Thursday, April 12, 2012

Feeding Friendship: Chard, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza

I was so very excited to see that Veronica's pick for this round of Feeding Friendship was pizza.  We've always made homemade pizza fairly frequently (In fact, I made Pizza Bianca with Balsamic Caramelized Onions for a previous round of Feeding Friendship and have shared pictures of my Kale, Pancetta, and Grape Pizza and  Turkey Pepperoni and Black Olive Pizza as part of my Photo365 project) and over the past several months we have settled into a Friday night pizza and Netflix routine.  I am not a cook who has a go-to list of recipes that I make week in and week out.  In fact, the vast majority of recipes I make - even ones I like - never get made again.  Yet, Geoff and I are both happy to have pizza every week - with unlimited topping options, we never get board.

I've tried a number of different crust recipes, sticking with one until I find something better or easier.  I prefer a thinnish crust - not paper thin, mind you - but I still want it to have some flavor.  The best (in my opinion) way to get flavor into pizza dough is a nice long ferment.  You can get your dough to rise quickly with more yeast and a warm environment, but the flavor just isn't as good.  This long rising time seems like a drawback, but actually it means that you can make your dough in the morning before you leave for work, or even the night before.

This recipe is super quick because it is no-knead - just stir, cover, and leave it for 12 hours or so.  It's been my experience that the wetter the the dough, the more of those great bubbles you get in the crust, so I tend to make sure that this dough is on the wet side when mixed together because as the flour absorbs the water, it will tighten up a bit.  It is still pretty loose when I start to work with it, but I just put down a good amount of flour and it's fine.  I like to work directly on a sheet of parchment so that if the dough sticks, it's not a problem - the whole thing goes in the oven and the bottom browns nicely.

The inspiration for this pizza started with a pizza I liked from the local pizza place in State College.  It was a simple combination of just mashed spice black beans and mozzarella cheese that was served with salsa and sour cream on the side for dipping or smearing.  I decided to pile some more stuff on top, because I can.  I like black beans with sweet potatoes and chard as an enchilada filling and I came across a similar combo at Foodie Bride with the addition of goat cheese.  It was a winner!  The dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas and the extra crust can be rolled out, cooked for about 2 minutes and then frozen.  It should be thawed before being topped and cooked.

If you are in the mood for something different, Holly and I made this Easter Egg pizza last weekend featuring garlic oil, cheese, mushroom walls and eggs cooked right on the pizza for the last 3 minutes.  Let me hear your favorite pizza combos in the comments - I'm always looking for new toppings.

Kale, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Pizza
Serves 4

For the Dough:
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water

For the Pizza:
1 sweet potato, cubed and roasted
1 bunch swiss chard, sliced
4 oz goat cheese
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 can Goya black beans in sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil

1.  Ten to 12 hours before dinner, combine all bread dough ingredients in a large bowl.  The dough will be very loose, this is good. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise at room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 500 with pizza stone on lowest rack for about 30 minutes before cooking pizza.
3. Cook down and mash black beans until they form a thick paste.
4. Saute onion in olive oil until translucent, then add chard and cook just until slightly wilted.
5. Split the dough in two and roll out with plenty of flour.  Cook each crust about 2 minutes before topping one with the black beans (otherwise you can't spread them easily on the soft dough).
6. Top with chard, sweet potato, and goat cheese.  Bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until bottom crust is brown.  Enjoy!

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