|Crust ready to bake|
|Crust fresh out of the oven - can be transformed into focaccia, if desired|
|Topped w/ sauce, cheese, pepperoni, grilled artichokes, piquillo peppers and baby eggplant|
CHEESE HEAD PIZZA - PESTO CRUST
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded mozzarella (whole milk or part skim)
3 ounces brick style cream cheese
1 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (powdery style)
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
3 tablespoons basil pesto, divided (I used Mezzetta Homestyle Basil Pesto)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil (to press out dough with hands or rubber spatula)
Desired toppings (pizza sauce, pepperoni, cooked peppers, onions, mushrooms, additional cheese, etc.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper.
Place mozzarella and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Heat cheese in microwave on high for 45 seconds; stir and heat an additional 30 to 45 seconds or until a hot melty mass of cheese is formed. Fold 2 tablespoons pesto into hot melted cheese with a rubber spatula.
While cheese is melting in microwave, stir almond flour, Parmesan, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and egg to bowl of hot melted cheese. Working quickly, fold and stir mixture together with a rubber spatula until a ball of dough is formed (make sure cheese mixture is hot before adding flour and egg).
Place ball of dough in center of parchment lined baking sheet or pizza pan. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil on top of dough and press dough out with rubber spatula (or hands), into the desired shape (round, oval or rectangular) until about ¼-inch thick. Thinly brush or spread remaining 1 tablespoon pesto over top of crust. Prick holes all over crust surface with a fork to prevent crust from bubbling up. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden (be careful not to overbake so it doesn't burn when returning to oven to bake with toppings). Remove crust and top with pizza sauce, additional cheese, and any desired toppings. Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees F and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and heated through.