Monday, 12 November 2012

Thin Crust Pizza with Prosciutto, Spinach and Garlic

In compensation for not posting anything last week, I'll not only be posting MORE this week but also some extra delicious recipes. I served this pizza at a fundraising dinner last Tuesday and got some pretty great reviews! It's pretty light and healthy yet still manages to remain almost decadent in its tastyness. Wow guests with this relatively easy dinner that works great for feeding a crowd. With party season quickly approaching, also consider making mini pizzas or pizza squares as an hors d'oeuvre at parties!

Thank you again to Cody Walsh for his lovely photos!


Makes 2 pizzas

Ingredients:

Crust:
-1c. warm water
-3 1/2c. wholewheat flour (you can switch for white if you prefer but wholewheat works quite well!)
-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. olive oil
-2 1/4 tsp. dry active yeast

Toppings:
-Enough cheese to coat the top of both pizzas, I often use a base of mozzarella with a mix of provolone or feta, a few hundred grams should do
-2-3 large handfuls of spinach
-4 cloves of garlic
-2 tbsp. olive oil
-8 slices of prosciutto or other cured ham
-A small handful of fresh basil, enough to put a leaf or two per slice
-A tablespoon or two of sesame seeds or cornmeal (optional)
-salt and pepper to taste

1) Combine yeast and warm water, let it dissolve and grow for about 5 minutes
2) While yeast is breaking down, combine flour and salt thoroughly
3) Add yeast mixture to flour with oil, mix thoroughly
4) Knead dough on a well-floured surface by folding it like an envelope over and over and over (ad infinitum...almost) until homogeneous, firm and not sticky about 8 minutes
5) Leave to rise in a bowl covered by a damp cloth for 2 hours
6) In the last 30 minutes or so of the dough's rising period, heat garlic in oil over low heat until the garlic is fragrant and the oil is flavoured.
7) Grate, crumble or thinly slice cheese, prepare all ingredients washing and drying spinach.
8) Break dough into two balls, roll out each ball into rounds as thin as you can, until about 14 inches in diameter, fold edge inwards to form a crust (If it isn't very round, don't despair! It'll still be tasty!)
9) Brush dough with garlic and oil, sprinkle sesame seeds or cornmeal on crust now if you plan to do so.
10) Layer cheeses season with salt and pepper and then add prosciutto, spinach and basil in that order.
11) Bake at 450 degrees until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.

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