Double-Crust Spinach Pizza

My attempt to reproduce a dish I've enjoyed several times on trips to Chicago and Minneapolis. Can be topped with whatever you like, or just with the sauce and cheese as described here.

(Recipe for 12" pan)

bread dough for 1 loaf
8 oz spinach
olive oil
dried basil (~ 2 tsp)
dried oregano (~
1/2 tsp)
dried parsley (~ 2 tbsp)
1/3 kg (3/4 lb) semi-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
tomato sauce (I used Hunt's Rich & Thick)

Let bread dough rise once. Wash spinach and remove coarse stems from it; let drain, then chop coarsely. Oil pizza pan lightly with olive oil. Punch down bread dough, then split it in half; roll each half out to a bit larger than pan. Put bottom crust in pan, hanging over edges. Put spinach in pan; sprinkle with basil, oregano, and parsley, then top with a bit less than half of the cheese. Cover with second crust; roll up edges together and pinch to give a rim for the second layer. Cut a few slits in top crust and press it down gently to squeeze out excess air. Top with tomato sauce and remaining cheese. Let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Bake at 400°F for about 25 minutes, or until cheese is slightly browned. Top crust may puff up during baking if the slits don't stay open, but it should deflate on removal from oven.

 

Bread, 1 loaf

~ 2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1
1/4 c very warm water (~ 40°C, 100°F)
white flour

Combine whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, and sugar; add water, and stir to mix. Add white flour until the dough gets too hard to stir, then put a cup or two of flour on a kneading surface, dump dough on top of this, and knead (adding more flour as necessary) until the dough is rather stiff, quite elastic, and doesn't absorb more flour quickly. Put in covered bowl in a warm place (say, an oven preheated to about 50°C) and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 3/4 hour. Dump onto kneading surface and knead again to squeeze out gas. Let rise again for 5 minutes, then knead again and put into greased pan and let rise again until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes. Optional: add a few tbsp of oil or shortening to the dough (unnecessary when you're making pizza!); add herbs; add sesame or caraway or poppy or sunflower seeds; add oatmeal. Cornmeal is a bad idea since it makes the bread gritty (though it might be okay if the cornmeal was cooked into mush with water, first).

Copyright (C) 1997 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5

jpolowinXYZZy@sympatico.ca but remove the XYZZy it's a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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