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Welcome to My Hungry Boys where I share what I love to cook for my husband and our four sons.   I've made a lot of food over the years and I've learned a lot in the process. 

High Altitude Mustard Green Pesto Pan Pizza

High Altitude Mustard Green Pesto Pan Pizza

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that almost any leafy green vegetable can be made into a pesto. I’ve especially found this to be true of mustard greens; they are flavorful, healthy, and not too overpowering. I prefer to top this pizza with just the pesto, but it is also wonderful with shredded cheese.

This dough recipe is identical to the one found here, but with different quantities in order to fill a half sheet pan. This pizza dough is very hydrated because it uses the bread making method known as Tangzhong.  The method is simple: whisk together 5 parts water with 1 part flour (by weight), then heat the mixture.  It should thicken and become gelatinous.  Let it cool briefly (so as not to kill the yeast), then add it to the remaining ingredients. While the gelatinous mixture is still hot, I like to pour in some of the extra water in order to speed the cooling process and thin the mixture. This will also help it incorporate into the flour mixture later.

The type of flour makes a big difference when it comes to pizza dough, so you should try to use a high protein flour (as high as you can find).  At most grocery stores, the highest protein option is a bread flour (12-13% protein) which works beautifully.  But an even better option than run-of-the-mill bread flour is King Arthur Hi-Gluten Flour (14% protein), which is available online.  The following recipe is designed for a high gluten flour, which will need a bit more water than other flours in order to properly hydrate.  If you are using regular bread flour, make the noted adjustments.

I prefer instant yeast, but I have also included an alternative pizza dough recipe (scroll down) for those of you who prefer using active dry yeast. See note here on instant yeast versus active dry yeast.

For other topping variations:

See my Crispy Edged Cheese Pan Pizza recipe here.

See my Eggplant Pan Pizza recipe here.

See my Collard Green Pesto Pizza recipe here.


Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

Mustard Green Pesto Pizza

This recipe can be adapted to a cheesy version by topping with a combination of shredded mozzarella and shredded cheddar, if desired.

  • 1 recipe high altitude tangzhong pan pizza dough (see recipe below)

  • 1 recipe mustard green pesto (see recipe below)

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano or other Parmesan cheese

Remove the plastic wrap from your rested, risen pizza dough.  Top your pizza with dollops of room temp. mustard green pesto or any other topping of your choosing. Using your fingers, carefully spread the pesto evenly over the dough. Be careful not to tear the dough, and remember not to spread the pesto too close to the edges. Top with a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Bake in a preheated 500°F oven for ~10-15 minutes.  I like to bake the pizza on the bottom rack as it gives the pizza bottom a nice crust. I move the pizza to a higher rack if the bottom crust is over-browning.

Mustard Green Pesto

This recipe for mustard green pesto makes more than enough for one pan pizza, or two free form pizzas with some left over. Save any extra pesto for veggie tortilla night. (See recipe for Soft Flour Tortillas here.)

  • 2 bunches mustard greens weighing ~2 pounds

  • ½ cup pine nuts (or substitute with walnuts or pecans)

  • 1 garlic clove - peeled and chopped

  • ½—1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for adding to boiling water

  • ~¼ cup olive oil or more to taste

  • ½—¾ ounce freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Wash the mustard greens well in a sink full of cold water in order to remove any sand/dirt. Remove the thick stalks from the greens. Roughly chop or tear the leaves and submerge in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain pot, allowing greens to cool until able to handle. When cool, squeeze handfuls of greens, removing as much liquid as possible (you should have ~12.5 ounces squeezed dry greens). Roughly chop. Place in food processor with garlic, pine nuts, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup olive oil. Pulse until finely chopped. Add grated Parmigiano cheese and quickly pulse. Taste pesto. Add more salt—½ teaspoon at a time—until properly seasoned. Add more olive oil—one tablespoon at a time—if a richer taste is desired. Use day-of or refrigerate for later use. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before using.

Tangzhong Pan Pizza Dough (Using Instant Yeast)

(Scroll down for recipe using Active Dry Yeast)

  • 3¼ cups Hi-Gluten or bread flour (14 ounces) - divided (see note for accurately measuring flour here)

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (decrease if using table salt)

  • 1½ cups + 1 tablespoon water - 12.5 ounces - divided (use 1½ cups - 1 tablespoon water - 11.5 ounces if using regular bread flour). More water may be necessary, especially in the drier winter months

Make the Tangzhong:  In a saucepan, whisk together 1.3 ounces flour (5 tablespoons) with 6.5 ounces water (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) until smooth.  Heat and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and gelatinous; I recommend waiting until the solution bubbles in order to ensure that the mixture has reached the necessary temperature. (Switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula if necessary.)  Stir continuously, as you want a smooth mixture without lumps.   Remove from heat, and add enough of the reserved water (about ⅓ cup) to cool the mixture sufficiently so as not to kill the yeast when the solutions are mixed.

