Homestyle Meditarranean Pizza (Bread Machine Method)
Here I was, just browsing the social media, you know just minding my own business, checking to make sure that I didn’t miss anything important, when I see Flatbread from Olga’s Flavor Factory… and OMG it looked so good! It’s been months since I used my bread making machine because I put it up high on the shelf and honestly, have been too lazy to get it down, but seeing her flatbread had me running to get it. I love how easy things are with the bread maker, you just pile things in, little over an hour later you get yourself a nicely kneaded dough ready to take on the world any topping you wish! I really went all out this time with my toppings, I mean we’ve got Baby Tomatoes, Olives, Spinach, Roasted Garlic, Chicken, Bacon, Feta, and if that wasn’t enough I put some caramelized onion in there as well. Did I mention that the white ‘sauce’ creates a nice and juice pillow for all the toppings? I am telling you, the pizza was out of this world!
You definitely don’t have to pile your pizza with that many toppings. Simple – tomato+basil+mozzarella (Margherita), chicken+roasted garlic, olives+feta+tomatoes (vegetarian), or a traditional topping of pepperoni’s on top would do just fine. Also, you can make one big pizza and have it served by slices, or make individual pizza’s like I did and sprinkle each one with a different topping of choice. This whole ‘pizza for dinner’ idea is so versatile that any way you slice it, it’s a winner!
High water content of the dough yields for a fluffy, slightly chewy crust
So let’s see how it’s done…
First you want to work on getting the dough into the bread machine.
For this, combine 2 1/2 cups warm water, 1/2 Tbsp yeast, 1 tsp salt & 1 Tbsp sugar and stir to combine.
Leave for 5-8 minutes to proof. The yeast will rise slightly.
Now add 4 1/2 cups flour and 1 tbsp room temperature butter.
Now add the egg. (I forgot to add it when I was adding the flour, so I added it after the cycle was already started)
Turn your Breadmaker to ‘dough cycle’ that has 2 rises, instead of 1. Mine was 1 hour 30 minutes.
Allow the machine to knead the dough. At the end of the cycle the dough will be pretty sticky and slightly runny.
Take 2 heads garlic and slice the top off, revealing the cloves.
Sprinkle with salt.
Wrap in foil and place in preheated to 350F oven. Bake for 40 minutes.
Once roasted, carefully open the foil allowing the steam to escape. Let cool.
Now squeeze the garlic out of the shell by starting to squeeze from the closed end and allow the garlic to slip out. Set aside.
While the dough is rising work on your toppings.
First, cut the bacon lengthwise.
Now chop it into little cubes.
Render bacon over medium heat, until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Discard the fat. Wipe the skillet.
Now on the same chopping board chop 1 medium onion into cubes.
Sautee in 1 Tbsp oil, until golden in color. Then remove with a slotted spoon, but save the oil.
Butterfly the chicken breast, by cutting into 2 thinner pieces. Season on both sides with chicken seasoning, or use garlic powder, salt & black pepper.
Brown chicken on both sides, in a hot skillet with leftover oil, over medium high heat.
Allow to cool, then slice into thin pieces and sprinkle with seasoning (w/o salt) if desired.
Make the ‘white sauce’. Combine 1 cup cream cheese (8 oz) with 1 cup milk and smooth/mix both together with a whisk or a spoon.
Add 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt & black pepper. Stir to combine.
Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces. Set them to rest for 2-3 minutes.
Oil your hands and stretch each dough ball to about 5-6 inches across. Spread 2 Tbsp of the white sauce.
Place a couple of chicken pieces on top.
Sprinkle some bacon.
Now the roasted garlic chunks.
Next the caramelized onion.
Sprinkle with 2-3 Tbsp of cheese, or however much you would like, I went easy on the cheese, for the sake of saving some calories. I used combination of 2 cheeses – mozzarella & medium cheddar, but you can put whatever cheese you like best. Next place tomato halves, chopped olives and leaves of spinach. If you’re really afraid of burning the spinach leaves, put them first, then sprinkle the cheese on top, and continue with olives and tomatoes. If at this point you leave the pizza for 15 minutes to rise, it will give you a fluffier, so it’s recommended, but not mandatory.
Bake in a 425F preheated oven, in the lower half of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until both the bottom and the top are golden in color. Now serve and Enjoy!
Homestyle Meditarean Pizza (Bread Machine Method)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg
- 4.5 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 8 oz package or cream cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2-5 heads garlic
- 2 chicken breasts butterflied
- Chicken seasoning or 1 tsp garlic powder, salt & pepper
- 1 cup baby tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup olives pitted, cut in half
- 1 medium onion chopped, sauteed
- 5 bacon slices chopped & rendered
- 1/2 cup Feta crumbled
- 2 cups spinach
- 3-4 cups shredded cheese (Mozzarella or any other you like)
- To make the Dough:
- In the bowl of a mixer or that of the Breadmaker combine warm water, yeast, salt & sugar. Stir. Allow to sit undisturbed for 5-8 minutes, until slightly puffed up .
- Add the egg, all purpose flour & butter. If using a mixer, knead on lowest setting for 5 minutes, then increase it up to the next speed and knead for another 20 minutes. Then cover and leave undisturbed in a draft free, warm place for 1 hour to rise. If using a bread maker set the cycle to 'dough cycle'.
- Cut the top off the garlic heads revealing the cloves. Sprinkle with salt, wrap in foil & bake in oven @350F for 35-40 minutes. Once roasted, remove from oven, let cool, squeeze out of the skin and set aside.
- Cut bacon lengthwise, then chop into small pieces. Render over medium heat in a skillet until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Discard fat. Wipe skillet with paper towel.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons oil to skillet, add chopped onion and sauté until golden in color. Remove with a slotted spoon to a separate dish. Reserve oil.
- Butterfly chicken by cutting it lengthwise into two thinner pieces. Season with chicken seasoning, or garlic, salt & pepper on both sides. Brown in preheated skillet on both sides, until golden. Remove. Let cool enough to handle. Cut into slices. Set aside.
Make 'white sauce'
- Combine cream cheese and milk in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add seasoning. Stir. Set aside.
Shape and make your pizzas
- Once the dough cycle is complete, punch down the dough. Divide into 8-9 pieces and let rest.
- Turn oven to 425F. Set the rack to the lower half of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil.
- Stretch the dough into a 5-6 inch circle. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the white sauce.
- Place some chicken on top of the white sauce, then follow with chunks of garlic, sautéed onion, bacon bits, cheese, tomatoes, olives & spinach. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until top and bottom are golden in color. Serve right away or refrigerate and reheat in oven (at 350 for 6-7 minutes).
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Bon Appetite & Happy Pinning!