Pesto Ham Pizza


I’ve lost count of how many recipes I’ve tried for homemade pizza crust. They’re always too cakey and bready, not nearly chewy enough.  We’d tried AB’s (Alton Brown’s) recipe before and it didn’t turn out, but apparently having a Kitchenaid with a dough hook makes a HUGE difference!

I started with ABs pizza crust recipe. You MUST prep this the night before so the gluten can develop, otherwise you’ll be terribly disappointed.  A couple days beforehand is even better! Yes, you do need bread flour. All purpose won’t get the texture you want.

I followed AB’s recipe completely, you should too! The man knows what he’s talking about.  I have noticed, however, that I have to add a decent amount of extra flour to get the ideal  smooth stretchy dough texture.

Next I made up some homemade pesto. We had some basil languishing in the fridge and no way was I letting it go bad so here’s what I did:

2c packed basil
3 cloves garlic
1/2c-ish parmesan
a small handful of pine nuts
and olive oil to texture

I threw everything but the olive oil in the food processor and pulsed a few times, and then turned it on and added olive oil until I got the texture I wanted. If you don’t have a food processor, or would just prefer to go a more authentic route Crepes of Wrath posted a handmade pesto recipe. I have yet to try it, but one of these days I will! Probably once I start growing my own basil to get the full experience. 🙂

So once I stretched out the dough per AB’s instructions, I topped it liberally with pesto, chopped ham and mozzarella. This would be fabulous with the addition of mushrooms too! Nom.

Next we popped it in the oven on our pizza stone. I’d highly recommend a pizza stone if you want to make homemade pizza. It’s a low-cost investment and really makes a difference. Just make sure you put it in the oven when the oven is cold and let it preheat with the oven otherwise it might break. Just transfer the pizza onto it when you’re ready.

Our oven goes up to 550 degrees, so that’s where we had it set, and we baked it per AB’s recipe.

It turned out GORGEOUS!

Excellent with a beer or, in our case, the Champagne of Beers! (Acceptable, but give me a New Glarus Spotted Cow or a Lift Bridge Farm Girl instead anyday.)

YUM!

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