Monday, August 31, 2009

Three Cheese and Mushroom Pizza

Pizza. Can it ever truly be bad? Okay, sometimes it can. But this recipe from Tyler Florence is the food of gods. My mom has requested me to make this many times. I do take a little liberty in the choosing of the cheese. Not a big fan of goat cheese, so I usually find a good cheese blend--3 cheese, Italian blend whatever. Then I use some fresh mozarella and tear chunks onto the pizza. I have also have found that not all proscuittos are the same. Imported is usually packaged paper thin. I prefer to get it sliced a little thicker from the deli so it is easier to cut--it is a little saltier so I skip adding the salt. For the dough, I use Fresh and Easy. Their dough is so good, and it saves time. I don't recommend the Pillsbury type, but Trader Joes, Sprouts and I'm sure some other bread stores or grocers have a good pre-made dough. My husband has finally mastered the finger technique of spreading the dough, getting it on the pizza peel, and then getting it into the oven on a hot pizza stone. It took some practice, but it makes amazing pizzas!

Three Cheese and Mushroom Pizza

1 recipe Pizza Dough, recipe follows (or you can buy it)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices prosciutto, sliced in strips
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, needles striped from the stem
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, such as crimini, portobello, shiitake, and oyster, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (be careful with the salt if prosciutto is already salty)
2 (4-ounce) logs goat cheese
2 cups shredded fontina
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino

Make the pizza dough as directed in the master recipe. Stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Coat a saute pan with the olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the prosciutto strips, stir to render out the ham's fat and flavor. Toss in the garlic and rosemary, saute for a minute until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, cook and stir until they've released their moisture and are nicely browned, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Crumble goat cheese evenly on the crust, scatter sauteed mushrooms all around, and top with shredded fontina. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp, and the cheese is bubbly.

Before cutting the pizza into slices, grate pecorino over the whole damn thing!

Pizza Dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 0f flour, plus more for dusting

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it's crumbly, add more water; if it's sticky, add more flour - 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.

1 comment:

  1. April, I found that if you put parchment paper down on the peel and make your pizza on top of the parchment paper it easily slides onto the heated stone. I discovered this after 3 or 4 ruined pizzas as my last ditch effort to continue using my pizza stone.

    -Karen (guess I'm logging in as Mike right now)