Tomato, Pesto, and Kesong Puti Pizza

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Pizza, like many good things in life, is a labor of love. And, like all good pizzas, this recipe will surely hit the right spot.

Preparation Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Baking Time: 10 minutes
Makes 7 small pizzas or 2 to 3 big ones

FOR THE BASE DOUGH
750 grams strong flour
5 grams instant yeast
600 grams cold water, divided into 560 grams and 40 grams
11 grams salt

PROCEDURE
1 Mix flour and yeast together to make the dough. Add the larger portion of water and mix by hand just until all of the flour is hydrated. Let rest for 30 minutes.
2 Mix the remaining portion of water and salt. If the room is warm, keep the mixture in the refrigerator.
3 After letting the dough rest, add the water and salt mixture. Squeeze the dough to incorporate the mixture. Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.
4 Prepare to fold the dough. Dip your hand hands in water to avoid sticking as the dough is very wet and sticky. Stretch the dough and fold it over itself. Be gentle with working on your dough and try to keep in as much air as possible. Repeat the fold and let it rest for two more times. After the final rest, the dough is ready to use for the pizza.
5 Flour the top of your dough and turn it out onto your work surface. Portion into your desired pieces.

FOR THE MARINATED TOMATOES
2 to 3 tomatoes, size depending on how much you want as topping
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper

PROCEDURE
1 Slice the tomatoes into rounds and place in a bowl. 2 Finely chop the garlic and add into the bowl.
3 Season with salt and pepper.
4 Drizzle in olive oil and mix everything. Let the tomatoes marinade for at least 30 minutes before using. 5 Store in the refrigerator until ready for use.

FOR THE PESTO CREAM
30 grams pesto
10 grams cream
Salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE TOPPING
Kesong puti, amount up to preference

PROCEDURE
1 Mix pesto and cream.
2 Season with salt and pepper.
3 Store in the refrigerator.

ASSEMBLING AND BAKING
1 Portion the base dough into 200 gram pieces (the weight can vary depending on the size of the pie) and shape into rounds. With this dough, being quite generous with the flour is all right as long as the flour isn’t worked into the dough and is just in the exterior.
2 Let the base dough pieces rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Make sure to cover them with plastic film.
3 Take a piece of dough and dip the piece in flour making sure that the exterior is covered with a thin dusting of flour.
4 Using your fingers, roll out the dough by pressing lightly into the dough. Try not to tear the dough; be gentle and try to keep some of the air in the dough. Stretch the dough to the desired shape and thickness.
5 For a crispy crust, par bake the stretched dough at a 180° C oven for around 5 to 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the dough. Cool down the crust and then place the pesto cream, then the marinated tomatoes, and then top with crumbled kesong puti. For a chewy crusted pie, put the toppings into the freshly stretched dough, omit the par baking and bake immediately
6 Bake at a 200° C oven for around 10 minutes.

Chef’s Note
Par baking is a technique where the dough is partially baked and then rapidly frozen for storage. This yields a crispy dough.

This recipe was originally published in the February-March 2015 issue of Breakfast Magazine.