt and pepper for 6-8 minutes and set aside. Slice the tomato and the mozzarella
  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a floured surface and roll into an approximately 14-inch circle. I prefer thin crust but if you prefer a thicker crust roll into a 12-inch circle
  • With the help of a rolling pin, transfer the base to a pizza baking sheet. Do not assemble the toppings before moving the base to the baking sheet
  • Prick the crust with a fork so that it does not puff up when baking

Pesto Mozzarella Pizza- Base

  • Apply the pesto on the base leaving about half an inch around the edges
  • Add the mushrooms on one half of the base and add the sliced tomato and spinach on the other half
  • Add the mozzarella slices. You can also use shredded mozzarella if you have that readily available in your pantry

                                     IMG_4351 IMG_4352

  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until you see the cheese bubbling and turning slightly golden brown

Pesto Mozzarella Pizza - 2

  • Slice and serve as soon as you remove from the oven

Pesto Mozzarella Pizza - slicesTip: Wrap any remaining slices with foil, refrigerate and reheat in a 450F oven for 3-4 minutes or use a skillet and heat on a stove-top, which is probably easier. Heating it in the microwave will make it soft and the crust will lose its crispiness.

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