Thursday, August 27, 2009

White Pizza with Rocket

This week's Barefoot challenge was to make a white pizza with rocket (or arugula), and I am so glad that it was. Under normal circumstances, I never would have pulled this recipe out of the book, but it was great and loved by everyone from the oldest to the youngest in the household (and yes, you're right, she did pick most of the rocket off). It also showed me that making your own pizza dough is pretty easy. I should have remembered that from making the grilled California pizzas nearly a year ago to the day, but somehow because they were cooked on the grill rather than baked in the oven, I had imagined the dough might have been different. It's not. You just dump the ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook and return 10 minutes later for a lovely ball of dough. It's that easy. The recipe makes half a dozen pizzas, so I have kept several balls of the dough in the freezer, and will see how well they defrost in the next few days. I'll update this post once I know. Oh, and by the way, because I am an evil mother, I didn't mention to the kids that one of the cheeses was goats cheese. If they knew, I'm sure the pizza would have been given an "er yuck" rating. Instead they lapped it up. Is that wrong?

The Barefoot Bloggers are a group that are slowly working their way through the magnus opus of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. If you feel like popping on an apron every couple of weeks and trying out something new, feel free to join in. Thanks to Andrea from Nummy Kitchen for the great choice this week.

White Pizza With Arugula
from Back to Basics by Ina Garten

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:nocoupons
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:nocoupons
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby arugula
1 lemon, sliced


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. 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. 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.

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!)

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. 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.)

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.

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

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.


Penny said...

Suzie, Your pizza looks great. And no, you are not a bad Mother for not mentioning the goat cheese. If it's pizza, it has to be good.

spike. said...

I love that all the kids ate it (goats chesse and all)! Looks beautiful

Andrea said...

Your pizza looks lovely, I'm so glad you and your family liked this recipe! My little ones weren't too keen on the greens on top but they ended up liking it in the end -- since they are salad fans I just said it's salad on top and that calmed their nerves.

Thanks for cooking along with me :)

Debinhawaii said...

Your pizzas turned out great! I think not disclosing the goat cheese was smart! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Your pizza looks great! I've luckily got a lead sous chef who loves goat cheese. But, really anything on a pizza can't be bad can it?

Kate said...

Your pizza looks great! I was a bit uncertain but I loved the wonderful combination of flavors!