a pizza dough dwight schrute would approve of.

17 Jun

While I don’t read The Pioneer Woman regularly any more, I do occasionally check out the recipe section of her site. While I’m not generally interested in the meat and fat-heavy recipes she usually posts, she also does weekly “round up” posts of recipes she likes from other blogs. There’s usually an ingredient theme to these posts, ala Iron Chef. And the week she did asparagus, I saw several recipes that I wanted to try. I thought this Asparagus, Gruyere and Parmesan Tart from What’s Gaby Cooking looked positively mouth-watering.

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and we had just gotten a few beautiful bunches from our CSA share. And the look of that asparagus, roasted to perfection on a puff pastry crust, was pretty darn appealing. But then I scrolled down a little more and saw a picture of Purple Pizza With Asparagus and Fontina by The Cooking Photographer, and… let’s just say it had me at hello.

This pizza dough is colored with beetroot puree. And most of the people who know me know how much I love beets. And purple. And pizza. You get the picture. I was thrilled by the idea of sneaking beets into pizza crust.

And then it came to me, like a flash in the night! I could combine both of the recipes for a fun new experience in color and taste. So I did. And it was beautiful.

I know my photography skills are lacking, but you'll just have to trust me on this. It worked.

I adapted the pizza dough slightly from the recipe provided by The Cooking Photographer.  She recommended cooking the beets in the microwave, and I opted to roast mine in the oven. I find roasting really brings out the sweetness of beets so it’s my preferred method. I added the beet puree to my usual simple crust recipe, which uses rapid rise yeast to cut down on rising time.

Roasted Beet Pizza Dough (with thanks to Laura at TCP for the inspiration)

makes one large crust

1.  Start with

one medium (fist-sized) beet

Scrub well. Stab it a few times with a fork or sharp knife. Wrap in foil or place in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Bake at 350°F until tender; you should be able to easily pierce the beet with a fork when it is done. This took about 45 minutes for my beet, but allow for some variation due to size. When the beet is done roasting, remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. While roasting your beet, get the following ingredients ready in a mixing bowl:

2 1/2 cups flour (I used about half white flour and half whole wheat)

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 pkg rapid rise yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

3. When the beet is cool, you should be able to easily slide it out of its skin. Chop roughly and place in a small food processor or blender. Add enough warm water to almost cover the beet chunks (for me, this was about 1/2 a cup). Puree the beet and water until well blended. I used a little more than 1 cup of beet puree. You can use more or less depending what you have to work with, just adjust the flour accordingly during step 4.

adding the beet puree to the dry ingredients

4. Stir the beet puree into the dry ingredients along with

1/4 cup olive oil 

Combine all ingredients well, and then knead in about 1/2 cup more flour. You want just enough flour that the dough is smooth and not sticky. Pat the dough into a ball. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

the vibrant dough at rest

5. Lightly oil a cookie sheet or shallow pan. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a pizza stone, use that! Roll the dough out into the pan, to your desired pizza size. Add the toppings of your choice. Preheat your oven to 450°F.

asparagus spears, gruyere cheese, salt and pepper were my toppings of choice, inspired by What's Gaby Cooking

6. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before slicing.

crust puffed, asparagust tender, cheese melted after baking in a hot oven

with a salad, this made a colorful and delicious dinner.

I realize this tart isn’t the pizza-est of pizzas, so I’m including a picture of the next meal I used with this dough.

I loaded this pizza with onions, garlic, fresh basil, red pepper, portabello mushrooms, and goat cheese. I forgot the tomato sauce until I had the last of the ingredients piled on, so I just skipped it. It was still delicious.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend slipping beets into your pizza dough next time you make a homemade pie. This dough is simple and tasty, with no taste of beets, but all the excitement of eating something bright purple.

Thank you, Ree Drummond, for helping me hatch this idea and for introducing me to The Cooking Photographer‘s blog, which even has a tab for vegetarian recipes. I am adding her to my blogroll!


3 Responses to “a pizza dough dwight schrute would approve of.”

  1. Julie June 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM #

    I read Pioneer Women as well!

  2. Jon L. July 17, 2011 at 6:10 AM #

    I knew fruit could bruise, but WHOA, check out the contusion on that pizza crust!


  1. on falling in and out of like with a blog « here is hoping. - June 18, 2011

    […] so many words to give the history of my feelings about PW; this was meant to be a recipe post for a Beet Pizza Dough I made, inspired by a PW recipe round-up. This sort of got away from me, so I’m going to post […]

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