Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sweet and Spicy: Pepperoni Pizza with Basil and Honey




This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine. And, as usual, I will only write about products that I really love! 

You guys. I just made the best pizza. I know, I know, we all think we make the best pizza, but this really is the tops. I mean, just look at it! The golden, chewy, whole wheat crust, saucy sauce, basil pesto, loads of mozzarella - fresh and shredded, thinly sliced jalapeno pepper, heaps of pepperoni, fresh basil leaves that I grew myself, and a good drizzle of honey. If you like your pizza with a bit of heat and sweet, then this recipe is for you. It's the second installment for my partnership with Grimm's Fine Foods this summer, and I'm so pleased I get to bring you the very best ideas on how to use their excellent products. They are always gluten, lactose and soy free, with no MSG added and contain no fillers or sketchy bi-products. And, they are made in Canada!




The most important part of any pizza is the crust, and this is my new favourite. It makes a large batch, leaving you with extra portions to freeze for the future. And, your future self will thank you for being so considerate. Go ahead and give yourself a high five. Making pizza dough should not be intimidating - just be sure your yeast hasn't expired. If it doesn't foam up in the warm water, then it could be dead. And dead yeast will do you no favours, so run to the store and buy a packet of fresh.
This recipe uses both all-purpose and whole wheat flours, because fibre is important, and I love the nutty flavour of the whole wheat. There's also honey, olive oil and a good amount of salt, because flavour is important too. I love how easy the dough was to roll out. Don't worry too much about the shape it takes on the pan. It's pizza!




If you don't have time to make your own pizza sauce - don't stress. You can even use just plain crushed tomatoes. Same with the pesto - homemade is ideal, but if you find a brand you like, then go for it. I won't judge. I love the use of both cheeses here, so melty and glorious! And the Grimm's pepperoni is so good! It has just the right amount of heat and I swear the thin slices kept finding their way into my mouth before they had a chance of getting on the pizza. These things happen! I love the addition of the sliced jalapeno, and the heat of the oven definitely tempers the heat of the pepper. If you're not someone who enjoys spice, then simply scatter a few red pepper flakes on top of the sauce and omit the pepper. But, you will be missing out on the flavour bomb that is this pizza.




I know it's not ideal to heat the oven to 450F in the middle of the summer, but if it's any solace, the oven doesn't have to be on for very long. Grilled pizza is fantastic, but I think there is too much cheese and potential grease for it to be a safe bet. You do you, but just be warned that there could be fire. Safety first!



As soon as the pizza is pulled from the oven, you'll want to let it rest for a couple of minutes, just to set the cheese, then scatter with all the basil leaves and give a good drizzle of honey. Don't be shy with these ingredients as they really do make the pizza extraordinary. I just put the cutting board of pizza deliciousness in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves to a slice. It's a gorgeous pizza pie, and it tastes amazing. Savoury, spicy, with a hint of sweet, it's a perfect pizza party! The last slice will disappear and you'll be sad. But, remember. You've got more dough in the freezer so you can make this pizza again and again. And, if for some strange reason there are leftovers, I suggest you eat them cold. Pure and absolute joy right there.





Pepperoni Pizza with Basil and Honey

Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Dough:
1/2 cup warm water (110-120F)
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups cool water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp liquid honey
2 tsp sea salt

1.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir the yeast into the warm water until dissolved. It should get foamy - about 5 minutes. If it doesn't, throw out the yeast and buy some new stuff.
2.Add both flours, cool water, olive oil, honey and salt to the bowl. Knead with the dough hook on medium-low speed for 5-6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead it the old fashioned way for about 7 minutes.
3.Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Let rise for about 50-60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
4.Punch down the dough and divide into 3 portions. Use 1 portion for this recipe. Wrap the other two in plastic wrap and place in a Ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use, just thaw in the fridge for 8-12 hours before you want to use it. Let rise until doubled in size, then punch down and roll out.

Pizza:
3-4 Tbsp canola oil for greasing pan
1 ball pizza dough (about 1 pound) at room temperature
1 cup of your favourite pizza sauce
1/4 cup basil pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 sticks Grimm's Original Pepperoni, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
200 g fresh mozzarella, or bocconcini cheese, torn into pieces
2/3 cup fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp liquid honey, for drizzling

1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Grease a large baking sheet with canola oil. I used about 4 Tbsp. You really want it greasy!
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pizza dough out into a large, thin oval - about 11x14 inches.
Transfer the dough onto the baking sheet. Remember, it's pizza, so doesn't have to be perfect.
3. Spread the dough with the pizza sauce, and dollop with pesto, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with the shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, jalapeno slices and torn mozzarella. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese and crust are golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before slicing. Scatter with fresh basil leaves and drizzle with honey. Makes about 8 large slices.




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