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Same-Day Dough Basil Pesto Pizza


This week's featured recipe is by Toronto native, The.Pizza.Doctor. While working as a dentist in Moncton, New Brunswick, The Pizza Doctor found himself with time on his hands after pandemic lockdown measures temporarily closed his practice. He flew home to Toronto to spend time with family, and, without an office to commute to and clients to see, used this idle time to experiment in the kitchen. 

Often times kitchen experiments fail. Think back to that time you attempted to make sourdough bread- likely not too long ago- after seeing friends and family's insta-worthy masterpieces. You scoured the internet for all the right ingredients, paid way too much for yeast, only to bite into a dense, inedible disaster.

But sometimes, sometimes kitchen experiments go right. And, in The Pizza Doctor's case, lead to creations that merit their own social media handles. Like this Same-Day Dough Basil Pesto Pizza, which uses fresh, local ingredients found in this week's produce box! Which way will yours go? Let us know in the comments below!

 

YOU WILL NEED:

Pesto (enough for 3 pies):

          • 4 loosely packed cups of fresh basil (large stems removed)
          • 4 loosely packed cups (2 bunches) of Kale or Spinach (large stems removed)
          • 3 minced garlic cloves
          • 150 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
          • 85 grams toasted pine nuts, pistachios, etc (any mild-flavored nut will do)
          • 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
          • Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese:

          • 8 tbsp of fresh full-fat ricotta cheese
          • A handful of fresh mozzarella cheese
          • A handful of full-fat low-moisture mozzarella cheese

    Dough (makes three 14-inch pies):

            • 720 g bread flour
            • 500 g warm water
            • 7g active or instant dry yeast
            • 14 g salt
            • 14 g olive oil 

     

    PREPARATION:

    Dough - make dough 4 hours ahead of anticipated bake
    1. Combine all dough ingredients in a food processor and process for approximately 40 seconds.
    2. The dough will be sticky, but do not add any flour at this point. Empty in a bowl lightly coated in olive oil and covered with plastic wrap, to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
    Pesto 
    1. Combine ingredients for the pesto in the food processor and process until puréed, add salt and Parmesan to taste as needed.

    Pizza

    1. Divide dough into 3 balls over a counter, the dough should be a bit sticky which will allow you to form a tight skin and seal while making your dough balls.
    2. Coat your hands with a drizzle of olive oil and gather the dough underneath itself to form a tight ball.
    3. Close the seam by rotating the ball over a dry counter. Coat well in flour and add flour to three bowls, place your dough in three separate bowls, and cover tightly with plastic wrap for their final 2-hour room temperature proof.
    4. Empty dough onto a well-floured table and make dimples in the dough from the center and gently pressing out to the edge to form a crust you will feel the gas and air move to the edges. Do your best to keep as much of the air in the dough as possible, all the time and work you put into the dough leads to this point: the delicate process of stretching while maintaining the air and lightness from the fermentation process.
    5. Flip the dough upside down and repeat.
    6. Place dough over knuckles and let gravity stretch the dough. Be careful not to tear the dough.
    7. Place on a parchment paper on a pizza peel and stretch the dough out one last time by carefully pulling the edges out to the rim of the peel. If you are not using a pizza stone, instead place it on your baking vessel with parchment paper.
    8. Add approximately 1 handful of grated high fat mozzarella to the pie, followed by a few tablespoons of cubed fresh mozzarella and lastly dollop ricotta cheese sporadically around the pie. My preference is to add approx 8 teaspoons. Lastly, do the same with the pesto, and drizzle the dough with olive oil.
    9. Bake for a total of approximately 10 minutes rotating quarter circles after the first 5 minutes on the pizza stone or baking vessel.

     


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