Pizza. It's pure comfort food and sometimes nothing else can quite satisfy those decadent late night cravings. If you happen to live in the city or a decent sized town, you can pick up the phone and have a pizza delivered to your door in about an hour nearly anytime of day.
At the same time, nothing compares to homemade pizza. Think of that dough as a blank canvas to be adorned with combinations of your own making. Dispense with tomato sauce perhaps, leave out the cheese altogether or even turn out a dessert pizza.
Inspired by the success of my rather gourmet homemade olive tapenade pizza, the idea of a hummus pizza immediately came to mind. Thick creamy hummus is a perfect accompaniment to crusty breads and crackers, so why not spread a pizza crust with some homemade hummus and top with some of your favorite toppings?
What follows is a basic chronicle of what I did. If you want to cut corners, you can of course use pre-prepared hummus and pizza crust, though the reason I am offering my suggestions here is to help you recreate a unique and wholesome experience in your own kitchen, time permitting.
In terms of taste, I wanted a hummus that had a bit of smoky flavor with some goodness of tomatoes that we are so often used to enjoying on pizza crust. I made my own hummus, using my recipe for sun-dried tomato and olive hummus with goat cheese as a base, after consulting another favorite, roasted red pepper hummus, and melding the two together. I omitted the cheese, made sure to include roasted red peppers, tossed in some chipotle spice, and just mixed and matched some of the flavors from each recipe. I made a full batch of hummus, which is fine, because you can make more than one pizza or save the rest for snacking on with vegetables and lightly toasted pita triangles or flat breads the next day.
The dough recipe, reproduced here, is the same I used for the tapenade pizza. I had leftover dough as it makes enough for two 12-inch pizzas — I only needed enough dough for one pizza that day, so wrapped the remainder in plastic wrap and popped it in the freezer. The dough does freeze well, I can now say, and how handy to have homemade dough on hand when you want to come up with a conventional or not-so-conventional pizza. Just be sure to let the dough thaw in the fridge for a couple of days before using or at room temperature for a few hours.
The toppings for my hummus pizza are just suggestions. Depending on the type of hummus you use as a base, this might change your choice of ingredients. Feel free to play with whatever flavors tickle your palate. If you want a vegan version of this pizza, simply omit the cheese. I was rather sparing with it myself because the hummus really adds quite a bit of flare and substance to this filling pizza.
|Recipe by Lisa Turner
Published on October 8, 2012
Homemade pizza smothered with a rich, thick homemade spicy hummus and topped with delicious soft cheeses, marinated portobello mushrooms, jalapeños and olives
Dough recipe makes two 12-inch pizza crusts. Instructions for making one 12-inch pizza below. If making two pizzas, double the toppings.
Suggested toppings for one pizza:
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 oz (8 g) package of yeast
- 3 1/4 cups unbleached white flour or spelt flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup olive oil + more for brushing
- 1 - 2 large portobello mushrooms, marinated and broiled or fried (see below)
- 1 small red onion, sliced into rounds
- 2 - 3 jalapeños, seeds removed and sliced into rounds
- 1 cup fresh grated fontina or mozzarella cheese
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups hummus of your choice
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- chopped fresh parsley
Makes one 12-inch pizza (4 to 8 servings)
Begin by making the dough. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water, making sure the water is "bathtub" warm but not hot. Sprinkle in the yeast and stir gently for about a minute until it dissolves. If the yeast clumps, the water is too cold and the process should be restarted. Let sit in a warm place for 5 minutes or so until you have a smooth beige-colored mixture and a layer of bubbles forms on the surface.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour with the salt and curry powder (if using). Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the yeast-water mixture and olive oil. Mix the ingredients together, beginning in the center and incorporating the flour from the sides of the bowl. Continue until a soft dough is formed.
Lightly flour a large cutting board or wood surface and dust your hands with flour. Knead the dough by pushing it away from you, folding it over, and moving it forward. Rotate the dough and continue. Add some of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour as needed until your dough is no longer sticky — about 5 minutes. Keep kneading for another 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a well-oiled large bowl. Brush the dough with more olive oil and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, after which the dough should have doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings. To marinate the mushrooms, toss together about 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 finely chopped shallot, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste, a few pinches of dried rosemary, and a sprinkle of chipotle powder or chili powder. Let the mushrooms sit in this marinade for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a broiling pan, position on the top rack of your oven, and broil for about 5 minutes. Chop into strips.
(Alternately, you can fry the mushrooms in a skillet over high heat for about 5 to 6 minutes in a tablespoon of olive oil, deglazing the pan with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or tamari sauce.)
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and gently fry the onion rounds for 2 to 3 minutes or until just softened. Toss in the jalapeños and fry for another minute. Set aside.
Prepare a 12-inch vented pizza pan by lightly brushing it with olive oil and sprinkling with a light coating of cornmeal.
To finish the dough, punch it with your fist and divide into two portions. If making one pizza, reserve one of the portions by wrapping in plastic wrap and freezing for later use. Lightly flour a large cutting board or wood surface, and flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough out into a roughly 1/4-inch thick round shape, making sure the edges are slightly thicker than the rest of the dough. Add flour when needed to keep from sticking, and pick up the dough and turn several times to stretch. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and form a ridge around the edges with your hands.
Preheat an oven to 500° and move the rack to the second-from-top position. Brush the dough with olive oil and lightly scatter about 1/4 cup of the fontina or mozzarella cheese over top. Spread with hummus. Scatter the remaining toppings over top, finishing with the rest of the grated cheese, including the Parmesan.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is starting to bubble and the crust is crisp and lightly browned.
Remove from heat and lightly brush the edges of the crust with a little more olive oil. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot or warm with a side salad.
More scrumptious pizza recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Paneer Tikka Pizza on Naan Bread
Mini Toasted English Muffin Pizzas
Mushroom, Ricotta and Asiago Cheese Pizza
On the top of the reading stack: The Turmeric Trail: Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood by Raghavan Iyer
Audio Accompaniment: Minilogue - Drop The Mask Of Self Protection