Basil Pesto Pizza Dough Recipe

When used in the dough, basil pesto creates a moist, flavorful alternative to the basic pizza dough recipe. You can also use this dough in small twisted strands to make flavorful breadsticks.

(Makes two 14- to 16-inch (36 – 41 cm) rounds)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups (355 ml) warm water (about 110′F to 115′F (43′C – 46′C));
  • 1 (1/4 ounce (7 g)) package active dry yeast;
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) sugar;
  • 3 1/2 cups (385 g) all-purpose flour;
  • 1/2 cup (38 g) semolina flour;
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) basil pesto (see recipe here);
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt;
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) olive oil.

Preparation

Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in large mixing bowl, then stir to combine and dissolve the yeast. Set aside until foamy on top, about 5 minutes. To the yeast mixture, add 1 1/2 cups (165 g) flour, semolina, basil pesto, and salt. Mix by hand using a wooden spoon until smooth. Add an additional 1 cup (11o g) flour, working it into the dough thoroughly until incorporated but dough is still sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead in remaining 1 cup (110 g) of flour. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth but still sticky, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Coat a large mixing bowl with oil, place the dough into the bowl, and turn to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free area to double in size, about 1 to 1 1/2  hours. Punch down the dough, divide into two equal portions, form into balls, and store in airtight bags or use according to recipe.

(For pizza sticks)

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Stretch dough to a thin rectangular shape measuring about 12″ x 9″ (31 x 23 cm). Using a pizza cutter, cut 1/2″ x 12″ (1.5 x 30 cm) strips from the dough. Working with strips, press firmly down on one end and twist the other until the strip is in a spiral formation. Place twists on a nonstick baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, or grated Parmesan cheese, or a combination of seasonings. Bake at 400°F (2oo°C) for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from sheet and let cool on wire rack. Serve warm with tomato sauce, pesto, or herb-infused oils.