Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mushroom Pizza

This pizza was inspired by a Tyler Florence recipe. The video demo is here. I subbed a lot of ingredients to use up what I had on hand. I used a pizza stone for this and it gave the pizza a nice crispy crust.

1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F.)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 slices prosciutto, cut into strips (I used onion and green pepper instead)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
needles from 1 fresh rosemary sprig, plus 1 sprig for garnish
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, such as crimini, portabello, shiitake, oyster, and morel, cleaned and coarsely chopped (I used white mushrooms)
8 ounces goat cheese (fresh or aged) (I used neufchatel cheese)
1 bunch fresh baby spinach, rinsed and dried, coarsely chopped (I omitted)
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 lemon, juiced (I omitted)

extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for rolling
cornmeal, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. and put a big pizza stone in the oven to heat. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a regular mixing bowl), combine 1 package active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F.) and stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

If using mixer, apply lowest setting and add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 cups flour, a little at a time until the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium until dough gathers into a ball. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook.

If you're making dough by hand, stir in salt and olive oil, and then begin stirring in flour. When the mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, knead the rest of the flour in by hand, a little at a time. Adjust as necessary -- if the dough feels crumbly, add more water, if it's sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times, kneading until smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a round and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it over to coat the dough entirely with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (like over a gas pilot light or a on a windowsill) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, coat a saute pan with a 2-count of olive oil and put it over medium heat until it gets hot. Add 2 slices of prosciutto, cut into strips, and stir for a minute or so to release the fat and flavor. Toss in 2 garlic cloves (chopped), and needles from 1 fresh rosemary spring and cook for about 30 seconds. Drizzle in some more olive oil, add 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms (such as crimini, portabello, shiitake, oyster and morel) and season with salt and pepper. Stir, and continue to cook until the mushrooms have released their moisture and are nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and take the pan off the heat.

Check the dough. Once it's domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to a large circle, about 1/2-inch thick. If you prefer a thinner crust, cut the dough in half and make two smaller pizzas. Dust a pizza paddle with some cornmeal and slide the paddle under the pizza dough. Spread 8 ounces of fresh goat cheese evenly over the dough with the back of a spoon (or crumble on, if using aged). Scatter the sauteed mushrooms on top of the pizza, drizzle on some olive oil, and top with 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese.

Reduce oven heat to 475 degrees F. 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.

In a large mixing bowl, toss 1 bunch fresh baby spinach, rinsed, dried, and coarsely chopped, with fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When the pizza comes out of the oven, top it with the dressed spinach, slice and serve.

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