A nod to Italiano while translating from patois to “it’s Ital you know” this Keeza features basil ackee pesto, topped with marinated tomatoes and nu-Yeah (nutritional yeast) atop a crisp thin crust and finished with basil.
It’s not hard to put together, but it is a bit involved and it helps to have a clear plan of attack to get it done. Below I’ll outline how to do just that, the recipes follow.
- The day ahead:
- Prepare the dough, refrigerate overnight to develop flavour.
- Make the pesto
- 90 minutes before:
- Remove the dough from the fridge; cut into desired portions; let sit covered on a floured surface till needed.
- 30 minutes before:
- Preheat your oven with your pizza stone on the rack in the top third of the oven. My oven goes up to 500F. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, you could try using an upside down sheet pan, I used to do this for pita before I got the stone, it doesn’t hold heat as well but works in a pinch)
- Marinate the tomatoes: slice a couple tomatoes about a quarter of an inch thick, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried oregano and dried basil if desired.
- It’s game time:
- Stretch or roll out the dough (I like to do this on a sheet of parchment on the back of a cookie sheet, that way it can easily be slid onto the pizza stone in the oven – a word of caution here, the parchment is paper and will burn, so cut the piece as close to the edge of the keeza as you can).
- Spread the sauce and add your toppings
- Shimmy the prepared keeza off the cookie sheet onto the hot pizza stone in the oven and bake for 5 to 8 minutes till nicely browned. (I use tongs to help pull the finished keeza off of the stone and onto a cooling rack or back onto the cookie sheet)
- Repeat the process if making more than one keeza. It’s ok if you haven’t finished putting together the second one before time is up, this will actually allow the oven to regain some of the heat that would have been lost when you opened the door.
That’s it! Quite a bit of prep but all done in less than 10 minutes. I left this one in a little too long thus the blister on top, but it was perfectly fine.
My pizza stone isn’t very big so I can only do one at a time. If you want to make a few but serve them all warm, pop them back into the oven to warm up for a few minutes – at this point you no longer need to put it directly on the stone, that sexy crust should already be set.
Feel free to share your thoughts below. If you try this or any of the recipes, snap a pic and be sure to #amazingackee across social media so I can see your post.
As always, thanks for stopping by.
Left to slow ferment overnight to develop flavour, this is my go to focaccia dough recipe turned pizza dough
- 500 g All purpose flour (4 cups)
- 12 g Brown sugar (1 tbsp)
- 10 g Salt (2 1/2 tsp)
- 70 g Olive oil (1/4 cup)
- 8 g Instant yeast (2 tsps)
- 320 g Water, cool (1 1/4 cup)
In the bowl of a standmixer fixed with the paddle attachment combine all the ingredients except the water and yeast
Mix together the water and yeast then add to the bowl
Mix for 10 to 15 minutes on the recommended setting for your mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic (this is speed 2 on my KitchenAid Classic)
Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic and place in the fridge overnight
When ready to use remove from fridge and portion. For a thin crust 12inch 175g, thick crust 12inch 250g you can use more or less to suit your preferences
The numbers written in parentheses are approximate conversions, it is best to use a scale for accuracy
Basil Ackee Pesto
- 2 cups Basil tightly packed
- 1 cup Parboiled ackee
- 1/2 cup Sunflower seeds soaked, drained and dried
- 2 to 8 cloves of Garlic finely sliced
- 2 tbsps Oil
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsps to 1/4 cup Nutritional yeast
Heat oil and saute the garlic cloves till softened (this is just to cut the bite of the garlic, if you don't mind a more intense flavour you can skip this step and omit the oil completely)
Combine all ingredients (including the sauteed garlic) in a food processor and pulse till desired consistency is achieved (in cases were a lower range is given for an ingredient, start with the smaller amount and work your way up depending on your taste)