Some think that making pizza at home is time-consuming and never turns out as good as the commercial one. After trying this pizza recipe, I guarantee you will no longer order it out. I will also share with you the routine of how to make it without interfering with your busy life. In this specific recipe, I will show you how to top it with crunchy kale, which gives it a lovely texture. Let’s get to it and learn how to make this pizza with kale topping.
The secret to making a great pizza dough
Pizza dough is more like bread dough. It has to be soft inside with a crunchy crust. Throughout the years, I tried several dough recipes, but I never landed on the perfect one (for me). Then I started experimenting and playing with ingredients until I reached the perfect combination. The conclusion was there are three important elements to get a great pizza dough, and that is semolina flour, a long resting time, and good hydration.
Why semolina flour?
Semolina flour, also called durum flour, is made out hard wheat. It has higher protein and gluten content than white flour. Semolina starch has a great ability to hold its shape and absorbs more water than white flour. Semolina is mostly used to make different pastas.
Using all-purpose flour and semolina when making pizza dough will result in a soft yet sturdy dough that is easy to work with. After baking, the texture will be airy and crunchy, just like a good baguette.
Long resting time
In today’s world, everyone seems to be in a hurry. Unfortunately, good homemade bread needs a long resting time. This will allow the gluten to stretch and be able to hold air pockets. When making pizza dough or bread dough, avoid using too much yeast to speed up the rising process. It is best to make the dough ahead of time and use very little yeast.
You can mix the dough in the morning and leave it to rise all day long. When you are done with your errands in the evening, you can make your pizza in no time. I usually make pizza on Sundays, where I prepare the dough around mid-day, and it will be ready for dinner at 7 pm.
The hydration of the dough
Hydration of the bread dough is the ratio of water to flour. A stiff dough, such as bagels, uses a 50-60% hydration ratio. That means it needs a lot of kneading to reach a homogenous texture and develop the gluten. Most bread dough recipes use a 60-70% hydration ratio. This results in a softer dough with some stickiness to it, with significant proofing volume.
How to bake the pizza?
Baking good bread requires a high oven temperature. To properly imitate the brick oven, set yours to the highest temperature you are comfortable with. My oven has a roasting setting, which is a great option. I turn it on before I start forming the pizza and set it to 450F (225c). The high temperature allows the dough to rise quickly and form air pockets.
Should I use a pizza stone?
Using a pizza stone is another way to imitate the brick oven. You place it inside the oven and allow it to heat up before sliding the pizza into it. The stone helps create a crunchy crust and also allows the dough to rise quickly. However, not having a pizza stone should not prevent you from making a great pizza. Instead, use a perforated pizza pan as it ensures even heat distribution.
How to get a crunchy kale topping?
For the best kale topping, use curly kale. It holds its shape considerably after cooking. Using homegrown kale is even better. After cleaning the kale thoroughly, use a towel or a salad spinner to dry it from excess water.
Since kale cooks fast, it is best to cook the pizza partially before topping it with the kale. I also recommend putting all the toppings, including the cheese, first and leave the kale last. Use your hands to tear the leaves apart and place them on the pizza.
Homemade Pizza with Kale Topping
For the pizza dough
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar or honey
- 1 cup fine semolina flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 14 oz tomato sauce
- 1 lb curly kale
- 2 cups grated cheese
Make the dough
- In a bowl of a stand mixer pour water, yeast, sugar, and semolina. Then mix well to dissolve the yeast.
- Then add in the flour and salt, then start mixing to make form the dough. Depending on your flour, you may need more or less than three cups. The dough should be soft and a bit sticky.
- While kneading drizzle the olive oil over it. Keep kneading until the oil is absorbed.
- Cover the dough and allow it to proof for a few hours. You can also make it overnight.
- Preheat oven at 450F (220C)
- Clean and dry the kale using a salad spinner or a clean towel.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions. On a lightly floured surface and using your fingers press on the ball from the center outward to form the pizza.
- Place the disc on the baking pan, then sprinkle a little bit of grated cheese.
- Spread eough tomato sauce to cover the surface.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and pre-bake for 8 minutes.
- Brign out the pizza then sprinkle the cheese over it then the kale.
- Put back in the oven and bake for 3-5 minutes more.
- You can add any topping of your choice.
- Using fresh mozzarella gives the pizza a more authentic look and taste.