Though it took a few tries to perfect, this turned out to be an pretty straightforward recipe with a big flavor payoff. We’ve perfected the thin, crispy crust, and the addition of homegrown jalapeños and a dusting of fresh herbs really makes this pizza fresh and interesting.
Get thee a pizza stone and get to work!
Eric’s Easy Pizza Dough
3 cups bread or all-purpose flour
1 cup of lukewarm water
1 Tbsp of salt
Drizzle of olive oil
1 packet of instant yeast (~ 1 tsp)
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover, and let it sit as long as you want (the longer it sits, the more sourdough flavor it will have).
2. About an hour before baking, remove the dough from the bowl and place in a foil “tent” (get a couple of large pieces of foil and wrap your dough up in them, with enough extra space for the dough to rise further – they tent does not need to be completely sealed).
3. Before preparing pizza base, flour your hands and work surface to avoid sticking. Fold the dough over a couple of times with your hands, and then make a medium-sized dough ball – this will become your pizza crust. The size of the dough ball will depend upon the size of the pizza you plan to make and the diameter of your pizza stone, so results here will vary.
Eric’s Pesto Pizza
Dough (as prepared ahead, above)
1/2 cup homemade pesto*
2 jalapeños, sliced**
sliced black olives, to taste
1 tsp fresh Mexican mint, finely chopped**
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped**
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/3 cup grated parmesan
2 Tbsp olive oil, halved***
1. Preheat oven to 300°. Meanwhile, drizzle one half of the olive oil on the pizza stone and spread with your fingertips.
2. Next, take the ball of pre-made dough in your hands, and spread it out on the stone so that it covers the whole thing thinly and evenly, curling up at the edges. You can make the crust as thin or as thick as you like, but for this recipe (and according to my personal taste), you will want to spread it comparatively thin.
3. Once dough is evenly spread on the stone, bake it in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
4. Then remove the stone from the oven and turn up the heat to 400°. Meanwhile, spread the remaining olive oil, along with the pesto, evenly over the dough using a spoon. Sprinkle mozzarella over the pesto. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
7. Remove the stone from the oven; add olives, jalapeños, parmesan, and green peppers, then scatter the herbs over the pie.
8. Return entire pizza to oven and bake at 400° until brown and crispy, with the crust bubbling around the edges.
9. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven, wait a few minutes, then cut with a pizza cutter or wheel. Serve and enjoy!
Use any leftover dough to make bread!
*In this case, we used homegrown basil, olive oil, grated parmesan, some cashews, and some local pecans – a basic recipe can be found here.
***Infused with homegrown jalapeños and oregano – regular extra virgin will work fine, though.