Pesto-Shrimp Stuffed Crust Pizza

Pizza is usually good in any form, especially when homemade from scratch. Even a basic pepperoni pizza can be a thing of beauty… but when you play with the basic elements, changing the sauce and adding interesting ingredients, pizza can be so much more!

My husband and I *adore* freshly made pesto, and grow a sick amount of basil in our backyard to keep our addiction well supplied. (300 individual plants, at last count!). This recipe caters to both our love of pesto, as well as our love for tons of cheese – it is a definite family favorite. Fancy enough to serve when company is coming over, as well!

1 1/4 cup Warm water
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Yeast
4 cups Flour
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 bag cheese strings, wrappers removed

Pesto Sauce:
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed well
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

Toppings, etc:
1 lb shrimp – deveined, peeled, and cooked
6 oz large portabella mushroom slices
8 oz baby bella slices
Roasted Red Peppers (Optional)
1 cup grated parmesan
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Add honey and yeast to warm water, stir till well blended. Add yeast and stir again. Allow to sit (somewhere warm!) for 10 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 cup flour to yeast mixture, mix till well blended. Add rest of flour, Parmesan cheese, basil, and garlic. Mix well. Dough should ball easily – if it’s too wet, add a bit of flour. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water. Knead for a couple of minutes until smooth and elastic.

Put 1 tbsp olive oil into a large bowl, add dough, flip over to coat. cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.

After one hour, dough should have doubled in size. Punch dough down and allow to rise for another hour or so.

Roll dough out to about 1/4″ thick. I like to do this on a cookie sheet,sprinkled lightly with cornmeal.

Place cheese strings end to end all the way around the crust. Roll edge of crust over the cheese (towards center of pizza) and tuck under to secure. Top with sauce, then half the cheese, and toppings. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Top with remaining cheese, bake another 15 minutes or until crust is done and cheese is bubbly!

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