Once upon a time I was afraid of yeast. Seriously. Anything calling for yeast I automatically thought "nope" and moved on. It just seemed like maybe it was too complicated. When I had my bread lesson my fear of yeast began to subside. This is a wonderful thing because it opens up a world of yumminess like homemade pizza dough!
I don't know about you but I mostly cook recipes I've made a thousand times, recipes I make up, recipes I find in a cookbook, online or a magazine but I omit 5 ingredients and add another 3 that I have instead. I'm not really a by the book kinda cook. I decided that chicken pesto pizza sounded good. Why? Well we like pizza and chicken and pesto so there you go. I feel like maybe I've had it before and I could figure out the rest. So I started looking for a simple pizza dough recipe for the base of our pizza and I found this one from smitten kitchen
Really Simple Pizza Dough
Makes enough for one small, thin crust pizza. Double it if you like your pizza thick and bready.
1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour which I did!)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl.
Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can.
Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two.
Once it has doubled in size dump it back on the floured counter and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands.
Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.
Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. We don't have a pizza stone so I went with a baking sheet and heated the oven to 425. I spread my dough into an irregular rectangularish shape.
Now it was time to top the dough with goodies.
I spread some store bought pesto over the top in place of crust. I chopped about a 1 lb of chicken tenders into small chunks and sauteed in a pan with a little oil. I put about 2-3 tablespoons of pesto in the pan with the chicken and sauteed until they were cooked through.
I realized I didn't have mozzarella cheese but did indeed have string cheese. So, I chopped up three string cheese sticks to sprinkle over the top. I added some spoonfuls of ricotta cheese because I love cheese, probably about a 1/4 cup or so but just do it to taste. Then I sprinkled romano over the top because again I love cheese. What other reason do I need?
In the oven it went for ten minutes.
At The picket Fence
Boogie Board Cottage
Between Naps on the Porch
Our delighful home