Mushroom and Fontina Pizza

Here is a very simple pizza recipe.

Makes 1 12″ Pizza

~

Ingredients

1 packet active dry yeast
3 cups flour
salt
3 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 oz. assorted wild mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
3 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 plum tomatoes, seed and coarsely chopped
2 cups freshly grated fontina
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

~

  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine flour and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to yeast, a little at a time, moistening  with up to 3/4 cup water as you mix. Alternately, you could pulse the mixture in a food processor just until it forms a ball. Dough should be soft but not wet.
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, 10 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel; set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, 2 – 3 hours.
  3. Set a pizza stone in the middle of your oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms, seasoning with thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until wilted, 5 minutes. Add vinegar slowly, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cook for 2 more minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble the pizza, stretch the dough into a 12″ round, pinch the edges to form a ridge, and sit dough on a pizza peel dusted with flour. Cover with half the fontina, all the mushrooms, and all the tomato mixture. Top with the remaining fontina and parmesan. Slide the pizza into the oven, onto the stone. Bake until crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Garnish with more thyme sprigs.

NB: A bit of truffle oil strewn across this pizza can only bring happiness!

Prosciutto & Cheese Bread

  

This bread is absolutely delicious. The fat from the prosciutto melts with the cheese directly into the bread creating a cheesy and salty goodness.

Recipe:

3 cups bread flour, more for dusting
1/2 pound prosciutto, chopped
1/2 pound provolone, chopped
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle the top with flour and some of the prosciutto and the provolone. Fold the dough over on itself several times, adding prosciutto and cheese between each fold. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a floured kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Generously sprinkle a baking pan with flour and corn meal and arrange the dough balls on the baking pan. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
  4. Brush the dough with an egg and sprinkle with your favorite seed (sesame, poppy, fennel…).
  5. Bake for 30 minutes in a pre-heated 400 degree oven.

 

Feel free to get creative:

  • Add fresh herbs.
  • Substitute other cured pork products for prosciutto.
  • Use any cheese you like or any combination.
  • Eliminate the pork and cheese and use only rosemary for the best Rosemary Focaccia.
  • Vary the shapes and size of the bread to suit you.

No-Knead Pizza Dough

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Co.

Makes four 12-inch pizza crusts

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough balls with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.

Bruschetta & Crostino

              

Answers.com defines Crostino as:

  1. A piece of thin crisp toast.
  2. An hors d’oeuvre made with a crostino and any of various toppings.

Yes, that’s right, and the word Crostino comes from the Italian crosta meaning crust, referring to the bread it is made from.

Isn’t that called a Brooshetta?

Bruschetta comes from the Italian word bruscare, which means to burn, or roast over coals, referring to the way the bread is toasted. The correct pronunciation of this word is BRU-SKETTA, and yes, it is very much like a crostino, though bruschetta toasts are always rubbed with a clove of garlic while still warm, and usually topped with the classic fresh tomato, basil and olive oil mixture.

Today, crostino and bruschetta are almost interchangeable; the shape or size of the crust and the endless choice of toppings is really up to you. If you really insist on giving them a name…just call them delicious!