Caprese Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

This recipe is a bit long (because it is actually 3 recipes), so I am not going to spend a whole lot of time chit chatting about the week… not that much has been going on anyways. This is my first attempt at a pizza made completely from scratch. I’m pretty happy with the results. Caprese pizza… a pizza based on my favorite salad… on a delicious piece of bread. How can you go wrong?

First let’s start with the crust. I made this a couple hours in advance. Here are the crust ingredients…

Simple right? The recipe I used said to use “bread” flour, but when I googled it “they” said it was fine to use all purpose as a substitute. So for this time I used all purpose. I might try the bread flour some other time to see what the difference is.

So first I stirred together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl.

I really need some more colorful mixing bowls. These white ones are boring in pictures. I guess they get the job done though.

Next I added the water. I used my hand to mix the dough up, but you can use a spoon if you prefer. I enjoy the messy involved in cooking. So many interesting textures. Just wash your hands!

Now once it was all mixed, I covered the cough and let the dough rise at room temperature.

2 hours later…

This recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas, so I cut it in half and froze the other half for next week.

Then I oiled up a baking sheet and stretched out my dough for my pizza.

When it was about time to cook, I started on my balsamic reduction sauce first so that I could have enough time for it to thicken. I probably should’ve started it earlier though because it didn’t really thicken to what I wanted it to. It was still delicious though! Here are the sauce ingredients…

This part is really easy. I combined all of my ingredients, brought them to a boil, and then reduced my heat to a low simmer. You are supposed to do this till it gets thick and syrupy, but I didn’t start the sauce in time enough for when the pizza was done, so we just topped it with the thinner sauce. Again, still delicious. Next time, I might make this in advance and just store it in the fridge for when I want to use it.

Finally, I got to start topping the pizza once the sauce was on the stove thickening. Here are my pizza ingredients…

I halved my tomatoes. And chiffonaded my basil. See my Herb Garden Green Bean post if you don’t know what a chiffonade is.

Then I layered my pizza with the halved tomatoes.

I then shredded my mozzarella and put it on my pizza as well.

I baked the pizza for about 16 minutes on 425 degrees. Once done, I topped it with my basil.

I cut it into pieces and then we added the balsamic sauce. It. was. awesome.

Again, I wish my sauce my sauce had more reduced, but i didn’t start early enough. My advice is do the sauce in advance and just store in the fridge until you need it.

This recipe comes from three different blogs. I got the pizza idea from the blog, Gimme Some Oven, but when I think “caprese” I think of balsamic vinegar… so I wanted to add a balsamic topping to it. After some research, I found the the Balsamic Glaze recipe on the blog, Cooking with Michele, and I got the crust recipe from the blog, Shutterbean. I chose her crust recipe because it sounded so simple (and it was!) but it is still homemade.

Here are the recipes…

No Knead Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

Makes: enough dough for two pies baked in 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheets

✔3 3/4 cups bread flour (I used all purpose, but might try bread flour next time)
✔2 1/2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
✔3/4 teaspoon table salt
✔3/4 teaspoon sugar
✔1 1/3 cups water
✔extra virgin olive oil for pan

Directions:

In a bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water, and using a spoon, your hand, or a baker’s plastic bench scraper, mix together until blended — this should take a couple of minutes.

Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Dump out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Use both pieces, or save one in the refrigerator (use a zip lock bag) for up to 1 day. Oil a 13×18 inch rimmed baking sheet liberally with good extra virgin olive oil. Then gently plop the dough on the pan and stretch and press it out to the edges. If it springs back wait five minutes and then proceed. The dough is very thin. If it tears, piece it back together.

Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:

✔1 cup balsamic vinegar (doesn’t have to be expensive brand)
✔2 tablespoons brown sugar
✔1 tablespoon soy sauce

Directions:

Combine vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Allison’s tip: I might do this in advance next time and just store in fridge until I am ready to use it. My glaze didn’t thicken in just 20 minutes.

Caprese Pizza

Ingredients:

✔1 pizza crust, either homemade or storebought
✔2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (**see note below**)
✔fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
✔handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces or julienned

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (or the temperature specified on your pizza crust, if storebought).

Lay your pizza crust on a floured work surface.  Lay the halved tomatoes evenly across the crust.  Top with your desired amount of mozzarella cheese.

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.  (Or you can bake it on a pizza stone, following the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking temperatures/times.)  Remove pizza and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.  Garnish with the torn fresh basil and serve immediately.

Ali’s Tip (From Gimme Some Oven): This is also great with roma or large tomatoes sliced into 1/8″ thin circles, layered across the top of the pizza.

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