You will have a hard time not eating this entire pizza. It is absolutely delicious. If you love mediterranean flavors then this is the dish for you. It has a fresh rosemary-thyme-oregano pesto, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, atop a rustic focaccia crust. Many people will argue on what real focaccia should be like, but it really comes down to preference. Some like it fluffy and soft and others like it crispy. Even in Italy you will find many variations in different regions and cities. Just like pizza, there isn’t one way that it can be done delicious, as long as you know what you’re doing and it tastes great. This dough is flavorful, crispy, and yields the best of both. It’s the perfect hybrid.
Make sure to have some Vegan Parmigiano to sprinkle on this.
Yields: 12 slices
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110F)
- 3 cups flour (I used sprouted spelt)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 clove grated garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh and de-stemmed rosemary, thyme, and oregano (or 1 cup fresh basil)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- optional- handful of raw slivered almonds or raw cashews
- 1 thinly sliced sweet potato
- 1-2 thinly sliced tomatoes
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 sprig rosemary for garnish
Mix the yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes to get bubbly. Add the flour, olive oil, sugar, and garlic, and fold it into a dough with your hands. Form it into a ball and place that ball in a large oiled bowl or cookie sheet with a cloth over it, and then stick that into the oven (do not put the oven on) to rise for an hour. Humidity helps with rising, so what I do is boil 4 cups water in a skillet and then place the skillet in the oven underneath the rack in which the dough is rising. The steam will speed up the process. You may have to do this twice in the hour to keep it moist in there.
After an hour, take the dough out and really knead it well this time. Form a rectangle and then fold it in half, and then fold it in quarters, etc, repeating the process for a few minutes. Try to stretch it as much as you can. Get a pan (if you want it thin use a 18 x 13, if you want it thick use a 9 x 13) and stretch the dough into that, pressing it with your knuckles and fingers to move it to the edges until it's even thickness. You don't have to fit the dough to the pan, you could also make a circle from it or use a pie or brownie pan or anything else to get creative. Just note it will rise a little bit during baking. Place that back in the oven to rise for another hour with a cloth over it, and optionally repeat the process with the skillet.
While the dough is rising, make the pesto and fry the onions and sweet potatoes. Mix all the pesto ingredients and blend or pulse well until the herbs a tiny chunks. Fry the onion and sweet potato separately in oil. Make sure they are golden as they will brown more in the oven. Brush the pesto on both sides of the sweet potato and add a tablespoon to the onions.
When the dough has risen after another hour, take it out of the oven and then put the oven on 350F. With a spatula or brush, coat the dough with the pesto generously, and then place the tomatoes (raw sliced) and fried onions and sweet potato atop. You can also sprinkle chili flakes and pepper on top. If you made a thin crust bake it for 10-15 minutes or until it looks golden brown. If you made a thicker crust then it may need 15-20 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, coat it with more pesto.
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