Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mexican Black Bean and Spinach Pizza

**This is not a gluten-free recipe and was posted before I eliminated gluten from my diet. Substitute your favorite gluten-free pizza dough for a fabulous pizza.**

Mexican black bean and spinach pizza with whole wheat dough, adapted from Culinary in the Desert
I never make pizza because I always think that it's going to take all day. I'm not really sure why I had this in my head, because this pizza took less time than most of the other things that I've made lately. I spent about 15 min making the dough last night, and 20 min making the pizza (including cooking time). I'm glad this recipe caught my eye and got me over my pizza drought.

Mexican Black Bean and Spinach Pizza (adapted from Culinary in the Desert)

1 6-oz ball whole wheat pizza dough (see recipe below)
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 can black beans (a little over a cup)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup salsa
5 oz spinach
a few dashes of tabasco sauce
1/4 cup grated cheese (I used Havarti because I had some in the freezer, but anything will work)

Take dough out of refrigerator at least an hour before you want to make the pizza. Before you assemble the pizza, preheat oven to 450. Oil the bottom of a baking sheet (but see below for info on baking stone). Pull dough into a very thin circle (about 12" in diameter) and put on baking sheet. Heat oil over medium heat, and saute onion until tender. Add garlic to onion, and saute for 1 min. Combine onion and garlic, beans, cumin, and chili powder and spread on top of dough. Spread salsa evenly over beans. Quickly saute spinach (just until it starts to wilt), and let drain to remove moisture. Spread spinach over salsa. Sprinkle with tabasco, and then sprinkle cheese on top. Bake until dough is nicely browned, about 8-10 min. Serves 2.

You could also use a baking stone, if you happen to have one. In this case, preheat the baking stone and assemble the pizza on the back of a baking sheet or a pizza peel that's been sprinkled with cornmeal (don't oil it). Slide the pizza onto the baking stone once it's assembled.

White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (from 101 Cookbooks)

4 1/2 cups whole white wheat flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups ice cold water

Combine flour, salt and yeast in large bowl. Stir in oil and water, and mix with spoon until all of the flour is incorporated. Knead by hand for 5-7 min until dough is sticky and elastic (I've noticed that it's a lot easier if your hands are wet before you start kneading). You could also use a mixer with a bread hook, if you're lucky enough to have one of those lying around. Put dough on a floured surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and rub with olive oil. Put each ball in a separate ziploc bag and put in refrigerator overnight. Before you use dough, let it sit at room temp for at least an hour. If you're not planning on using dough in the next few days, throw the bags in the freezer instead of the refrigerator (I froze 5 and kept one out for tonight). To thaw dough, put in refrigerator the day before you're planning to use it.

This pizza was very good, and I'm happy that I have more dough in the freezer. The crust was good - definitely a thin crust style with a good simple flavor. What I like most is that the toppings were great and weren't overpowered by cheese. Don't get me wrong - cheese has it's place in some pizza (especially if you're talking about fresh mozzarella on a good Margherita pizza), but it shouldn't overpower the other toppings. Perhaps I would feel differently if massive amounts of cheese didn't make me sick, but who knows.

The only potential problem is that the crust got a little moist from the toppings. To avoid this, I bet that you could use raw spinach and put that down on the dough first to protect the crust from the moisture of everything else. It might also help to cook the dough for a couple of minutes before adding the toppings. I would hate for those with wet bread phobias to avoid this pizza just because of the moisture :).

You can look forward to several more posts about pizza. In fact, I may make it a weekly event, so feel free to tell me about your favorite toppings. I already have several things in mind, but I might as well start making a list!


Anonymous said...

I hybridized your dough recipe with one from Betty Crocker. I substituted very warm water (130 degrees), let the dough rest for 30 minutes, and was ready to make some pizza.

I took your suggestion and baked the top(ing)less pizza for 7 minutes on a baking sheet. After removing and adding the toppings, I returned it directly to the rack and baked about 8 more minutes. The crust ended up having great texture - browned, but not too brown, crunchy without tasting like a cracker. Overall, very good. -AP

Katie said...

I'm glad it worked (and even more glad that you didn't have wet bread)! I may try baking the topless pizza next time, too...

Hallie Fae said...

Wow yum that looks so good!

Katie said...