Introduction

I guess it is common knowledge that pizza is the ultimate ‘fridge cleaner’ solution. It works well with all vegetables and meats (maybe not a lamb shank lol). Cheese and tomato sauce makes everything taste better! Here, I use some squash, zucchini, pepper and a bit of bacon for an extra treat. Tasty and different!

Materials

For the pizza dough
  • 240g bread flour
  • 7g of dried yeast (one packet)
  • 180ml of warm water
  • 1x tablespoon of granulated or caster sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
For the topping
  • ½ squash, cut into 1cm half-moons (200g weight once baked at 200oC for 20min)
  • 1-1 ½ medium zucchini, cut into 0.5cm rounds (200g weight once baked at 200oC for 20min)
  • 1x bell pepper or 1x Romano pepper red, cut into 0.5cm thin slices
  • 1x tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 3x rashers of smoked bacon, cut into squares
  • 3x garlic gloves, crushed
  • 120g grated cheese, (mix of Cheddar/Red Leicester and Parmesan)
  • 50g ketchup
  • Salt

You can omit bacon for a vegetarian version!

Method

Warm up the water in a small bowl in the microwave (approx. 20-30sec). You want it to be lukewarm. If it is too hot, it is going to kill the yeast. Add ½ tablespoon of sugar and the yeast, mix and leave at room temperature for 10min until bubbly.

In the meantime, put the flour in a bowl of a mixer, together with the salt and the rest of the sugar (1/2 tablespoon) and attach the dough hook on the mixer. After the 10minutes, add the yeast mix in the flour mix and knead on low speed for one minute. Then turn up the speed to medium for about 2min or until the dough comes together (it will be sticky). Take the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and hand knead until smooth. Form a ball and place it in a large bowl greased with olive oil. Cover with cling film and let rise until it doubles in size for about an hour (depending on how warm your house is). I would also cover the bowl with tea towels or even a small blanket 🙂

In the meantime, place the sliced squash and zucchini into one large, or a couple of smaller baking trays, lined with baking paper. Add some salt and olive oil, toss to combine evenly. Bake at 200oC/fan for 10min for the zucchini and 20min for the squash until just tender. When done, remove the vegetables from the oven and set aside to cool. Turn up the heat to 230oC/fan.

Pre-bake your vegetables to avoid soggy bottoms!

Ιn a separate bowl make the tomato sauce by mixing the chopped tomatoes, the garlic and ketchup and set aside.

When the dough is proofed, it’s time for rolling.  For this one, a rolling pin without guides would be better for a thin pizza. Oil a large baking tray (or a pizza stone but I don’t have one so wouldn’t know if you should oil it lol) and roll the dough into the same size. Transfer it into the tray – it might shrink in the process so try to stretch it with your fingers to reach as close to the corners as possible. Then pour over the tomato sauce and distribute evenly. On top of that I usually put the cheese, the vegetables and the bacon but the order is not essential.

Bake for 20min until the dough and vegetables are cooked through.

Discussion-Conclusion

Like the quiche tart recipes, pizza is a nice way to make something out of nothing. I happened to have some vegetables lying around and I thought why not try making a pizza? The tricky bit is the moisture within the vegetables. If you don’t pre-bake them, this water will be released onto the pizza dough and you will end up with a soggy bottom. I have tried this recipe without pre-baking the zucchini before and the extra water was obvious immediately after I took the pizza out of the oven. It was not a major disaster though and still completely edible! However, here I recommend to bake them twice, first not all the way through before they go on the pizza dough to avoid pools of water. It is delicious!

References-Inspirations

For the pizza dough recipe: https://preppykitchen.com/spring-pizzas/

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