Pizza Caprese with Garlic Focaccia Crust

I.Love.Bread. I could never cut it out of my diet – how boring would that be? A life with no bread is a sad thought 😉 I didn’t care all that much for it before I started making my own though. It makes such a difference and I’m so happy that I have my KitchenAid standing mixer to do all the grunt work. It is the most expensive toy in my kitchen arsenal, but it also gets the most use out of all my appliances. It opened up a whole new word of recipes for me and my family and I couldn’t be more excited!
Verdict: More cheese next time according to M – but I’ll have to agree. Also, I need to turn the heat up on the oven – I set it to 475 because 550 is scary-hot. We all enjoyed the flavor and the rosemary wasn’t over-powering at all. I thought the garlic flavor would come through more, but that wasn’t too strong either. M also mentioned that this dough would make tasty sandwich bread, so I’ll have to make that sometime soon for him. I’m pretty happy with how this came out, which is always a great outcome when I try something completely different for my family. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Pizza Caprese with Garlic Focaccia Crust – adapted from goodLife(eats)
For the Crust –
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 c warm water
  • 6 c flour, divided
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 8 cloves chopped garlic
Toppings –
  • Olive oil
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Fresh Basil, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh Mozzarella

Directions:

Combine yeast and water; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and salt. Stir 4 c flour, garlic, and rosemary in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 50 minutes. Dough will be spongy.

Sprinkle remaining 2 c flour onto a flat surface. Turn dough out onto floured surface, and knead until flour is incorporated into dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 550 degrees F with a pizza stone on a rack in the top 1/2 of the oven. Return to the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes.

Divide dough into quarters. On a floured surface (I like to use a pizza peel or a sheet of parchment so I can easily transfer the pizza to the stone in the oven). Roll each portion out into rounds just under 1/2 an inch thick. Using fingertips dimple the dough all over.

Brush each crust with 1 tablespoon olive oil all over. Grate 2 tablespoons of asiago on each pizza. Top with a handful of sliced fresh basil and halved cherry or grape tomatoes. Top with chunks of fresh mozzarella.

Transfer pizza to the pizza stone in the oven. Bake at 550 degrees F for 9-12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: If you don’t intend to use the full amount of dough, divide it after the second rise and place the extra in a gallon sized zip top bag in the refrigerator. Use the dough within 48 hours. Punch it down and proceed with forming the crust rounds.