Recipe and photo by Judy Doherty
Makes 1 pizza
- ½ cup fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pizza crust (prebaked as at right)
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts*
- 8 ounces burrata, sliced
- 1 cup fresh arugula leaves
- Freshly cracked black peppercorns
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425°F. Purée the fresh basil with olive oil in a food processor or chop basil very finely and mix with olive oil to make a basic pesto. Spread over 1 baked pizza crust. Top with spinach and artichoke hearts. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with slices of burrata and fresh arugula. Crack a few grinds of pepper over burrata. Garnish with basil and sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve.
*Preparing your own artichoke hearts from whole fresh artichokes is a project in itself, and more power to you if you want to trim and steam them. Most cooks will turn to canned or frozen, which will be ready to use once drained or thawed.
Makes 3 (9-inch) pizza crusts
- 2 cups water, warmed to 90°F
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4½ cups bread flour plus extra as needed for mixing and rolling
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar (use agave syrup if making vegan)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Mix the water and yeast and let rest until yeast starts to bubble. Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand or with a mixer using the hook or paddle attachment. You want a moist ball of dough, so add more flour or more water as needed to get the right consistency. Mix the dough until you are able to make a smooth “gluten window,” which means the dough doesn’t break when stretched.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest for an hour or until the dough rises to double. (If desired, you can refrigerate dough to use the next day.)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set up 3 baking trays and lightly oil and dust each with cornmeal or line with parchment paper.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour and coat your hands with flour as well. Coax the dough out of the bowl onto the floured work surface and divide into 3 portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough into a ball and then pull or roll into a square or round shape about 9 inches across. Place each on a prepared baking tray and let sit for a few minutes so the dough can relax and rise. Bake pizza crusts for 12 minutes or until golden and then remove from the oven and set aside. The crusts are now ready to be topped and baked again to make pizzas, or they can be wrapped and stored without toppings in the fridge or freezer to be used at a later time.