I should add some disclaimers to the pizza dough. About 5 years ago when I started on my quest for the perfect pizza crust recipe, this is the first one I tried (it's Pizza Dough I from Allrecipes). It was disappointing because it's quite dense since it barely has any time to rise. After trying many, many pizza dough recipes, I finally found one that we love (will post it later). For this pizza, however, I decided to go back to my first ever dough recipe because it's dense and thick and I thought it would hold up well to the heavy toppings (specifically the beans). I was right! Feel free to make this recipe for other pizzas because it's definitely easy, but in my opinion, it would do best with pizzas with tons of toppings that need a sturdy crust. 16 Meat Monster Pizza? Yes. Cheese Pizza? No.
Note: I wrote out the directions assuming you have a stand mixer. It may seem counter intuitive to mix up the dough with a spoon first if you have a stand mixer to do it for you, but trust me, you will save a LOT of time doing it by hand first. If you don't, the dough hook will just kind of bat at the flour and you'll spend 15 minutes watching it twirl around while you scrape down the sides of the bowl before the ingredients finally turn into a ball of dough. Not much fun for little Harpo.
Now if you don't have a stand mixer, just mix it all up with a spoon to start with and then dive in with your hands. It may take a little longer and be a little messier but it will turn out just fine.
Also, you'll probably notice there isn't any meat on this pizza. I didn't have any and the beans and cheese are full of protein already, but feel free to toss on some cooked taco meat if you feel so inclined!
Quick Pizza Dough
3 C flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1 packet yeast
2 T oil
1 C water
Stir together dry ingredients in mixer bowl. Stir in water and oil and mix with a spoon until mostly combined. Attach bowl to electric mixer and mix with dough hook until dough is homogenous and slightly sticky, like a big wad of chewing gum. Knead in a tiny bit more flour or water if needed to get the right texture. Grease a large baking sheet and press dough into an approximately 14 by 11 inch rectangle (you can wet or grease your hands first if the dough sticks to them), then roll the sides over slightly to make a crust. Place in cold oven and then turn it to 375. You don't want to preheat the oven because the yeast will at least get a chance to think about rising if you let it hang out in the oven while it preheats. Bake 15 minutes or until cooked through when poked with a fork (crust should still be pale).
To transform into Taco Pizza, you will need:
1 can refried beans OR 2 cups of leftover homemade refried beans
Mexican hot sauce of choice (we like Tapatio and Cholula), optional
8 oz grated cheese of choice (I used mozzarella but cheddar, jack or colby would be good)
4 oz can diced green chiles OR a couple tablespoons of canned diced jalapenos
small can of sliced black olives, drained
a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered (or a big tomato chopped up)
Additional toppings for when it's out of the oven: shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, taco sauce, crushed tortilla chips, diced onion... whatever sounds good!
When pizza crust is cooked, remove from oven and spread the refried beans evenly over the top. You don't have to heat up the beans or anything first. Sprinkle with the hot sauce if you're using it. Sprinkle with grated cheese and top with the green chiles/jalapenos, olives and tomatoes. Put back in the oven and bake at 375 about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is as golden and bubbly as you want. Let cool a couple of minutes, slice, and serve with the additional toppings.
Yield: 8 slices, about 4 adult sized servings.
Enjoy! I hope you like Leela's Bean Pizza as much as we do.