Homemade Pesto Chicken Pizza

I’ve had my Kitchenaid artisan mixer for a few years now, and have to admit I don’t use it as often as I would like. When it does finally make an appearance on my kitchen counter, I go on about how much easier it makes my life and then swear to take it out more often. But then what happens? It sits in it’s sad little box for another few months before I feel bad for it again. But have you seriously ever lifted one of those things? If you haven’t learned the hard way to lift with your legs, you could be down and out in a matter of seconds. It is ridiculously heavy!

However, moving on. I really wanted to try making homemade pizza dough (have previously been buying the store bought variety) and it was brought to my attention that the Kitchenaid comes with a dough hook! You know that weird attachment you could use as part of a pirate costume? And I don’t have a bread maker or anything crazy like that, so I thought I should give it a shot. So glad I did. I even managed to find the users manual all these years later with an easy enough recipe. Goodbye Boboli !

Crusty Pizza Dough
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm water (it says 105 F – 115 F, but I just used almost hot water from the tap, but be careful because if its too hot it will kill the yeast)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 – 3 1/3 cups of flour (I used 3)
1 tbsp of cornmeal (I didn’t use it because my pizza pan has holes in it, as you will see below)

Topping
1 small chicken breast, baked and then diced
Pesto – however much you want for desired taste (I used about 3 tbsp)
Spinach, shredded
1/3 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup of cheddar, grated

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl (I didn’t know how to achieve this so I stuck it in a preheated oven for a few minutes and it worked just fine). Add salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Switch to speed 2 for about a minute. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time on speed 2 until the sides of the bowl is cleaned, about 2 minutes. Mix on speed 2 for another 2 minutes.

Grease a large bowl, and place dough in it. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it doubles in size. While the dough rises prep your veggies or whatever you may be using as a topping. This is when I baked the chicken and grated the cheese etc. Once the dough has risen, flatten it with your fist.

Brush a 14 inch pizza pan with oil. I’m sure you could use something smaller or larger, only the thickness of the crust will change. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it reaches the size of your pan. Add toppings and bake at 450 F for 15 – 20 minutes.

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