I woke up yesterday pretty excited. I had a few, fresh no-knead dough's in the fridge and I knew it was a pizza day! I was motivated to try something new. My brain has been fixated lately on manufacturing a pesto pizza. Genovese pesto is a classic. Basically you take your pine nuts, basil, oil and cheese and you pulverize in a food processor. There are other variations out there, but I am sticking with the classic. My only addition, based on some sound advice from my friend Kenji at Serious Eats, was to roast the pine nuts first. My first pizza of the day would be a simple, no-knead dough with a light covering of pesto. Throw it in the oven and wallah, pesto pizza. Not so fast, my pesto burn't! I was not happy and what a waste of a dough! Back to the drawing board.
On my second attempt, I decided to try something a little different. I needed to take a precaution. I only had two dough's remaining and one had to have pesto on top. So I decided to pre-cook the dough with the oven on convect bake. I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. I was determined. The dough pre-cooked for 3 or 4 minutes then I pulled it out of the oven, spread out some pesto and topped with some fresh mozzarella, ricotta and prosciutto. I finished this pesto pizza off, under the broiler for 2 minutes, with great success. Definitely a pizza I'll continue to practice and what I really would like to know is, why did the pesto burn? Any ideas?
2 Cups of fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesean
1/4 cup pecorino
S & P
Combine all ingredients in your food processor and pulverize until smooth, add S & P to taste.
One no knead dough
1/2 cup fresh pesto
3 oz. fresh whole milk mozzeralla
3 oz. ricotta cheese
2 oz. fresh prosciutto
1.At least 2 hours prior to preparing your pizza, allow dough to rest for 2 hours at room temperature. Place Baking Steel on top rack. Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees or on full throttle.
2. Stretch or roll out dough to a 12 inch cylinder, or any shape will do. Lightly flour your peel and place dough on top.
3. Launch stretched out dough onto your Baking Steel and bake for 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove dough from oven and switch oven to broil.
5. Carefully spread pesto on top, and place remaining ingredients on top of pesto. Less is more. Launch pizza back into oven on broil and remove with desired browness.
Slice and serve.