Wednesday, September 2, 2009

White Pizzas with Arugula

Here's the other Barefoot Bloggers recipe for August. A picture of this recipe is on the back cover of the Back to Basics cookbook, and it's always looked super tasty to me. I was excited that this was one of the recipe choices!

White Pizzas with Arugula

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

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. 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.

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.


The only thing I changed up was that I used my quick homemade pizza crust recipe instead of the dough/crust recipe here. Mostly because I didn't want six pizzas, I just wanted one and knew what size crust I'd get with my recipe. And it doesn't have to rise/rest for very long, so I didn't have to get it together way in advance. Getting things together in advance is not my strong suit! Oh, and I didn't have fresh thyme, so I just sprinkled in some dried. I was bummed because I really like fresh thyme, but I couldn't find it at either store I was at yesterday (Walmart and Trader Joe's...I actually didn't look at Walmart because I figured TJ's would have it...that's the first time TJ's has let me down...sigh.).


Wow. WOW. This pizza was so yummy!! The husband was darn near drooling looking at the piles of shredded cheese on the counter when I was assembling the pizza. I ended up only putting the arugula on half of the pizza because the husband seemed really skeptical of it, and I didn't know if the boy would eat it that way. I LOVED it with the arugula on top...I love the peppery bite of arugula and with the lemon and olive oil mixed in it added a great flavor and texture to the pizza. I honestly thought the bites I had with just cheese and no arugula were a little too cheesy--and that's not something I say very often, if ever! We all really liked this, and this will definitely be a pizza I make again!

(Picture to come later once I get it uploaded!)

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