Summer is definitely upon us here in the Midwest as we face 100-degree temperatures this week. Heat index aside, we also know it’s summer by the fact that sweet corn is all around. If you’re not a fan of corn on the cob like Hank (I think it’s just because of the beard), here’s a delicious way to eat it, even though it requires turning on the oven.
I love Midwest Living magazine and their July/August issue had a whole spread of sweet corn recipes, and this is based on one in that issue, so I can’t take all the credit on this one. The crust is all ours though, as we make it a few times a month for pizza night. You can really use any combination of flour in this crust—try all whole wheat, 2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup all-purpose, spelt flour, etc. It turns out best when you use at least 1 cup white flour, but it’s fun to make it your own with your personal flour favorites.
Makes 2 large crusts, or 4 individual crusts
1 cup warm water (about 110°F)
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. honey
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup stone ground whole wheat (Graham) flour
2 cups bread or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal (best if heirloom variety like Floriani)
1 tsp. sea salt
1. Whisk together the warm water, yeast and honey in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. When the surface appears foamy, add the olive oil and stir.
2. Stir together the flours, cornmeal, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the liquid gradually, mixing with a rubber spatula until a ball forms. You should have at least 1/4 cup of flour left to knead in.
3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, adding only as much additional flour to keep it from sticking. When the dough is soft and pliable, place in an oiled bowl, and flip once to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled or tripled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
4. Once the rise is complete, cut dough in half (or quarters), placing unused portions in plastic bags. Refrigerate if you plan to use within two days; otherwise, freeze.
Makes 1 large pizza
1/2 cup basil pesto
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
Corn cut from the cobs of 2 ears of sweet corn (about 1 cup)
10 to 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced, drained and patted dry
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Fresh basil, torn, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a pizza stone or cast-iron pizza pan in the oven to preheat.
2. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin round. Once your baking vessel is preheated, place the crust on it, folding over the edges to create a rustic-style crust.
3. Spread the pesto evenly over the crust. Top with the onions, garlic, peppers, corn, mozzarella, and sea salt.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Once removed from the oven, sprinkle on the fresh basil. For a little spicy heat, serve with crushed red pepper flakes.