- 1 package of quick-rise yeast (1/4 ounce)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water (100-115 degrees)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large bunches cilantro, rinsed and drained well
- 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 13.75-ounce can artichokes, cut in quarters and drained well
- 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 8 ounces low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
Author's Note: Shrimp, artichokes and cilantro make a delectable combination on this beautiful pizza. To make flavors vibrant, make sure the cilantro, artichoke hearts and shrimp are dry before adding.
Drying The Toppings
Remove leaves and tender stems from cilantro. If cilantro leaves are wet, place in a single layer between cloth dishtowels as you work. Towels can be layered to accommodate all the cilantro. Roll up the towels and place them in a large plastic bag to dry well.
Place the quartered artichokes in a single layer on a double layer of paper towels. Cover with another double layer of towels. Roll up and gently press out moisture. Set aside the cilantro and artichokes, still wrapped in towels.
Place the shrimp between double layers of paper towels and pat out excess moisture. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Making The Dough
Stir together yeast, sugar and water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes or until bubbly and foamy. Mix in whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, salt and olive oil. Stir in as much of the remaining 1/2 cup flour as you can, a tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding some of the remaining flour to your hands and kneading the surface as you work. You will probably have to scrape the dough up from the kneading surface from time to time. Add only as much of the flour as needed to make a somewhat loose, sticky dough. The wetter the dough, the more tender your crust will be.
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Roll the dough in the bowl to coat lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm area with no drafts. If your kitchen is chilly, put the dough in a cold oven with 1 cup of boiling water on the rack below it. Let rise until doubled, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preparing The Toppings
With the food processor running, drop the garlic cloves through the feed tube and process until the garlic is minced. Add one-half of the cilantro and pulse until volume is reduced. Add the remaining cilantro and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides. Drizzle oil over the cilantro. Process until well-mixed, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Place the shrimp in a medium bowl. Add 1 packed tablespoon of the cilantro-garlic mixture from the processor bowl and toss until the shrimp are evenly coated. Return the shrimp to the refrigerator.
Add the artichokes to the processor bowl and pulse 12 times. Scrape down the sides and pulse 8 to 10 more times, or until the artichokes are coarsely chopped and mixed well with the cilantro.
Making The Pizza
Set the top oven rack in the top third of the oven and the bottom rack in the lowest position. Preheat to 500 degrees. Punch down the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes. Grease two baking sheets. Cut the dough in half. Spread out each half on a baking sheet, making rectangles measuring approximately 9 by 14 inches with a small lip around the edge. Divide the artichoke mixture between the two crusts and spread it evenly to the lip of the crust. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese on each crust. Place the two pizzas into the oven, one on the top rack, one on the bottom. Bake 5 minutes.
Remove the pizzas from the oven and divide the shrimp between the two pizzas. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Return the pizzas to the oven, reversing the placement of the two pans on the racks. Bake until the edges start to turn lightly golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Remove the pizzas from the oven and serve.