Thursday, August 27, 2009

BB: White Pizzas with Arugula

I was so very excited when I saw this month's second selection for Barefoot Bloggers. When I first purchased Back to Basics, this recipe caught my eye, but until this week I had yet to make it. Well it is safe to say that I will definitely be making this again. We had some friends over for dinner, and it was perfect for entertaining. I made the dough, the garlic oil, and shredded the cheese(mmmm mozzarella, goat cheese, and fontina) earlier in the day, so when it came time to make dinner, I just had to roll out the pizzas and throw them on the grill.

Which brings us to my next rave: pizza on the grill. This is really the only way I make pizza anymore. It makes the crust nice and crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. The ideal way to make pizza is in a brick oven, but since most of us don't have access to one, in my opinion a grill is the next best thing. If you don't have access to a grill, just bake them at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes, as Ina instructs.

One final point, I always use Cook's Illustrated's recipe for pizza dough, so I was a little nervous to try something different, but Ina's did not disappoint. I'll probably still stick with CI's in the future, but this one was delicious as well.

White Pizzas with Arugula
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100-114 degrees)
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups grated Fontina cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella
  • 11 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces baby spinach
  • 4 ounces baby arugula
To make the dough, combine the water, honey, yeast, and 3 Tablespoons olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour and then 2 teaspoons of salt, and mix on medium low speed. Add up to 1 more cup of flour while it mixes, or just enough to make a soft dough that doesn't stick to the bowl. Knead 10 minutes, sprinkling with flour to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it by hand 10-12 times. At this point it should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, brush the top with oil, and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature.

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

Prepare grill.

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

Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle. Brush with the oil, and carefully place on the grill oil-side down. Brush the other side with oil. Repeat with remaining dough (I could fit 3 pizzas on the grill at a time). When the first side is browned and crispy, carefully flip. Working quickly, top with the cheese (I mixed mine all together in a big bowl to make this easier). Drizzle with a little more oil and top with pepper. Continue to cook until the second side is done, and the cheese has melted (about 5 minutes or so).

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together 1/2 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. When the pizzas are done, place the arugula and spinach in a large bowl and toss with just enough vinaigrette to moisten. Slice the pizza into quarters and top with a large bunch of the greens. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and serve.


Hillary said...

I love pizza with arugula or any kind of leaves on top. Makes it feel a bit healthier :)

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