Ate this for dinner last night, cold for breakfast this morning, and will eat it again for dinner tonight. It is that good. This pizza makes up for the okay soup that we had been eating all week. What I particularly liked about this pizza was the dough. We’ve made pizza dough from Budget Bytes before with pretty good success, but making this dough felt like working in a pizza place. It actually looked like it had been made in a pizza place, too. It had the right smooth and elastic texture that you need for a really doughy taste. When we baked the pizza, the dough didn’t quite crisp up as much as we’re used too, so we think for tonight we’ll pre-bake the dough for a little bit (which the recipe actually suggests and I noticed while typing up the recipe just now)! I don’t mind the fluffier dough taste (in fact, I prefer it), but Will really likes his pizza dough crispy, especially on the bottom.
This pizza also was larger than we’re used to getting with our Budget Byte pizzas, so we each ate two pieces last night and were full. I think it’s because the dough is so much thicker and it’s just so damn tasty! Anyways, I recommend making this while you can still get big juicy tomatoes at the farmer’s market and while your basil plants are still producing a lot of leaves before we move into fall (although here in Florida, we’ll be enjoying summer for at least another month).
Cooking Notes: It will come as no surprise that I used more flour than the recipe calls for for the dough, however it was mostly to make sure the dough would stop sticking to me. The recipe had said that you would have to use “enough” flour to make the dough soft, so that’s what I did.
Summer Pesto Pizza (adapted from Simply in Season; makes 6 slices)
1 heaping tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2+ cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup Will’s Pesto
3 medium tomatoes
2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Stir warm water and yeast together in a small bowl until the yeast is completely dissolved. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of regular flour with the whole wheat flour and salt. Stir until combined, then add the water with yeast. Mix until ingredients are combined enough to turn out on a floured countertop or cutting board. Knead dough 8-10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease both sides (we just sprayed the bowl and dough with Pam). Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45-55 minutes.
While the dough is rising, make the pesto, chop the tomatoes and shred the cheese (if necessary). Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When dough is ready, cover pizza stone in cornmeal before spreading dough out onto pan. Bake 5-8 minutes.
After pre-baking the dough, leave the oven at 450 degrees. Spread the pesto onto the crust and top with tomatoes and cheese. If you haven’t depleted your basil supply making the pesto, you can add some on top as a garnish. Bake another 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.