4 – 4 1/2 cups flour
2 pkgs. Rapid Rise yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. olive oil
1 3/4 cup hot water
1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. nonfat plain yogurt
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
cornmeal for dusting pan
4 cups sliced ripe plum tomatoes (8 tomatoes)
To make crust: In a large bowl, stir together 3 cups flour, yeast, salt and sugar. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups water and oil. Heat until hot to the touch, 125 to 130 degrees F. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir the oil and water mixture into the flour mixture. Beat until well mixed. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a firm, soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. As an alternative, prepare dough in a food processor according to manufacturers directions, but decreasing water to 1 1/2 cups.
To make pesto: In a food processor, combine basil, cheese, oil and garlic. Process until well blended. Add yogurt and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a pizza stone or baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven; preheat to 500*F. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Using fists, stretch one piece into a 6 inch round. Place on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or inverted baking pan, using enough cornmeal so the dough slides easily. Stretch another piece of dough and place next to the first on the peel. Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on each round of dough. Arrange 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes on each round of dough. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Carefully slide the pizzas onto the heated pizza stone or baking sheet and bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are crisp and browned. Working with 2 pizzas at a time, repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.