Drunken nights downtown in sleezy bars produce weird food cravings. Never in my normal state of mind would I wander into a shady looking pizza place downtown in the city at two in the morning looking to curb my major pizza craving. Normally the fact that said pizza place is overly bright for a place open at two a.m. and serving various meat-topped pizzas under what looks like an inactive warmer while looking quite filthy would turn me off to a restaraunt. But...I'm only human. And while drunk at two a.m. nothing ever tasted so good as the ginormous ceasar salad topped pizza slice I ordered.
It had everything going for it. There wasn't too much sauce or cheese on it. The ceasar salad was slightly wilted from the oven and the dressing, which was probably bottled, just tasted sooo right on a pizza. The crust was thin and slightly greasy, airy, and crunchy all at the same time. I was in love. Naturally, I had to recreate this amazing pizza. And I decided to go with whole wheat. I have to say everything else about this pizza is perfect. The whole wheat variation isn't a keeper, at least not the way I made it. Therefore, I have changed the recipe again to include a mix of whole wheat and white flour. While using whole wheat flour is a bit healthier, it is sooo not worth ruining a spectacular pizza like this. I think that mixing with white flour would still provide a little higher nutrition but retain that pizza-dough taste we all love.
Make this pizza in just 10 easy steps:
1) Make the dough, let rise, divide in half, freeze one, let the other rise a second time
2) Preheat the oven and stretch the dough to size
4) Top with cheeses
5) Bake until golden brown
6) Top with ceasar salad and eat!
Whole Wheat Ceasar Salad Pizza
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast (1 envelope)
1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes with basil
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
4 cups ceasar salad (recipe follows)
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Place the flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Knead at medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a dark place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls. Cover one with plastic wrap, place in a large zip-loc bag, and freeze. Cover the other with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
Shape the dough and transfer to a large cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal or sprayed with non-stick spray. Top with sauce and both cheeses. Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool and top with ceasar salad and more parmesan cheese.
1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2-1 lemon)
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbl anchovy paste
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped finely and seeds removed
Whisk first five ingredients together in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add lettuce and tomato and toss to coat.
Pizza dough adapted from Annie's Eats, Ceasar vinaigrette adapted from Epicurious