Yamas, Hungry People!
I think I’ve discovered the Zeus of pizzas with this incredible gyro mash-up. Introducing the Gyro Pizza with a Tzatziki Drizzle!
I’ve been craving tzatziki sauce for a few days now, and when the weekly challenge came up as pizza, I knew exactly what I had to do. I mean, who doesn’t love the combination of flavorful gyro meat, tangy tzatziki sauce, and the satisfying crunch of a pizza crust?
To create this mouthwatering pizza, I started with a simple dill tzatziki sauce, roasted tomatoes, and delicious strips of gyro meat. But why stop there? I topped mine with crumbled feta cheese, blackened artichokes, and even some fresh cucumber slices for a burst of freshness.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Flour: Forms the base of the dough, providing structure and texture.
- Quick-Rise Yeast: Helps the dough rise quickly and gives it a light and airy texture.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough.
- Warm Water: Activates the yeast and helps bind the ingredients together.
- Olive Oil: Adds moisture and richness to the dough.
- Plain Greek Yogurt: Forms the base of the tzatziki sauce, providing a creamy and tangy flavor.
- Greek Marinade or Dressing: Adds Greek-inspired flavors to the dish, enhancing the overall taste.
- Garlic: Adds a savory and aromatic element to the tzatziki sauce.
- Gyro Meat: Provides the main protein component and adds a distinct gyro flavor.
- Red Onion or Shallot: Adds a mild onion flavor and a touch of sweetness.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Bring a burst of freshness and a touch of acidity to the pizza.
- Red/Orange Bell Pepper: Adds a pop of color and a slightly sweet flavor to the toppings.
- Artichoke Hearts: Contribute a unique and earthy flavor to the pizza.
- Portabella Mushrooms: Offer a meaty texture and a rich umami taste.
- Fresh Dill: Infuses the tzatziki sauce with a fresh and herbaceous flavor.
- Lemon Juice: Adds brightness and tanginess to the tzatziki sauce.
- English Cucumber: Can be used as a topping to add a cool and refreshing element.
Let’s Get Started
Now, let’s talk about the dough. My go-to pizza dough recipe comes from a treasure I found back in college – the “1 Crust, 100 Pizzas” book. Can you believe I picked it up for just a few cents at a local thrift shop? The best part is that this dough recipe takes only about an hour to make.
I personally enjoy the hands-on approach, so I prefer to work my pizza dough by hand throughout the entire process. However, if you’re looking to save some time, feel free to use a stand mixer with a dough hook.
Simply add the flour, salt, and olive oil to a bowl and mix until a crumbly dough forms. Create a well in the center and pour in the lukewarm water with dissolved yeast. Stir until a thick dough is formed, then knead and roll it into a ball using your hands and a bit of additional oil. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let it rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, slice your cherry tomatoes and prep the artichoke hearts. Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a touch of parsley, then pop them into the oven under the broiler for approximately 10 minutes.
In the meantime, whip up a quick tzatziki sauce by combining dill, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt. Let it chill in the fridge while the dough finishes rising.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and give it a few quick kneads before allowing it to rise for an additional 10 to 30 minutes. This extra step helps relax the dough, resulting in a wonderfully crisp and fluffy crust.
For optimal results, preheat your oven with a pizza stone under the broiler on high for about 30 minutes. Then, set the oven temperature to 375°F and let it ‘preheat’ for another 30 minutes. Trust me, a super hot oven is key to achieving that perfect pizza crust.
Now, time to shape the dough! I rolled out and stretched mine into a rough 12×12 roundish shape. I personally prefer a slightly imperfect shape because it adds to the authenticity. It’s like how I believe PB&J tastes better when cut diagonally rather than straight down the middle.
True life, Hungry People.
Take out the roasted tomatoes and artichokes from the oven once the tomatoes are wilted and the artichokes are nicely browned and crispy. Brush the crust with the Greek marinade from side to side, then spread the tzatziki sauce over the crust, leaving about an inch of bare crust around the edges.
Next, layer on the gyro meat, crumbled feta cheese, roasted tomatoes and artichokes, red onions, mushrooms, and peppers.
Now, if you don’t happen to have a wooden pizza peel (you know, one of those things that real pizza places use to slide pizzas into their stone ovens), don’t worry. You can use a wooden cutting board sprinkled with cornmeal to slide the dough onto the pizza stone. Alternatively, you can quickly and carefully prepare the pizza directly on the pizza stone itself.
Bake your creation at 375°F on the preheated pizza stone for around 15 minutes. Then, crank up the broiler for the last 5-10 minutes to achieve that perfect combination of crunch and softness in the crust.
