Nothing can compare to homemade pizza! Fresh dough, clean ingredients, as much cheese as you desire, and all straight fresh out from the oven. I really enjoy making pizza, and that is why I had to recreate one of my favorite broccoli pizzas. I reminisce the sbarro pizza I used get from the mall during my high school years. One of my favorite memories would be to go to the mall after school with my mom, shop and get their broccoli pizza.
It might look a bit intimidating to make, but once I started to make it, I realized it wasn’t as intimidating as I had once imagined. You can do anything you put your mind to and don’t let anyone tell you anything different. With the right tools and a little bit of patience and effort, a delicious meal can come out of your oven and into your hungry belly.
I do recommend using a dough mixer to make the dough, but you can also knead with your hands if you don’t have a dough mixer, it will just take a few minutes longer. The dough maker I have and use and absolutely loveee is this Bosch Dough mixer. I purchased my mixer for about several years now, and I am still very much obsessed with it. I did do a lot of research back when I was searching for a mixer and this met all my expectations for a dough mixer, so if you’re in the market for investing in dough mixer, I highly recommend this one.
There are a few things you should know about the broccoli before stuffing it in the pizza. If you don’t mind broccoli being a little bit crunchy, you do not need to steam it before stuffing it into the dough. If you like the broccoli to be very soft, you can steam it beforehand for about 4 minutes, drain it and then prepare to stuff it into the dough. Personally, I have made it both ways and prefer not to steam it because that causes a lot of juices to be released when baking. Another thing you can do it chop the broccoli into smaller pieces so it will bit in between too crunchy and too soft.
One of the more difficult (but worth it) ingredients for this pizza is farmer’s cheese. It is available now in more grocery stores such as Sprouts and Whole Foods, but can be scarce. Always check the expiration date too before purchasing farmer’s cheese. Apparently, too many people don’t farmer’s cheese so it may have been sitting at the grocery store for a while. I like using this ingredient because it is a healthier form of dairy and adds a nice texture to compliment the broccoli. If you have a hard time finding farmer’s cheese, you may simply omit it. Don’t substitute ricotta cheese as they are not the same.
For the yeast, you can use rapid (instant) yeast or active dry yeast for this recipe. I prefer active dry yeast because I prefer the flavor of it compared to instant. Either one is okay. If you use active dry yeast, you have to proof it before baking which simply means adding warm water (not hot) to the yeast beforehand and waiting 5-10 minutes for the yeast to puff up or expand. By warm water I am talking about the temperature between 105-110F. If you are in the market for a food thermometer, this is a good option.
If you’re wondering if you can use store bought dough the short answer is yes, will it taste the same? It won’t taste quite the same, so you can decide what will work best for you. I highly reccomend making the dough yourself if you have some extra time.
This will yield a nice giant size pizza which will feed 3-4 people. So if you are ready to make something delicious, lets dive in and create things!
|Prep Time: 10 minutes + 75 minutes (inactive) for dough to rise||Bake Time: 30-35 minutes|
|Serves: 3-4||Total Time: 2 hours|
For the dough
4 cups flour (either all purpose or bread flour will work, I used this one)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (my absolute favorite)
1 1/2 cups warm water (around 105-110F) reserve 1 tbsp from this water separately
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil to coat a large bowl
1 tbsp raw or toasted sesame seeds
1 egg for egg wash (which is just 1 beaten egg, yolk and egg white)
For the broccoli filling
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup farmers cheese
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
pinch of salt and pepper to taste
*Optional– 1 cup roughly chopped spinach
1. To make the dough, add 1 tbsp of the reserved warm water with the active dry yeast, gently stir and set aside for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast puffs up. (Skip this step if using rapid yeast)
2. In a dough mixer or a large bowl, add flour, the remaining warm water, salt and the puffed up yeast mixture. If using a dough mixer, set the mixer to medium for about 5-6 minutes, taking breaks in between to scrape off any dough from the sides of the bowl.
*If kneading by hand, knead all of the ingredients mentioned above with your hands on a clean surface for about 10 minutes until the dough comes together and shape into a large ball.
3. Once your dough stops sticking to the sides of the dough mixer, your dough is ready to be shaped into a ball and transferred into a large bowl coated with avocado or olive oil. Your dough should be slightly sticky at this point, if it is still too sticky, add 1 tbsp of flour at a time into your dough mixer until it stops being too sticky.
4. Place the dough into the oil coated large pan and cover with saran wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft free area of the house for 1 hour and 30 minutes. * I place it inside my oven making sure the oven is turned off.
1. Chop broccoli into 1 inch size chunks or desired size and place into a large bowl.
2. Add farmers cheese, crumbled feta cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and spinach if you choose. Stir until well combined, cover and refrigerate until dough is ready.
Stuffing the dough
1. Preheat oven to 500F
1. Once your dough has rested for 1 hour and 30 minutes, remove from bowl and flatten it out to make room for the broccoli filling.
2. Add all of the broccoli filling to the center of the flattened dough, and pull the edges of the dough up and towards the center making a what should look like a large dumpling. *See picture
3. Pinch and seal the dough you brought to the center and flatten it down with the palm of your hand.
4. Begin gently flattening until a nice round shape is formed. Using a fork, poke holes on the pizza.
5. Brush egg wash all over the pizza and evenly sprinkle the sesame seeds.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the surface of the pizza is a nice golden brown color.
Pat yourself on your shoulder for all your hard work, sit back, and enjoy the most delicious pizza ever!
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