“Favourite food? Umm…Frosted Mini Wheats? I Guess….”
But if ever I was forced into some strange food interrogation and made to answer truthfully and thoughtfully, I believe that answer would be pizza. Of course the next question would be why I was being interrogated to reveal my favourite food, however, I don’t question the higher-ups of the Food Bloggers Mafia*
*Not a real thing.
Rather than really getting into great detail on the pizza itself, instead I will just give some of my best pieces of pizza making advice.
1) Make your own dough. God bless Pillsbury and all they do, but there is a strange flavour in their canned crust that I cannot get past. Another good alternative is to buy dough balls from local pizza places, but if I did that, I would just cave and order a medium Chipotle Chicken the moment I walked into the store.
2) I make almost all my pizzas with chicken. It’s not that exciting, but I need protein in my dinner and chicken is the easiest way to get it on the pizza. Toss some of whatever sauce you’re using onto the chicken before putting it on the pizza. It will add flavour and help the chicken from drying out in the oven.
3) Pre-bake the crust. Your toppings won’t dry out before the dough is nice and crispy. I like to give my crust a good 5-10 minutes in the oven first before throwing anything on it.
4) Use a pizza stone if you have one. (I have this one) Preheat your oven with the stone in it, and let everything come up to temperature. Remove the hot stone and carefully place your already-rolled dough on the stone. When used properly, the stone does make for a crisper crust, but too often I get lazy and throw the pizza on a regular pan. My bad.
|Thin Crust Chicken Pesto Pizza|
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4-1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 tbsp regular cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp fresh or jarred pesto sauce
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped, + 1/2 tbsp pesto
- 6-8 grape tomatoes, halved
- 5 leaves fresh spinach, finely chopped
- 1-2 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- For the dough, place the warm water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Let proof 10 minutes or until foamy.
- Once yeast is foamy, add the salt, garlic powder and olive oil to the water/yeast.
- Add all the all-purpose flour to the yeast mixture, stirring to combine, or preferably in the electric mixer with a dough hook.
- Begin to add some of the whole wheat flour while continuing to mix. Keep adding the whole wheat flour until the dough starts to form a ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides.
- Use the dough hook to continue to knead it, or remove from the bowl and knead an additional 20-30 times by hand.
- Place the doughball in a clean bowl, sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil and cover with plastic wrap to rise for 1-4 hours.
- When ready to assemble the pizza, remove dough and roll out thinly on a floured surface.
- Combine pesto and cream cheese in a small bowl until well combined.
- Place chicken in a bowl and toss in the 1/2 tbsp of pesto just to lightly coat it.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees/F.
- Bake the rolled dough, naked, for approximately 5-10 minutes depending on thickness. You don’t want it to completely brown, just to start the baking process.
- Remove the dough from the oven and spread the pesto-cream cheese mixture over the dough.
- Assemble the rest of the pizza and top with cheese.
- Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.