Homemade pizza is one of my favorite things to make. It is an interactive and fun way to cook dinner with friends and family. Making pizza dough from scratch is nothing to be apprehensive or get discouraged about. It’s quite simple to use active dry yeast and only takes 30 minutes to rise. Plus, homemade anything always tastes better!
For this recipe, I wanted to mix things up a bit and use pesto instead of traditional red sauce. Since basil is not in season, I opted to for a winter pesto that uses peppery arugula. Mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese, and thinly sliced prosciutto are the toppings for this whole wheat crusted pizza.
The dough recipe can be doubled to make two 13 X 5 inch pizzas. After kneading by hand, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. The arugula recipe can also be doubled. If making two pizzas, you will have to then double the amount of cheese and prosciutto. I could easily eat two of these! :)
For the Pizza Dough
- 3/4 cup water, heated between 120ºF to 130ºF
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package instant active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Arugula Pesto
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup asiago cheese
- 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced
- For the dough, In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the warm water with the yeast and agave syrup. Let the yeast dissolve, about 3 minutes. Fit the electric mixer with a dough hook and add in the flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes, adding more flour if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead by hand about 10 times. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use dough immediately or cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
- Meanwhile, make the arugula pesto. In a food processor, pulse the garlic a few times so it is minced. Add in the arugula and pulse a few more times. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil. Add in the walnuts, parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper. (I under salted a bit because the cheese and prosciutto are salty)
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF. If your dough has been in the refrigerator, let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Stretch the dough by hand into a 13 X 5 inch pizza pan. Spread the pesto evenly (you might have extra pesto). Top with the cheeses and prosciutto. Bake for about 12 minutes until crust is crisp and cheese is beginning to brown.
Makes 1 (13 X 5 inch) round pizza
Serves 4 (2 slices each)