Trust me, this recipe is now one of my all-time favorites! In fact, I’ve already restocked my fridge with Greek yogurt so that I can whip up some extra tzatziki sauce whenever the craving strikes.
Oh, and here’s a little extra tip for you: I mixed a couple of tablespoons of the Greek marinade with the remaining tzatziki sauce to create a thin drizzle, which I generously poured over the top of my pizza. It adds that extra zing and takes the flavors to the next level.
Finally, garnish your masterpiece with fresh, homegrown cucumbers to add that final touch of brightness and crunch.
Helpful Tips for Making Homemade Greek Pizza
- Activating Yeast: Ensure the water used to activate the yeast is warm (around 110°F) but not too hot, as it can kill the yeast. Properly activated yeast will help the dough rise effectively.
- Kneading Dough: When kneading the dough, aim for a smooth and elastic texture. This helps develop gluten, resulting in a better texture and structure for the crust.
- Rising Time: The rising time can vary depending on the ambient temperature. If your kitchen is cooler, it may take longer for the dough to double in size. Patience is key!
- Pizza Stone Preheating: Preheating the pizza stone under the broiler ensures a crispy crust. Make sure to place the stone in the oven while preheating, so it reaches the desired temperature.
- Roasting Tomatoes and Artichokes: Watch the tomatoes and artichokes closely while roasting. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and the artichokes to have a slight browning. Be careful not to overcook them.
- Tzatziki Sauce: Letting the tzatziki sauce chill in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld and intensify. It’s a refreshing and tangy addition to the pizza.
- Shaping the Dough: Don’t worry about achieving a perfectly round shape. Embrace a rustic look for your pizza. Remember, it’s about the taste, not the appearance!
- Toppings Distribution: Ensure an even distribution of toppings on the pizza. This helps create a balanced flavor profile and ensures each slice has a delicious combination of ingredients.
- Baking Temperature and Time: Adjust the baking time based on your oven and personal preference. Keep an eye on the pizza, as it can quickly go from perfectly browned to overcooked under the broiler.
- Garnish with Fresh Cucumber: Slicing fresh cucumber as a final garnish adds a cool and crunchy element to the pizza. It complements the flavors and adds a refreshing touch.
- Customization: Feel free to personalize the toppings based on your preferences. Add or swap ingredients to create your own unique flavor combinations!
There you have it, Hungry People!
The Gyro Pizza with a Tzatziki Drizzle, the mythical creation that combines the best of both Greek cuisine and pizza goodness. I can’t wait for you to try it and let me know how it turns out.
Gyro Pizza with a Tzatziki Drizzle
FOR PIZZA DOUGH:
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons Greek marinade or dressing
- 3 tablespoons garlic minced
- 12 strips gyro meat chopped
- ½ small red onion or shallot sliced into rings
- 8 cherry tomatoes sliced
- ¼ red/orange bell pepper sliced into rings
- 5 artichoke hearts sliced
- 2 portabella mushrooms chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 English cucumber sliced for topping, optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- Activate the yeast in the lukewarm water (not exceeding 110°F) for 10 minutes or until the water becomes frothy.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the olive oil and stir until a crumbly dough forms. Make a well in the center and pour in the activated yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until a thick and sticky dough has formed.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and soft. Add small amounts of oil if the dough becomes too dry. Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven with a pizza stone under the broiler on high for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue preheating for another 30 minutes. (Tip: You can leave the oven on while preparing the rest of the ingredients.)
- Slice the cherry tomatoes and arrange them with the sliced artichoke hearts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley. Place the baking sheet on the preheated pizza stone and bake the tomatoes and artichokes for 10-15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are shriveled and the artichokes have started to brown.
- In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, dill, lemon juice, and minced garlic to make the tzatziki sauce. Chill the sauce in the refrigerator until ready to spread on the pizza.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Shape the dough into a disk and let it rise for an additional 10-30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface. If you don't have a wooden slide, sprinkle cornmeal on a wooden cutting board or directly on the pizza stone. Shape the dough into a general circle or square.
- Brush the dough with 1-2 tablespoons of the Greek marinade. Spread 3/4 of the tzatziki sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving a crust around the edges.
- Top the pizza with chopped gyro meat, chopped mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and artichokes, and slices of pepper and onion. Sprinkle on the feta cheese.
- Bake the pizza in the oven at 375°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is just melting. Then, switch the oven to the broil setting and broil for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the pizza is cooked through.
- Garnish the pizza with cucumber slices and drizzle with additional tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!