Crispy Kale Pizza
makes two 10" pizzas
For the dough:
3/4 cups (6 ounces) lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active-dry or instant yeast
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour (I substituted in a half cup of white whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
For the pizza:
1 bunch kale
2 garlic cloves
2 small onions
Shaved parmesan cheese (not the kind that you shake out of the green can)
Set the oven to 500°F or as hot as it will go and let it heat for at least a half an hour before making the pizza. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the lower-middle part of the oven now.
Combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl, and stir to dissolve the yeast. The mixture should look like thin miso soup. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until you've formed a shaggy dough. Knead for 5 minutes (I used my stand mixer and the dough hook).
Cover the dough with a moist towel and let rise for an hour. (According to the recipe, you can skip the wait and go ahead and use the pizza dough now, but you might as well let it rise while you prepare the toppings.)
In the meantime, wash and tear up the kale into bite-sized pieces. Dry well (I used a salad spinner) and dress with a few glugs of olive oil; add salt and black pepper to taste.
Mince or press 2 garlic cloves and add to the kale. Mix well and set aside.
Slice the onions into thin rings. Heat a non-stick pan on medium high and add the onions. Stir occasionally, and once the onions start to blacken and stick, add a little olive oil. Continue to stir and cook the onions, adding a little more olive oil when dry, until crispy and slightly burnt.
When ready to make the pizza, tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Divide the dough in two. You can refrigerate this dough (covered in olive oil) for up to 3 days at this point. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form it into a large disk with your hands and lay it on the parchment paper.
Work from the middle of the dough outwards, using the heel of your hand to gently press and stretch the dough until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. For an extra-thin crust, roll it with a rolling pin. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for five minutes and then continue rolling.
Spoon a few tablespoons of olive oil into the center of the pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges.
Add half of the crispy, burnt onions.
Pile on half the kale. (It will seem like a lot, but don't worry, the kale will shrink a lot in the oven.)
Top with a few shavings of parmesan cheese.
Using a bread peel or the backside of a baking sheet (I used a flexible cutting board), slide your pizza (still on the parchment) onto the baking stone in the oven. If you don't have a baking stone, bake the pizza right on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 5 minutes and then rotate the pizza. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese looks toasty.
Remove the pizza from oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Repeat with shaping, topping, and baking second pizza.
Let both pizzas cool for about five minutes before slicing and serving.
I really loved how all the ingredients came together in this pizza. The pizza crust was thin enough to get a nice crunch but still has some chew. I was surprised to find that the kale crisped up almost as much as kale chips, and the onions added a nice sweetness while the parmesan added a good shot of umami. I only made one of the pizzas and stored half of the dough in the fridge, but I'm definitely going to be making this again very soon.
Update: I've made this pizza again using Ken Forkish's Same Day Straight Dough Pizza Dough. That dough is so much better!