Pesto Pizza with Tomato and Mozzarella

This is another and easy and delicious weeknight meal!  This can be made faster and more easily by purchasing pizza dough from the grocery store.  I prefer to make my own, but store bought dough is actually pretty good and easy to find.  You can also make your own pesto if you are so inclined – we will add a recipe for that soon.  When buying pesto, make sure to get it from the refrigerated section – the jarred pesto has a bunch of preservatives that affect the flavor.

You will get a better crust if you use a pizza stone, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one.  If you enjoy making pizzas, a stone is an invaluable tool that will take your pies to the next level.  You can get a reasonably good one fairly cheap, and if you take care of it, it should last a very long time.

Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of bread flour
  • 1 tsp rapid rise or instant yeast (about half a packet)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine everything except the olive oil and water in a stand mixer or food processor and run.
  2. Add water a bit at a time until the dough comes together into a ball (you may need a little more).
  3. When the dough forms a ball, knead it on the counter for a couple minutes until it gets a smooth texture.
  4. Brush a bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl and cover.  Leave it sit for about an hour.
  5. Punch the dough down, and form it into two balls.  Put them back in the bowl and let them rise another hour or so.

The Pizza

Ingredients

  • Pizza dough (as above, or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup Pesto (buy the pesto from the refrigerated section).
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees with the pizza stone on the second-to-top shelf
  2. Roll out the dough into two medium sized pizzas
  3. Spread 2 Tbsp of pesto onto each pizza.
  4. Top with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella
  5. Place pizza on the preheated stone and bake for 8-10 minutes each, checking periodically.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes, the cut into quarters and serve.

Notes:

If you have a large pizza stone, its best to let it preheat a good 20 or 30 minutes.  This will create a very nice crust.  I tend to put my pizzas on parchment paper.  It makes it easy to slide them on an off of the pizza stone.  It wont ever catch fire, but it conducts heat very well so you still get a crispy crust.  Don’t add too much pesto – a little goes a long way and your crust can get a little oily if you overdo it.

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