With that recipe, we could make three different things, but, since my baking time is limited due to being outside more and more, I only had time to make one of the recipes using this dough. I opted for the Pesto Pizza with Grilled Chicken on the Gas Grill and I'm so happy I did! Not only is it fun to be grilling outdoors on a nice, June day, but this recipe also tasted wonderful!
This was yet another reason why I'm so happy I planted lots of herbs in my garden and in containers this spring. I was able to make the pesto for this recipe by walking outside and grabbing handfuls of fresh basil to make my pesto. This year, I'm growing three different types of basil...mostly the usual large-leaved basilicum but also the new Pesto Perpetuo that I had read so much about earlier this year and also the petite Pistou basil.
The pesto recipe in the book calls for the typical pesto ingredients, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, Sald and Pepper and blended in a food processor into a sauce. I used only 3/4 of the olive oil called for in the recipe and a little more Parm. Chicken thighs are first grilled and then shredded or chopped. I found boneless chicken thighs at my grocer which made them must easier to cut afterward.
The whole wheat olive oil dough is first patted and rolled out to the desired pizza dough thickness, about 1/8 inch. I used the back of a cookie sheet dusted with lots of flour to form my pizza so I could easily slide it onto the hot stone on the preheated 500 degree grill. Doesn't that beautiful green pesto look wonderful? I topped the pizza with even more freshly grated Parmesan.
Unfortunately, even the best preparations go awry. When I tried sliding the pizza onto the hot stone, it still stuck to the cookie sheet. Next time, I will use even more flour! Even though it didn't slide off in a perfect circle, it still made it intact with the help of a very large spatula and the dough started bubbling up on the hot stone right away.
Another snafu was, even though the top of the pizza looked perfectly done, I should have watched the bottom of the crust more carefully, because it burned in the center. Since this was the first time I have ever made pizza on the grill, it was a learning experience and now I feel ready to made the perfect grilled pizza next time!
Nonetheless, this was a delicious-tasting pizza and crust and I will most certainly be making it again and again this summer!
100% White Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil
This is half of original recipe
Adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day
3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or use whole wheat flour)
3/4 T yeast (I used active dry yeast)
3/4 T fine sea salt (original recipe used kosher salt, which I didn't have. I increased the salt a little.)
2 T vital wheat gluten
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup olive oil
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer if you have one) mix together the flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten. Then, using the low speed of mixer with the paddle attachment (or a large spoon) mix in the olive oil and water, until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. (The book says use wet hands to mix in all the flour if necessary if you don't have a stand mixer.)
Cover the dough (not air tight) and let sit at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses or flattens out on top (about two hours.) Then you can use the dough right away, or for easier handling, refrigerate for a few hours or as long as ten days.
To prepare dough to bake, sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then remove a grapefruit sized piece of dough. Sprinkle with flour again, shape the dough into a ball by folding the sides under and stretching the top to a smooth surface. You can leave it as a ball or make more of a loaf shape like I did. Put dough on a pizza peel, parchment paper, or cookie sheet to rest. (I was supposed to cover it loosely, but I missed that part of the instructions!)
To bake the bread you need a pizza stone or baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat, plus another metal baking dish to pour the water used to make steam. (The steam crisps the surface of the bread. You can put the metal dish anywhere that it won't interfere with the bread rising, and in a regular oven I'd put it on a rack under the bread.) The dough needs to rest for 90 minutes, but after 60 minutes, begin preheating the oven to 450F/230C (and heat pizza stone if you have one. I didn't have one so I heated the baking sheet.)
After dough has rested for almost 90 minutes, use a pastry brush to brush the surface with water, then using a serrated knife, cut parallel slashes into the surface of the bread. Then slide the bread (and parchment paper if using) on to the hot pizza stone or baking sheet, and immediately pour 1 cup hot water into the other baking dish and shut the oven door. (My baking dish would only hold 3/4 cup water, but it seemed to work.) Bake bread for 30-35 minutes, or until firm and nicely browned. If you're baking on parchment paper or silicone mat, remove them after 20 minutes so the bottom of the bread will brown. (I baked the loaf in the photos for exactly 30 minutes and it was perfectly done and even a tiny bit overly brown.)