Monday, March 28, 2011

Perfecting the Art of Pizza

Mark and I ADORE pizza. It's the #1 comfort food in our house and we have quickly turned into connaisseurs. It's one of those foods you can get creative with and you all know how much I love to play. Thanks to my Kitchen Aid Mixer and years of watching my mom, I have gotten our homemade dough down to an art and we haven't had a reason to eat pizza out since. With a good dough hook at my fingertips, a couple of hours to let the dough rise and my Williams-Sonoma pizza stone, I am now a firm believer that there is no other way to enjoy this Italian staple. I have been using a simple Emeril Lagasse recipe for my dough and have had a nice winning streak with it. I also recommend investing in a good pizza stone. Purchasing one of these combined with making your own dough will forever change your relationship with pizza.

Last night, I let one of my favorite menu items from Ilios Noche serve as the inspiration and added a few things of my own. The end result was a crusty carb-loaded foundation topped with earthy-deliciousness that is mushrooms and salty prosciutto. Topped with Locatelli cheese and fresh arugula, the layers of flavor will blow you away.

Roasted Mushroom Pizza with Arugula & Prosciutto

Baby bella mushrooms
6 slices prosciutto, torn
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Baby arugula (a few handfulls, plus extra to top the pizza when it's done)
Olive oil
Locatelli, Parmesean, or Romano cheese (shaved)

Slice mushrooms and place on a baking sheet. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top pizza dough (recipe below) with half of the mozzarella, then cover with baby arugula. Arrange mushrooms and prosciuto evenly and top with the rest of the mozzarella. If using a preheated pizza stone, bake at 500 degrees for 8 minutes. Cut in slices and serve with a handful of fresh arugula atop the pizza slice and sprinkle with shaved Locatelli cheese. For a Vegetarian friendly pizza, skip the prosciutto!

Pizza Dough
recipe from Emeril Lagasse
(makes one large pizza)

1 cup warm water
1 packet dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 1/4 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. salt

To the bowl of an electric mixer, add the warm water and yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast, then add in the sugar and dissolve as well. Add the olive oil, salt one cup of flour at a time. Slowly add flour as it mixes in. Mix the dough with a hook until the dough comes together and climbs up the dough hook. Let rise for 1-2 hours (less time for a thin crust pizza).

NOTE: I am madly in love with my pizza stone and won't cook my pizza any other way now. For the perfect "stone oven" at home pizza, preheat the pizza stone in the oven at 500 degrees. Meanwhile, roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured counter top. Transfer to preheated stone, and top as desired. Bake on the second lowest rack of the oven for approximately 8 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious! We, too, are a homemade pizza family. Addison loves to help me roll out the dough and put all the toppings on. She'll lay each individual topping in the "perfect" place! :) I usually set out bowls of different toppings, and we each claim a part of the pizza as our own and put whichever toppings we want on our slice(s). Hope y'all are doing great! Tell Marky we say hi!