roasted vegetable pizza
After making a pretty mediocre pizza recently, I resolved to revisit a roasted vegetable pizza I used to know. I’ve made pizza using this recipe many times in the past, with some minor differences: I usually roast far too many vegetables which results in a precarious pile of toppings, I’ve never baked it with a homemade crust, and I’ve never used my own pesto. These changes resulted in a superior finished product this time around, and my faith in pizza-from-scratch has been renewed.
Luckily, I haven’t had a bad experience with pizza dough yet. I requested and received (thanks, D!) a baking stone for Christmas with the intention of baking loaf after loaf of artisan bread. Unfortunately, I’ve grown too accustomed to using my cast-iron Dutch oven for my limited and unadventurous bread baking, and the baking stone wasn’t getting much attention. Now that I’ve started making pizza on a semi-regular basis, the baking stone is getting more of a workout. And it does a fantastic job with pizza dough. The recipe below is my favorite so far – combined with the baking stone, the result is apizza crust that is golden brown and crispy on the outside, with the perfect texture inside.
You can place a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet “peel” to transfer the pizza onto the stone, paper and all, instead of using cornmeal and sliding the pizza from the sheet to the stone. Just make sure you’re using parchment paper and not wax paper; I learned the hard way that wax paper smokes pretty heavily when placed in an oven that’s been heated to 500 degrees F.
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Adapted from Taste of Home
Yields two 12- inch pizzas
8 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon each oregano, thyme, and dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 cup pesto sauce
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
cornmeal for sprinkling
pizza dough (recipe below)
- Prepare pizza dough as directed below.
- About an hour before baking pizza, place baking stone in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
- Place mushrooms, onion and peppers in a roasting pan or baking pan lined with heavy-duty foil. Combine oil, garlic, oregano, thyme and rosemary; drizzle over vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and bake on middle rack for 20 minutes, stirring once after about 10 minutes.
- Using thick oven mitts, move the rack with baking stone to the bottom position in the oven, and turn up oven temperature to 475 – 500 degrees F. (My oven only has one rack to move around).
- Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Hold one dough ball in your hands and shape using gravity, turning the dough to stretch it. Place stretched dough on cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet and press into shape if needed.
- Spread half of the pesto on the crust and top with half of the tomato slices. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and top with half of the roasted vegetables.
- Using a spatula, make sure the crust is not sticking to the baking sheet and transfer it to the baking stone (I just slide it from one to the other, using the spatula to push). Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.
- Allow pizza to rest for one or two minutes before slicing.
- Repeat steps with second ball of dough and remaining ingredients.
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Yields dough for 2 small pizzas
1-1/8 teaspoon active-dry yeast
3/4 cups very warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour; more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Dissolve yeast in the warm water; set aside for five to ten minutes.
- Mix flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl; add the water-yeast mixture, stirring until dough begins forming a ball. Add the oil and stir to blend.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, quickly knead dough into a mass; cut the dough into two equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a tight, smooth ball and knead lightly for about a minute each.
- Put dough balls on lightly floured surface; cover them with a clean dishtowel and allow them to rise until they almost double in size, around 45 minutes.