Aww I had the pleasure of bunny-sitting the bestie’s rabbits last week. They went home on Sunday and the house seems so quiet and empty without them stamping and kicking over their hay rack, haha!
Since they were being dropped off in the evening I promised bestie and her fella some noms. I was trying to think of a meal which would cover all tastes (her fella is scared of fruit, hubby is scared of greens and bestie likes everything covered in hot sauce!) when it came to me… pizza party!
So I gave everyone a pizza base each and plonked a variety of toppings on the table: homemade sauce –one spicy, one mild and herby – capers, olives, pineapple, faux chorizo, faux chicken, homemade pepperoni chunks, sweetcorn, onion, vegan cheese and I even used a pastry cutter to cut some Violife mozzarella slices into authentic circles. Then we swapped gossip whilst sipping wine and building our own individual masterpieces, which went into the oven whilst we scoffed some starters.
Since it was quite an easy tea to prepare, I felt I couldn’t cheat on the pizza bases so I made my own dough. I added pesto to make things a bit more exciting and I was pleased with the results – it gave the dough a subtle depth of flavor without hijacking the taste.
Pesto pizza dough
Ingredients (makes 2 x 10” bases):
- 2/3 x cup warm water (if it burns, it’s too hot!)
- 1 x tbsp. soft brown sugar
- 1 x tsp salt
- 1 x sachet of dry active yeast (7g)
- 1 x cup plain wholemeal flour*
- 1 x cup plain white flour*
- 1 x tbsp. olive oil
- 2 x tbsp. pesto (make sure its Parmesan / dairy free)
- Extra flour for rolling out.
*you can use any ratio of the wholemeal and white flour if you want.
- Dissolve the sugar and salt in the warm water.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the top and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, olive oil, pesto and yeasty-water mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough starts to form.
- Finish forming the dough with your hand and knead for 5 minutes. I try to only use one hand because the dough is very sticky! (If it is too sticky you can add a bit more flour, but don’t add too much or else it will become too dry when you roll it out in flour later).
- Cover the bowl with cling-film or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour to prove.
- Remove the cling-film / towel and punch gently to deflate. Knead for another 5 minutes before cutting in half.
- Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out each half of the dough into your bases using a floured rolling pin.
- Transfer to a baking tray (you can lightly grease but I found I didn’t need to).
- Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.
- Add your base sauce and toppings. If using vegan cheese, I suggest adding it first after the sauce as it burns faster than normal cheese and the other toppings will offer it some protection.
- Bake for 15 – 20 mins or until the edges of the pizza are a lovely golden brown colour.
- Eat with a nice glass of wine in the presence of good company. Or in front of the telly with a beer!
Hubby is begging me to make another one already :o)!