I think that pizza might be my all-time favourite food (of the savoury variety at least). If I had to pick a final meal (lets hope it doesn’t come to that!), then it would almost certainly be pizza followed by ice cream. As much as I love a good takeaway pizza (who doesn’t?!), you can’t beat the home-made kind; I have several varieties of pizza that I make regularly, but this mushroom pesto pizza gets made the most frequently.
This recipe makes two 25cm/10 inch pizzas – enough for two hungry people or four not so hungry ones. The dough is easy to make and can be done in a stand mixer if you prefer; it will keep, covered, in the fridge for a couple of days so can easily be made in advance if you like. It makes a thin, crispy and chewy base which I topped with garlic mushrooms and red onion, basil pesto (shop-bought for convenience but you can of course use home-made if you prefer) and mozzarella and mature cheddar cheeses. I like to finish mine with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and some fresh basil leaves and serve them with a cold beer; I think that makes for a pretty special meal which I would happily have any day of the week.
I originally made this mushroom pesto pizza for DIYs, check them out for some awesome craft and recipe ideas.
Mushroom Pesto Pizza
Makes two 25cm/10 inch pizzas
- 300 g (2 1/2 cups) strong white bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp fast action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) water + extra if needed
- semolina and flour for rolling
- 450 g (1 lb) chestnut mushrooms
- 1 small red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp basil pesto
- 200 g (7oz) mozzarella cheese sliced
- 125 g (4.5oz) mature cheddar/provolone grated
Place the flour in a large bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt and sugar to the other. Mix everything together and make a well in the centre, add the olive oil and water. Stir together to form a rough dough; add a drop more water if it seems dry.
Turn the dough out onto an un-floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. It should be a little sticky at first but become smooth as you knead.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and set aside to rise for an hour or two until doubled in size. Alternatively, you can place the bowl in the fridge for up to a couple of days.
While the dough is rising prepare your toppings. Wash and slice the mushrooms, peel and finely chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms have softened and all the juices have evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 245°C/475°F/gas mark 9. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll into balls. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment and sprinkle with semolina. Dust a worksurface with flour and semolina.
Roll each ball of dough out into a circle about 25cm/10 inches wide and place each one on one of the prepared baking trays.
Spread the pesto over the dough, top with the mushrooms. Sprinkle over the cheddar and top with slices of mozzarella. Bake the pizzas for about 20 minutes until golden brown, crispy round the edges and cooked through.