During our undergrad degree, every Friday Nels and I would shop for groceries and order a stuffed spinach pizza to go from a local pizza place in Reno. Then we would go home, put away the groceries and enjoy our pizza with a cold beer. When we moved to Las Vegas to complete our Dietetic Internships we couldn’t find a good replacement pizza. So, we had to recreate our own version!
Because you have to wait for the dough to rise, this whole process will take about 2 hours.
Semolina Dough (from Veggie Life September 1994)
½ package (1½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¾ cup lukewarm water (about 110[Symbol])
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup semolina
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
Pizza Sauce (our own)
3 cloves minced garlic
½ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ to ½ teaspoon each of dried rosemary, oregano, and thyme
¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Part Skim Mozzarella cheese grated
Making the Dough
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in water. Add oil and let stand until it bubbles, about 10 minutes. Slowly stir in semolina, 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, and salt into the yeast mixture. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 15 minutes. Dough should be moist, but not sticky. Add flour, if needed.
Pan spray a large bowl, put in the dough and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let it rise in a warm place away from drafts, until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
You will want to use a pizza stone or ceramic tile to cook your pizza on for that crispy authentic crust. Preheating the oven will take longer, about 20 minutes. Cooking temperature 450[Symbol].
Making The Sauce (do this while the dough rises)
onions soften (about 5 minutes). Add in spices and sea salt, sauté about 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and hot pepper flakes. Simmer sauce about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Rolling out the dough
Punch down dough and cut into ¾ and ¼ for the bottom and the top. You will stretch out the dough on a floured surface gently pulling and stretching it into a circle. Continue to slowly stretch the dough over the back of one hand until both hands fit. You can continue to work the dough with your fingers on the floured surface until it will fit into a cake pan just coming over the sides of the pan. Pan spray the cake pan and place bottom dough in gently pressing it in against the sides. Prepare the top portion the same way and make large enough to overlap the bottom dough when placed on top.
Building the pizza
Add spinach to the cake pan now lined with dough (be generous because the spinach will shrink). Add the top dough and fold the overlapping dough in towards the center gently compressing the edges. Top with pizza sauce, sprinkle with cheese and add any additional toppings like mushrooms or olives, etc. (don’t go too heavy on additional toppings so pizza will cook evenly)
Place cake pan directly on pizza stone or ceramic tile and bake in 450[Symbol] oven for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, take out pizza and gently remove it from pan onto a flat cookie sheet (so you can slide it off) and bake it an additional 8 minutes directly on the pizza stone or tile.
Pull pizza out of oven, slice and enjoy!