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November 18, 2013

COBB SALAD PIZZA WITH HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH

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Cobb salad on a pizza is amazing! Homemade pizza topped with ranch dressing, chicken, ham, bacon, cheese lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and eggs is a meal on a slice!

Cobb Salad Pizza with Homemade Pizza Dough
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This recipe stemmed from my desire to make pizzeria style pizza crusts; the kind that the House of Pizza around the corner makes. These crusts are thin in the middle but puffy around the edges, light and airy on the inside yet crusty and chewy on the outside. I have wanted to try the Thin Crust Pizza recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for a while and finally decided to do so. I’m so glad I did, because it yields exactly the kind of crust I wanted with the texture and taste I desired.

Cobb Salad Pizza with Homemade Pizza Dough Crust View

I did not use the sauce recipe provided but opted for a two tier salad-topped approach. The crust is baked with ranch dressing, ham, chicken, and cheese. It is then topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, hard boiled eggs, bacon, and more ranch dressing. Delicious and purty!

This crust is not complicated, but be sure you plan ahead. It requires at least 24 hours to rise in the refrigerator (I find a minimum of 48 hours produces better results). The recipe advises to leave the dough at room temperature for an hour before forming crusts; it makes the dough more workable and keeps its shape. From my personal experience, I find that it can take up to 2 hours to get the dough to this state. Finally, when ready to serve, I would advise to make square slices as they are easier to cut and provide better support for the topping over triangular ones.

Cobb Salad Pizza with Homemade Pizza Dough

Whether or not you want to try this dough recipe is up to you. It’s perfectly fine to use ready-made dough. However, I do hope you try the Cobb salad topping. The bottom meaty and cheesy layer alone is delicious, but  the salad topping makes it extra special.

Cobb Salad Pizza with Homemade Pizza Dough Slice View


COBB SALAD PIZZA WITH HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH
CRUST RECIPE FROM AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN




INGREDIENTS:

Crust:
3 cups (16.5 oz.) bread flour, plus more for work surface
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for work surface
1 1/2 tsp. table salt

Topping:
8 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
5 cups shredded lettuce
4 hard boiled eggs, diced
1 1/3 lb. (about 1 cup) deli ham diced to 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/3 lb. (about 1 cup) deli chicken, diced to 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/4 cup ranch dressing 
1/4 cup cornmeal for work surface



INSTRUCTIONS:

To make dough, place flour, yeast, and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process the mixture for a few seconds to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour water through the feed tube until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains. This should take about 10 seconds.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

With the machine on, add oil and salt through the feed tube and process until a sticky ball forms and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 30 to 60 seconds. Dough should be satiny.

Move dough to a lightly oiled countertop and knead until smooth, about1 minute. Shape dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

To bake the pizza, remove dough from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before baking. Divide in half. Shape into tight balls and place at least 3 inches apart on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F one hour before baking. Place the pizza stone on rack positioned 4 to 5 inches below the broiler (see note below).  

To form crust, generously coat 1 ball and countertop with flour. Use fingertips to flatten dough into 1 inch discs leaving a 1 inch outer edge that is slightly thicker than the center. Use hands to gently stretch disc into 12 inch rounds, working along the edges. Use quarter turns while stretching.  

Dust a rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. If not available, flip baking sheet over so that the underside is facing up, then dust. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup ranch dressing on dough, avoiding outer edges. Add half of ham and half of chicken, followed by half of mozzarella cheese. Slide pizza onto the pizza stone. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway. Remove and cool slightly on wire rack.

Using half of the topping ingredients, build the salad layer. Sprinkle on lettuce, followed by tomatoes, eggs, avocado, and bacon. Drizzle with about 1/3 cup of ranch dressing.  

Repeat for second pizza.  Makes 2 pizzas.


Note:
I find that my cheese browns more quickly than the dough when baking. Placing my pizza stone on the upper level of the oven overcooks the cheese before the crust is done. I place my baking stone on the lower half of my oven.  



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