Mushroom and basil pesto pizza – crispy, chewy homemade pizza dough topped with basil pesto, garlic mushrooms and plenty of cheese, you’ll never want to buy takeout pizza again!
Pizza is my all-time favourite food, I think I would probably happily eat it every day if I could get away with it! While I do love a good takeaway pizza (who doesn’t?), you really can’t beat the homemade kind. Yes it isn’t as quick and easy as picking up the phone and ordering one, but they have so much more flavor, are totally customizable and are pretty easy to make too.
This dough for this one is very simple to make, and can also be made in advance and kept in the fridge until needed if you like. It makes a thin, crispy and chewy pizza which is my favourite kind; if you want it to be even crispier you can bake the pizzas on a preheated pizza stone, in which case they will also cook a little quicker.
Pizza doesn’t have to be topped with tomato sauce; in this case I’ve replaced the usual tomato with basil pesto; I use shop-bought for convenience but you could also make your own. It is a delicious twist that really works with the garlicky mushrooms and mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and makes for a pretty special pizza that is perfect both for a dinner to impress, or for eating in front of the TV in your PJ’s. Your choice.
Here’s what you’ll need:
(Makes two 10 inch pizzas)
For the pizza dough:
- 2 1/2 cups white bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water + extra if needed
- semolina and flour for rolling
For the toppings:
- 1 lb crimini or chestnut mushrooms
- 1 small red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp basil pesto
- 7 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 4.5 oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
1.Place the flour in a large bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt and sugar to the other.
2.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 (I added an extra tablespoon).
3.Turn the dough out onto an-unfloured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. It should be sticky at first but will become smooth as you knead; you can use a stand mixer to do the kneading for you if you prefer.
4.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.
5.While the dough is rising prepare your toppings. Wash and slice the mushrooms, peel and finely chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic.
6.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.
7.Preheat the oven to 475°F. 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.
8.Roll each ball of dough out into a circle about 10 inches wide and place each one on one of the prepared baking trays.
9.Spread the pesto over the dough, top with the mushrooms. Sprinkle over the cheddar and top with slices of mozzarella.
10.Bake the pizzas for about 20 minutes until golden brown, crispy round the edges and cooked through.