Thursday, August 27, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: White Pizza with Arugula

Wow - just got back from a week long trip to visit family in Kentucky. Surprisingly good weather for Kentucky in August and lots of good food. I got my fill of Catfish, Hush Puppies, BBQ, Pies and Cobblers. I even managed to bring back 4 lbs of frozen KY BBQ to last me a little while. Enough talk about that - I am making myself hungry. I made this recipe a few weeks ago before I left so I will do my best to remember it.

The White Pizza with Arugula looked like a great recipe to me but I wasn't sure my wife would like it. I have been experimenting a little with cooking pizza at home (in the oven and on the grill) but my wife isn't a fan of white pizza so I had not done that yet. This was quicker than most pizzas I have made in that it only required 40 minutes for rising time total. It probably only took a little over an hour to make the whole pizza. It does call for a few "exotic" ingredients. I got the fontina - it is an expensive cheese but is a nice melting and tasting cheese so I figured it would be good here. Not fond of goat cheese so I skipped that and used a little feta that I had on hand in place of it. My supermarket did not have arugula so I ended up just getting a bagged spring mix to use in place of that. I made just 1/3 the recipe for two pizzas.

The pizzas were fantastic. When I first made the vinaigrette I was a little worried with how lemony it was but it worked very well on the pizza and wasn't too strong at all. My wife gave it too thumbs up as well. It is a nice meal having the pizza and salad all in one. If you don't like the salad idea I think the pizza would hold up on its own as well - throw some chicken or something on it and it would be great. The crust cooked up very well and my wife even ate all the crust which she does not normally do. I might end up making this my go to crust recipe now.

Thanks to Andrea of Nummy Kitchen for this months recipe. Looks like Andrea does do a lot of "Nummy" baking on her blog.

White Pizza with Arugula
(Source: Back to Basics, Page 82)
Makes 6 pizzas


For the dough:
  • 1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the topping:
  • 3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
  • 11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Mix the dough.

Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

Knead by hand.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

Let it rise.

Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Make garlic oil.

Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)

Portion the dough.

Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Stretch the dough.

Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)

Top the dough.

Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.

Make the vinaigrette.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add the greens.

When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.

TIP Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop.

TIP Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour.

TIP To make sure yeast is still "alive," or active, put it in water and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If it becomes creamy or foamy, it's active.


Andrea at Nummy Kitchen said...

Your pizza looks great, I'm so glad that you and your wife both enjoyed it. I love that you used feta on it as well, great idea! Thanks for cooking along with me this week :)

Tonya @ What's On My Plate said...

Looks great! The arugula adds a great bite that you don't get from spring mix. For my last batch I did half arugula and half spring mix.

Suzie said...

We really loved this too - a really great pizza. I agree about the dough as well - particularly good for me because you can't get pre-made dough at the supermarket here.

Karen said...

I have made this many times, it is sooo good and well worth the time!