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Pesto & Tomato Pizza


Store-bought pizza dough (or pre-baked crusts) and pesto can be substituted for the home-made versions below.

Ingredients
1 pizza crust
½ cup basil pesto (or more, to taste)
2-3 medium tomatoes, sliced at least ¼” thick
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded or sliced
Salt to taste

Place pre-baked pizza crust on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread pesto on crust evenly. Place cheeses on crust, then the tomato slices. Sprinkle salt on tomatoes. Place pizza in 400o oven for 12 min.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 pkg. dry yeast
2 c. water (very warm)
2 tbsp. honey
700 grams (25 ounces or 6 cups) whole wheat flour
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry)
Coarse cornmeal

Sprinkle yeast into water; add honey, stir and allow to stand 10 minutes. Combine flour, cheeses & herbs. Add flour mixture to yeast and work to form dough. Knead and place in lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes. Punch down, cut into 5 equal portions and form into balls. Place dough balls between two pieces of plastic wrap and spread until dough reaches edges of plastic wrap. Dust bottom of crust with cornmeal and place on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Cook at 400o for 10 min, cool crust and freeze or add toppings.

Basil Pesto

4 ounces basil
¼ cup pinenuts or walnuts
4 large cloves garlic
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese
½ cup ounces olive oil
½ cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Toast nuts until light brown (be careful not to burn them). All place ingredients into a food processor (in batches) and process until smooth. Mix in salt and pepper. Place finished pesto into freezable storage containers and place in freezer.

Notes:

The pizza dough can be frozen at the stage where it has been formed into balls. If frozen at this stage, thaw for a few hours when you are ready to use it. I prefer to cook the crusts before freezing because then they are ready to use about 15 min after being removed from the freezer.

I like to use Hodgdon Mills yeast designed specifically for whole wheat flour. You can find it with the regular yeast and is in a brown envelope.

I prefer to weigh my flour rather than use cup measures because the amount of flour is more consistent that way.

I tend to make the pesto saltier than most dishes because the pesto will usually be highly diluted in whatever dish you use it in.

This recipe is very easy to scale up, in fact I almost never make as little pesto as shown above.

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