Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wild Mushroom and Fontina Pizza

Like I mentioned in my Best of Charlottesville post, I made two pizzas last week. For the first time in a while, I made the dough from scratch. I got to use my new yeast! (I bought SAF instant yeast recently)
In the past, we've always made two pizzas from the single batch of pizza dough, or three pizzas from a double batch. I guess we normally make up a pizza recipe, and just put on whatever ingredients we want. I came to the realization that if you're following an actual pizza recipe, it is going to assume you're using a 16 oz ball of pizza dough, or at the minimum, 12 oz. When weighing the dough so I could split it perfectly, I found that what was supposed to yield two pizzas, was only 16 oz to start with. Because of this, I'm including the full dough recipe below to use for just the one pizza. We somehow made it work, with a very thick topping!

I'm not going to include a recipe for the second pizza we made. We roasted a bunch of onion, mushroom and bell peppers with some salt, pepper and garlic powder, at 450 F for 20-30 minutes. Instead of a pizza sauce, we mixed together homemade pesto with goat cheese, and liberally covered the pizza dough with it. We topped the pesto goat cheese with the veggies, and then sprinkled some shredded fontina on top.

That pizza was delicious, but here was the real winner. This pizza uses more mushrooms than you think could possibly fit on one pizza (yet somehow we fit them on half a pizza...), and has such great flavors. I'm going to note that the only thing we did differently was the pesto, and only because I didn't have some of the ingredients. One of our local stores usually has dried mushrooms, but they were out when I went. I just upped the amount slightly of mushrooms in the pesto instead, and used warm water instead of the soaking liquid. I didn't add a shallot. I also used way more garlic than the recipe called for, and have noted that below since I thought it tasted awesome that way!

Just a note - the pizza dough needs to be made in advance. If you decide last minute that you really want this pizza, any store bought dough will work just fine.

Recipe: Wild Mushroom and Fontina Pizza on Homemade Pizza Dough
Adapted from Pink Parsley and Alton Brown

1.5 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup warm water (100-110 F)
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp olive oil

Mushroom Pesto:
5 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
5 cloves of garlic, whole (still in skin, if possible)
1/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp butter or clarified butter
8 oz mixed mushrooms (I used white, cremini and shiitake)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Prep dough:
Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, flour, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low until the dough just comes together. Knead for 15 minutes on medium speed, adding 1 tbsp flour at a time if the dough starts to stick. Make sure the dough is smooth and elastic, without being sticky. If not, mix another 5-10 minutes and add additional flour.

Roll the dough into a smooth ball on the countertop. Place into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add 2 tsp of olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18-24 hours.

Make pesto:
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss the sliced mushrooms with 1 tbsp oil and salt and pepper. In a separate piece of foil, put in the whole cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, then close up the foil. Add to the baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp - about 20-25 minutes. If the garlic was in its skin, peel when it is cool enough to handle.

While the mushrooms are baking, soak the dried mushrooms in 1/4 cup boiling water for about 5 minutes. Strain through a paper towel-lined colander and reserve the liquid.

In bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process roasted mushrooms, garlic, porcini and liquid, shallot, thyme, parsley, and remaining 3 tbsp oil until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in cheese; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make pizza:
Place pizza stone into the bottom of a cold oven, sprinkle the surface with cornmeal, and turn the oven to 500 F. Wet hands barely with water and rub them onto the countertop to dampen the surface. Roll the dough on the surface until it tightens. Cover with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms. In a skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and saute until browned and softened, 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper, then pour in the wine. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and remove from heat.

Sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal. Stretch the dough into a round disc, rotating after each stretch. Toss the dough in the air if you dare. Shake the pizza on the peel to be sure it will slide off, onto the pizza stone.

Spread the pesto over the dough, leaving a small border (about 1/2 inch). Scatter the mushrooms evenly over the pesto, and top with the fontina and Parmesan cheese.

Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until bubbly and the bottom of the crust is golden brown. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note - I don't know how this happened, but we only took pictures of the no-recipe pizza!

Here is a picture when I last made the mushroom pizza, last summer. I think we made homemade whole wheat pizza dough.

If you like mushrooms, please make this pizza! It's so good!