Posted by Megan | Dinner, Pizza, Vegetarian

This was a potential disaster that ended up being a HUGE success! Tonight, we made kale mozzarella tomato pizza from scratch, including the dough. Will mixed the dough up last night and we let it sit in a bowl to rise for the last day. He admitted to me earlier tonight that he might have accidentally put an extra 1/2 cup of water in the mixture and while I played it cool, I was internally freaking out that he had messed everything up.

So this afternoon, we split the dough up into three pieces, two to freeze, one to use tonight. We let the piece we were going to use sit while we did some grocery shopping for our St. Patty’s extravaganza tomorrow night and when we came back it looked ready to go. So we started to cook up the kale and garlic on the stovetop. While Will was taking care of that, somehow in this whole process I had been put in charge of the pizza dough. I managed to get it out of the bowl onto the cornmeal sprinkled pizza stone. Immediately, we thought this was a terrible idea. Well, Will thought this was a terrible idea-I merely though it was a questionable one. See, you can’t get cooking spray or any grease on the stone, and Will started verbalizing his concerns that this dough was never coming off the stone fairly soon after I started spreading it. So after a short debate over whether or not to pull the sticky dough off the pizza stone and put it on a cookie sheet, I won with the decision to leave it on the stone. I spread and spread it (creating many frustrating little holes along the way) and then drizzled the olive oil and Italian seasoning on. It looked promising, but you could have smelled our doubt from a mile away.

We put the mozzarella, kale, turkey bacon (something we added to the recipe), tomatoes and a teensy bit of parmesan on top. We only heated the oven to 450 because the thought of our oven being on 500 was a bit terrifying and bold for us (this time). So we stuck the pizza in and hoped for the best. About 20 minutes later, we pulled out a slightly golden, healthy looking pizza. What a surprise! The pizza came right off the stone with the assistance of a spatula (Will couldn’t believe it) and after a couple bites, we could not believe what a delectable dinner we were eating. I mean, we love a lot of Budget Bytes recipes, but this one is truly something special. There is a certain amount of pride that comes with successfully making your own pizza crust, in addition to the healthy feeling you have eating this. Nothing about this pizza feels greasy, overly cheesy, or gross. It’s truly a recipe you would find at a gourmet restaurant.

Needless to say, since it was small, we devoured it. We still can’t believe it turned out so wonderfully. We have two more pizza doughs freezing now and we can’t wait to try a couple other recipes (or this one again).

Cooking Notes: We substituted mozzarella for swiss, grape tomatoes substituted for roma tomatoes, added parmesan on top, added turkey bacon for extra flavor!

Pizza Dough (from Budget Bytes)
3 1/2+ cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast

Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp instant yeast in a large bowl. Stir until evenly combined. Add just enough water to make the dough form a sticky ball with no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl (about 1-1 1/2 cups). It’s better if the dough is a little too wet than too dry. Let the dough sit at room temperature loosely covered, for at least 18 hours.

After 18 hours, the dough should be big and bubbly. Sprinkle with enough flour to keep it from sticking as you remove it from the bowl. Place it on a floured surface and divide into 2 equal pieces (Beth says this can make 3 pizzas worth of dough, but we think making 2 slightly larger pizza doughs is better). Shape each portion into a ball, adding enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. Cover one ball with a damp towel and let it rest for one more hour. Freeze the other ball by wrapping it in plastic wrap.

After it has rested for an hour, see any specific pizza recipe to continue! Read below for its role in the kale, mozzarella, and tomato pizza.

Kale, Mozzarella, and Tomato Pizza (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 2)
1 bunch kale
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
3-4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and diced (optional)

Remove the kale leaves from the stems and tear into small pieces. Place the torn leaves in a colander and rinse well. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Saute until the kale has wilted. If cooking bacon, begin to do so at this point.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle and preheat to oven to 475 degrees. Stretch the dough into a 14 inch circle and place on a pizza stone that has been sprinkled generously with cornmeal. Brush the surface of the dough with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tbsp Italian seasoning.

Sprinkle 3/4 of the mozzarella on top of the dough. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the kale and add it to the pizza. Slice the tomatoes and place on top. If adding bacon, dice and add to pizza now. Finally, add the remaining cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake the pizza for 10-20 minutes or until it is golden brown and crispy on the edges. Towards end, broil for 1-2 minutes until brown and bubbly

Recipe: Budget Bytes: Kale, Swiss, and Tomato Pizza

Our pizza (before, in case it didn’t turn out):

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