Place remaining 12.7 ounces of flour into a large bowl with the instant yeast and salt.  Stir.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the cooled, diluted gelatinous mixture to the bowl.  Add ¼ cup water (or, if using regular bread flour, 2 tablespoons water). Stir all ingredients together, then let it sit for 1 minute as the flour absorbs the liquid.  After 1 minute, add more water as needed (this amount will vary based on humidity levels and the season, but you'll probably need 1 or 2 tablespoons).  You want a moist and craggy dough.  Cover with plastic wrap (no need to knead) and let rise until its size doubles (~1½—2 hours). 

Split the dough into two halves. Rather than knead the dough, I prefer to simply stretch and roll it.  The wet tangzhong dough benefits from the no knead method.  Lift one of the dough halves, stretch it, and then fold it back onto itself.  Continue to stretch and fold the dough 3 more times until you have a taut ball.  If you do not plan on using the dough until the next day, place each ball into an un-greased bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  (I prefer making the dough a day ahead because 1) a slow rise results in a more flavorful dough, and 2) working with cold dough is easier—you are less likely to stretch the dough too thin, or worse, tear a hole in it.)  The next day, proceed as below under Forming the Dough.




Tangzhong Pan Pizza Dough (Using Active Dry Yeast)

  • 3¼ cups Hi-Gluten or bread flour (14 ounces) - divided (see note for accurately measuring flour here)

  • 1¼ teaspoon active dry yeast

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (decrease if using table salt)

  • 1½ cups + 1 tablespoon water - 12.5 ounces - divided (use 1½ cups - 1 tablespoon water - 11.5 ounces if using regular bread flour). More water may be necessary, especially in the drier winter months

Make the Tangzhong:  In a saucepan, whisk together 1.3 ounces flour (5 tablespoons) with 6.5 ounces water (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) until smooth.  Heat and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and gelatinous; I recommend waiting until the solution bubbles in order to ensure that the mixture has reached the necessary temperature. (Switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula if necessary.)  Stir continuously, as you want a smooth mixture without lumps.   Remove from heat, and add enough of the reserved water (about ⅓ cup) to cool the mixture sufficiently so as not to kill the yeast when the solutions are mixed. Whisk the mixture to blend completely.

In a small pan, heat ⅓ cup of the reserved water to ~100°F—110°F (do not exceed 110°F). Pour into a small container and stir in 1 teaspoon of the pre-measured flour (or 1 teaspoon sugar if you prefer). Sprinkle and stir in 1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast. Allow 5-10 minutes for it to get frothy.

Place remaining 12.7 ounces of flour into a large bowl with the salt.  Stir.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and combine the cooled and diluted gelatinous mixture with the frothy yeast mixture.  Stir all of the ingredients together, then let it sit for 1 minute as the flour absorbs the liquid.  After 1 minute, add more water if needed (this amount will vary based on humidity levels and the season, but you may need 1-2 tablespoons).  You want a moist and craggy dough.  Cover with plastic wrap (no need to knead) and let rise until its size doubles (~1½—2 hours). 

Split the dough into two halves. Rather than knead the dough, I prefer to simply stretch and roll it.  The wet tangzhong dough benefits from the no knead method.  Lift one of the dough halves, stretch it, and then fold it back onto itself.  Continue to stretch and fold the dough 3 more times until you have a taut ball.  If you do not plan on using the dough until the next day, place each ball into an un-greased bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  (I prefer making the dough a day ahead because 1) a slow rise results in a more flavorful dough, and 2) working with cold dough is easier—you are less likely to stretch the dough too thin, or worse, tear a hole in it.)  The next day, proceed as below.

Forming the Dough:

Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a half sheet pan, spreading the oil so that it covers the bottom and the sides of the pan.  Lightly flour the ball of dough.  Press it into an oval disk on a lightly floured board, but make sure to retain the rim around the outer edge. Press the center of the oval while slowly pulling the dough outward, in order to replicate a pan shape with a lip.  Lift and stretch the dough, letting gravity help form it into an oval.  If it fights back and shrinks when you lay it back on the board, let it rest for a few minutes, then stretch it out again.  Repeat this process until your dough is the desired size.  Don't use a rolling pin to roll out your dough because this flattens the edges and alters the beautiful shape.  Lay your dough in the oiled pan, then carefully flip the dough so that both sides have a thin coating of oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and push the dough outward from the middle so that it fills up the pan.  You may need to let it rest for 5 minutes before pushing it outwards again. Repeat this process as much as necessary for the dough to fill the pan. Let it rest so that it can rise one final time before baking (~1-2 hours for cold dough, ~45 minutes for room temperature dough).  When I want a very fluffy pizza dough I place the pan of dough in a very warm place (for me that’s the furnace room) for the last 30 minutes of rising time. Preheat oven to 500°F.

High Altitude Chocolate Cake

High Altitude Chocolate Cake

High Altitude Pizza Dough

High Altitude Pizza Dough