Homemade pizza is one of my favorite things to make for dinner. The obsession first started with the novelty of making my own pizza in whatever shape or size you desired (at one of my birthday parties there were elephants, butterflies, monkeys, etc). Then came the endless possible combinations with different sauces, cheeses, and toppings. Finally there were the different kinds of dough. It started out simple enough with regular, thin, and whole wheat, but then morphed into more creative outlets such as stuffed crust, garlic bread crust, garlic dough, rosemary beer dough, Greek yogurt dough and even Cauliflower Crust. While most people are debating between sausage or pepperoni, I am still trying to decide on the base let alone the toppings.
To make my life even more difficult I created another new dough option, spinach dough just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Although pizza doesn’t normally come to mind when thinking of this holiday the green color couldn’t be more perfect, accomplished by adding pureed spinach to my regular pizza dough recipe. It’s also a sneaky way to trick any kids nearby into eating a little spinach because it adds more color than flavor, and what kid doesn’t enjoy oddly colored food? Just tell them it’s food coloring ;-).
This dough could also be used to make a Christmas pizza – red pizza sauce and Mozzarella cheese on top of a green dough. Heck you could use supreme pizza toppings and dub them “ornaments”. Haha oh I’m so witty. But since we don’t want to rush off into winter now that we’ve finally caught a glimpse of spring, stick around for Wednesday when I’ll tell you how to make a “Leprechaun Pizza” using this spinach pizza dough, pictured below.
Three years ago: Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
SPINACH PIZZA DOUGH
Makes 1 large or two medium pizzas
5 oz. fresh spinach
1/2 cup warm water, plus more for the spinach
1 pkg. (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-1/2 cups bread flour (may also use all-purpose or whole wheat)
Cornmeal for dusting
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Immerse spinach and cook until wilted. Immediately drain and gently squeeze out excess water. Place spinach in a measuring cup and add water to make a volume of 1/2 cup. Add to a food processor or blender and pulse until pureed; set aside.
- In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle sugar and yeast over the water, and stir to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add one cup flour, salt, oil, and spinach puree. While kneading (by hand or stand mixer dough hook) add remaining flour, one cup at a time and continue kneading until flour is well incorporated. Add extra flour (too sticky) or water (too dry) if necessary. Form into a ball, coat with oil on all sides, place in a bowl and cover. Let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled.
- Place pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and allow to preheat in the oven to 400 degrees, for at least 10 minutes.
- Roll out dough and transfer to a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Prepare with favorite toppings. Transfer to the pizza stone (it’ll take a couple light shakes to slide off the pizza peel) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it the crust turns golden and the cheese (if any) starts to bubble.