A couple weeks ago, our homeowner’s association held our annual meeting. Announcements had been sent out in advance, telling that pizza would be served. I found this to be an exciting announcement, since our homeowner’s association had never had a pizza party before. The host of the party is quite a gourmet, so we knew that he and his wife would probably have some pretty good pizza there.
We were right! There were many kinds of pizza there–yes, even cheese and pepperoni–but the first one that caught my eye was a spinach pizza embellished with vibrant strips of red bell pepper. I was impressed with the strikingly colorful toppings and the great flavor of the pizza. So I thought, why not try to make a version like this at home?
Although the original pizza I had at our neighbor’s house didn’t have tomato sauce, I thought that this pizza deserves it. In my opinion, pizza tastes better by leaps and bounds when it has tomato sauce on it. 😉 Plus, I’ve included my recipe for a delicious pizza dough that is fun to make and has a good flavor. Just start it the night before, and give it plenty of time to rise. A slower rise results in a better flavored pizza, which is totally what we want. After all, making pizza is an art that’s definitely a labor of love. Your patience will pay off with a delicious meal your family and friends will remember. 🍕
Yes, you can do this. It’s a lot of fun to make pizza at home, and even your kids or grandkids will like making the dough with you, or putting the toppings on the pizzas. Most of all, they’ll love the mouthwatering aroma of the baking pizzas. Okay, I now what to try a slice. How about you? 😋
Craving more savory bread recipes? You’ll want to give these ones a try!
Three Cheese Roll Up Buns: these flavorful, cheesy buns are stuffed with sauteed onions for a fantastic taste.
Waterford Blaa Buns: make your own chip butty sandwiches with these soft, floury rolls. They’re Irish, too.
Homemade Cuban Bread: Pan Cubano: you don’t have to move to Miami or Cuba to find good Cuban bread when you have this recipe.Print
Spinach, red pepper, and goat cheese pizza is a healthy-ish vegetarian dinner idea topped with spinach, red peppers, goat cheese, olive oil, and a flavorful tomato sauce. This meatless recipe will satisfy your family’s pizza craving! Plus, learn how to make your own amazing pizza dough from scratch.
For the Pizza Starter Dough
- 1 1/4 cups bread flour (150g)
- 1 teaspoon salt (5g)
- 1/2 teaspoon fast-action yeast (1.6g)
- 1/2 cup room-temperature water (118 ml)
For the Rest of the Pizza Dough
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour (420g)
- 1 teaspoon salt (5g)
- 1/2 teaspoon fast-action yeast (1.6g)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups room-temperature water (300-350 ml)
- Semolina flour, for dusting
For the Toppings
- 1 8-ounce can (about 1 cup) tomato sauce (227g)
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- 3 cups fresh spinach (75g)
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced in strips (170g)
- 2 2/3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (75g)
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
Making the Pre-Dough (5 minutes + 12 hours proving)
- Pour the flour into a medium bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, stirring each one in with your finger. Don’t allow the salt to touch the yeast directly, as it can kill or retard it.
- Dump in the water and stir until a dry dough forms. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for about 12 hours. The pre-dough should have grown in volume, be sticky to the touch, and have a bubbly surface.
Making the Pizza Dough (20 minutes + 4 hours proving)
- Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl and mix in as before, then stir in the sugar.
- Add the olive oil and half of the water and turn the mixer on medium-low speed. Gradually dribble in more water as needed to create a very sticky dough. You may not need all the water; go by feel. Don’t be afraid to make the dough sticky!
- Knead on medium speed for a few minutes. The dough is sufficiently kneaded when it passes the windowpane test. Break off a lump of dough and stretch it between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. The dough should stretch easily until it’s translucent in places without breaking. If it doesn’t pass the test, knead for 30 seconds to a minute longer and check again.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough prove at room temperature until it’s at least doubled in size. It took my dough about 4 to 4 1/2 hours to more than double in size.
Proving the Pizzas Again (10 minutes + 45 minutes proving)
- Once the dough has sufficiently proved, turn it out onto a large, generously floured cutting board and divide it into three equal pieces, using a kitchen scale for accuracy. Handle it gently to avoid squeezing out too much air from the dough.
- Gently shape each piece into a ball and place on the floured cutting board. Cover the dough balls with a tea towel and allow to prove for about 45 minutes, until the dough gently springs back when lightly prodded with a fingertip. The dough balls should have flattened some.
Preparing the Toppings (20 minutes)
- While the pizza dough is proving, prepare the toppings. Pour the tomato sauce into a small saucepan and add the pesto and spices. Turn the heat to medium high until the sauce boils, then turn to low and let it simmer for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the sauce into a bowl to cool.
- Measure out the spinach, slice the red pepper, and crumble the goat cheese.
Shaping & Baking the Pizzas (30 minutes shaping + 45 minutes baking for 3 pizzas)
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Put a pizza stone with a 14-inch diameter in to preheat.
- Generously dust a metal or wooden pizza peel or large round spatula with semolina flour.
- Shape the pizza dough by making a fist with both hands. Place the disc of proved pizza dough on top of your fists and allow the dough to stretch over your knuckles. Use your thumbs to gently stretch the edges of the disc, turning it as you go, until the pizza dough is about 10 inches in diameter. Be gentle to avoid tearing the dough.
- Place the pizza on the floured pizza peel or spatula and press down any large air bubbles in the dough. The pizza should have a thin base and thicker edges to form the crust.
- Brush the thin part of the pizza with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, then evenly spread about 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce on top. Generously top with about 1 cup of fresh spinach, and arrange 6-8 slices of red pepper on top.
- Pull the preheated pizza stone out of the oven and gently wiggle the pizza peel to slide the pizza onto the hot stone. If the pizza sticks to the peel, lift up the dough and toss some more semolina underneath, then try again. Work quickly to avoid the stone cooling off too much.
- Bake the pizza at 450 F for 10 minutes, then sprinkle some goat cheese on top and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is a rich golden brown.
- As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, transfer it to a wire rack to prevent it from getting soggy. Sprinkle kosher salt on top to taste. Repeat the shaping and baking process with the remaining two pieces of pizza dough.