Buffalo Chicken on Buttermilk Pesto Pizza
Ever want to let someone else make the pizza for a change? Yeah, me too. Sure, there are times when I lay awake plotting what to put on a pizza. But there are also times that I just don't feel like making the effort. I happened upon a Buffalo Chicken Pizza at the grocery store (marked down!) during one of those times, and the flavor was a big hit with the males of the family. Well, the intact males--Simon the pup and Quartz the composting guinea pig did not sample the pizza. TMI?
One of the reasons I'm delighted that my son enjoys Buffalo Chicken is that he consumes celery when he eats it. Since I'm like the simple dog about my regrown celery ("Look! I made FOOD!") I planned to scatter freshly chopped celery leaves over top of any Buffalo chicken pizza I'd ever make. I knew the leaves would a) look pretty and b)
When I decided to make Wheatier Buttermilk Pesto Pizza dough after my success with plain buttermilk dough I was thinking that it would be a good base for Buffalo chicken topping--after all, buttermilk + herbs is close to ranch dressing, amIright? I got a little frou frou with the post production of this pizza (that would be after I pulled it out of the oven, not in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Nothing). My dribbling skills have improved ever so slightly, and I was please not only with the taste but also with the look of this pizza.
Even if you're not The Little Red Hen who grows her own celery and can pop out to harvest the leaves, try this one at home. When you feel up to it, that is. It's delicious.
Buffalo Chicken on Buttermilk Pesto PizzaWheatier Buttermilk Pesto Dough (adapted from this Buttermilk Pizza Dough)
If you've never made pizza dough at home, please refer to my Pizza Primer for photo collages, hints, and tips to make your endeavors successful. It's really fun--and easy once you get the hang of it!
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons prepared pesto (see how I put up my basil crop in pesto, here)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast1 1/3 cups or 5 2/3 ounces bread flour (if this sounds weird, I made a triple batch of dough)
2/3 cup or 2 2/3 ounces whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon vital wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place buttermilk, pesto, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, and allow to hang out together and dissolve while you're getting the rest of the ingredients together. I do pour the buttermilk straight from the fridge, without warming it up, because I figure I'm not really asking the yeast to go bonkers just yet, so if the dough is a little chilly it's OK by me. Add the rest of the ingredients (love my kitchen scale!) and mix with the paddle slowly for a few minutes. Stop and scrape the sides, then mix at a higher speed for a few minutes. Check and see that the dough is forming a ball around the paddle and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. If it's too dry, add a teaspoon of olive oil. Turn down the speed to medium-low and continue mixing a few more minutes. Transfer to an oiled bag or bowl and refrigerate until you're ready to use it. You can also freeze this dough if you're not going to be using it within a week--if so, please label the bag so you know what kind it is. Trust me.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
1 batch Wheatier Buttermilk Pesto Dough (see above)
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot® Sauce (use more if you like)
1/3 cup chopped spring onion (or any mild onion, shallots would also be lovely)
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola (or other blue) cheese
1 cup chopped celery leaves (how I re-grow my celery, here, yes I'm kinda chuffed about it)
1-2 Tablespoons ranch dressing (optional)
On an oiled piece of parchment paper, stretch out dough in a pleasing shape. Brush with olive oil. Set aside. Squirt the Frank's Red Hot® sauce over the chicken and mix well. Scatter chicken and onions evenly across dough. Bake in a 425 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for 5-8 minutes. Shimmy the crust off the parchment, and continue to bake on the bare stone or cookie sheet for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Scatter celery leaves over top, and if you're in the mood, drizzle ranch dressing over the celery leaves. Slice and serve.
This pizza is shared with the From The Farm Blog Hop, the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Tasty Tuesdays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, What's In The Box, What's Cookin' Wednesday, and the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up Pot Luck Party.