Tuesday 6 December 2011

Olive Bread Pizza Crust

I would never dream of claiming that the pizza I make is in any way authentic, but it doesn’t have to be.  I’m serving my husband and I, and maybe some family and friends, not a restaurant full of hardcore pizza aficionados.  It’s highly unlikely that the pizza police will ever come knocking on my door.

My pizza is a form of refrigerator Velcro; a perfect tool for using leftovers.  Little bits of vegetables or meat too small to make another meal are perfect for topping pizza.  I’ll use just about anything, provided I think that all the ingredients work together.

This week’s pizza was topped with leftover cooked spinach, thinly sliced red onion, some sweet bell pepper from the freezer, and shredded mozzarella and edam cheese.  The toppings were very good, but the crust they sat on was even better.

I don’t make a thin, crisp New York style pizza crust.  My crust is made from a focaccia style bread, allowed to rise, then pre-baked to a light golden brown before being given its toppings.  It’s one of the stars of the pizza, not just a supporting player.

This week’s pizza crust was made from olive bread.  The olives and seasonings in the bread worked wonderfully well with the toppings .

To make olive bread pizza crust, you’ll need:

  •  2  cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-1/2 c. bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Greek seasoning mixture (I used Safeway brand, but any commercial mixture will do or you can make your own by combining 2 teaspoons salt with some garlic, oregano, finely chopped sundried tomato, and lemon zest.)
  • About 2 cups of sliced or chopped olives (I used canned black olives because that’s what I had on hand, but any kind of olive or blend of olives that you like will work.
  • A  little more olive oil for brushing on top of the crust before baking
Using either the bowl of your electric mixer or a large mixing bowl, begin by dissolving the sugar in the lukewarm water.  Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water and leave it to proof.  It’ll take about 10 minutes.  When the yeast is proofed, it will have dissolved and started to grow.  It’ll look like this:

If you’re using an electric mixer, fit the mixer with a dough hook.

Add the olive oil, bread flour, Greek seasoning, and chopped olives to your bowl, in the order listed.

If you’re using an electric mixer, mix the dough until all the flour is absorbed and the dough draws away from the sides of the bowl in a solid mass.  If you’re mixing the dough by hand, stir it until it forms a stiff dough and then knead it in the bowl until all the flour has been absorbed.  Turn the dough out of the bowl onto an unfloured board or counter top and knead it some more, until it’s elastic.  In either case the dough should hold together in a resilient ball that springs back when lightly touched.

Divide the dough into four roughly equal pieces.  Wrap three of the pieces individually in plastic wrap or sandwich bags and then place them in a freezer bag.  Put them in the freezer right away.

Form the fourth ball of dough into a pizza crust.  I bake mine in a pizza pan.  If you prefer to use a stone, that’s great too. 

Let the crust rise for about an hour and a half.

Once the crust has risen, brush it with olive oil and bake it in a 375˚F oven for about 15 minutes, until it just barely begins to brown.

Top your pizza as desired and then bake it again, in a 350˚F oven, for about 30 more minutes.  

When it comes time to use the frozen dough, take it from the freezer first thing in the morning.  Once it has thawed, shape it as desired.  Each portion will make a single large pizza crust or 4 hamburger buns.  You can use two portions together to make a loaf of bread.  If making buns or bread, bake at 375˚F for the full cooking time, adjusting the cooking time as needed.  When it’s cooked, it will sound hollow when you turn it over and tap your finger on the bottom crust.

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Maria said...

What a great idea for a pizza crust! I love olives, and love the idea of adding them to the pizza crust! We love making pizza at home, I'll have to remember this next week when we have our pizza night! Thanks for sharing!

Aunt B said...

Thank you for taking the time to visit, Maria. I'm glad you like the recipe. Enjoy pizza night! :)

Wonderwoman said...

I'm loving this. Thanks for sharing the recipe...am pinning.

Aunt B said...

Thanks for stopping by, and for sharing the recipe forward. :)

Six Sisters said...

This looks delicious! We loved having you join our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." Hope to see you next week! -The Sisters

April J Harris said...

I love how you describe pizza as 'refrigerator velcro' - that's so witty! Pizza is a wonderful way to use up leftovers, that is for sure. I think your olive pizza crust sounds wonderful. I really do enjoy olives and they would give the crust such a lovely flavour and texture.

Aunt B said...

Thank you so much for hosting. I saw a lot of good links at your party. :)

Aunt B said...

Thank you April. :) We like olives very much too.

Alea Milham said...

I love your take on pizza! Your crust looks so delicious! I am going to try to make a gluten-free version the next time I make pizza.

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like the recipe Alea. I have two more of these left in the freezer. I'm making the next one with your chunky pizza sauce. :)

Mrs Happy Homemaker said...

These look fantastic!! I have featured you on this week's edition of Makin You Crave Monday! Come by, take a look - and I'd love to have you share another recipe this week! ~Crystal, MrsHappyHomemaker.com

Aunt B said...

Thank you Crystal. I'm honoured. I found the link while hooking up to this week's party. Thank you so much for featuring my recipe. :)

Alesha @ Full Time Mama said...

I dont care much for olives on their own, but added to foods I dont mind it. I'm sure this crust would be a HIT with my family!
Thanks so much for linking up again this week!!!

Aunt B said...

Thanks for hosting. :) I enjoyed this week's links. Lots of good stuff there.