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Pesto Caprese Pizza made with a simple dough that’s ready to bake in just 10-minutes, making pizza night the easiest night of the week!
We love Pizza Night at Casa de Crews; usually on a Friday – sometimes Saturday, we’ll make pizza and live on leftovers for the weekend. We like to play around with the toppings and dough. Some weeks we’ll load them up on naan bread. Some weekends, I’ll make pizza using spelt flour or whole wheat flour.
No matter what kind of pizza dough you make, you’ll always need yeast when you’re making homemade pizza at home. And until recently, I didn’t know that instant yeast was a thing, but it is! And it saves a ton of time when making pizza night happen.
There’s a reason why you don’t see a ton of baking recipes here. It’s because quite frankly, I am bad at it. Or rather, I don’t have the patience. I like baking, but it usually takes me several attempts to get it right, and who has time for that (unless of course, you’re a food blogger and then you have to make the time).
I tell you this so you know that when I say this Pesto Caprese Pizza is easy to make and very hard to mess up, I mean it. And a big part is because of Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast
My Pesto Caprese Pizza recipe is so easy to make, that once you master the dough (which takes no time at all), you will want to host pizza night for friends and family all the time. And everyone will be super impressed with you because it was homemade and not delivery or frozen.
Plus, when you make homemade pizza at home, you know exactly what is in it!
How to make homemade pizza dough
First, it all starts with a good yeast. I used Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast . Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast only has a rise time of 10 minutes – after you’ve spent four minutes kneading (which is oddly therapeutic) and one minute stirring. Then you bake for 12-15 minutes. This all comes together in less than 30-minutes! We can enjoy homemade pizza in less time than it would take to order.
This is mostly because Fleischmann’s® has 150 years in this business, producing quality yeast recipes that you’re proud to serve from your kitchen. And I am so proud to serve this Pesto Caprese Pizza to my friends and family. You will definitely notice the difference in taste and texture when baking with yeast, and I hope that you try it for yourself.
How to make sure your pizza dough rises
- Make sure your yeast isn’t expired. This is the number one reason that yeast doesn’t rise.
- Another reason yeast doesn’t rise is because you’ve killed off the yeast by using water that is way too hot. You’ll want to add water heated to 120˚F-130˚F and use a thermometer to check the temperature. You don’t need a fancy thermometer to test the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, just know that the water should be lukewarm, not hot. Water shouldn’t be cold either, yeast won’t activate.
How to make a Pesto Caprese Pizza
I just love the freshness from ripe tomatoes that burst in the oven with creamy burrata and sweet, fresh basil. You can swap burrata for mozzarella and the flavor is just as good.
Most caprese pizza recipes do not call for a sauce or pesto. You just enjoy the earthy flavors together with melty, gooey cheese. And really, what isn’t to love about that!? But adding a generous schmear of pesto as a base, ups the flavor of this classic caprese pizza, and brings it to a whole new level.
You can make your own pesto in advance or buy store-bought. There’s no judgement here – whatever works best for your pizza night will do! After your Pesto Caprese Pizza bakes for 12-15 minutes, add fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately. And the leftovers are even better – Just like most Italian recipes!
other pizza recipes you’ll love
Pesto Caprese Pizza
- 1-3/4 to 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 envelope Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2/3 cup very warm water (120 degrees to 130 degrees Fahrenheit
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce - homemade or store bought
- 8 ounces burrata or mozzarella cheese, torn
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved - can also use 1/2 cup roma tomatoes, sliced
- handful of fresh basil, torn into pieces
- grated parmesan cheese, to top - optional
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- To make the pizza dough, combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead** on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Let dough rest at this point for 10 minutes.
- While dough is resting, slice or half tomatoes, and tear cheese and basil. Set aside.
- After dough is done resting, pat it with floured hands to fill greased pizza pan or baking sheet. OR roll dough on a floured counter to 12-inch circle; place in greased pizza pan or baking sheet. Form a rim by pinching the edge of the dough.
- Using a spoon, spread pesto all around the dough leaving room for the crust. Top with the torn burrata or mozzarella and halved cherry tomatoes.
- Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.
- Remove from oven and top with freshly torn basil, and parmesan cheese. Cut into 6-8 slices and serve immediately.