Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vegetable & Walnut Pizza

Pepperoni may be the number one pizza topping, but pizza concepts must offer a couple of meatless topping options for the increasing numbers of vegans and vegetarians—and those who just want a lighter pizza option.  

  • 4 (6-in.) pizzas
  • Yield: 4 (6-in.) pizzas

  • 1 cup wrist-temperature water
  • 1 package (2 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (plus extra for the bowl)
  • 3 cups unbleached white flour (1/4 cup may be whole wheat or rye)
  • Extra flour for kneading
  • Cornmeal
  • Thin slices mozzarella cheese
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Mushroom slices
  • Sliced bell pepper
  • Cauliflowerets
  • Broccoli florets
  • Canned artichoke hearts, drained, and sliced
  • Olives, pitted and sliced
  • Ripe tomato slices
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Chopped walnuts

  • Place water in large bowl, sprinkle in yeast and sugar and stir to dissolve. Let stand 5 min., or until it begins to bubble.
  • Stir in salt, oil, and 1 cup flour. Beat for several minutes with a wooden spoon.
  • Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough will be soft, but should not be sticky.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for several minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled in bulk. This will take about 1 hr.
  • Punch down dough; return to floured surface. Divide dough into 4 equal parts, knead each for a few minutes. Let dough rest about 10 min.
  • Stretch each ball into a 6-in. circle. Sprinkle two baking trays with cornmeal, and place two circles on each. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500°F. Top each pizza with any combination of toppings, making sure walnuts are on top to toast.
  • Bake in lower half of oven 10 to 12 min., or until edges are crispy and brown. Serve immediately.

Photo and recipe courtesy of California Walnuts

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