Friday, August 28, 2009

BB: BBD: White Pizzas with Arugula

This will be my first post for Barefoot Bloggers, a twice monthly event that features recipes by Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa). The recipe for this period was supposed to be posted yesterday, but a typical pounding jungle storm cut our satelite service for the day, so I'm a bit late. The recipe was chosen by Andrea of Nummy Kitchen. Not only have I never made pizza from scratch, but I am not really a big pizza fan, and I wouldn't in a million years have ever thought of making a pizza with a "greens" topping. It sounded great, though ... kinda like a salad with the croutons on the bottom ... and I have been looking forward to it all week.

AND I also want to submit this to
Bread Baking Day, a once monthly event that is hosted this month by Nick and Sara of I'm a Food Blog. The topic is "Something New", and although I have eaten lots of pizza over the years, the availability of great, inexpensive pizzas for ordering out, combined with a family full of cheese intolerances, and my own idea that making a pizza crust was too difficult, has kept me from making my own pizzas. So this is a "first" for me.

White Pizzas with Arugula


Arugula does not exist in Petén, and I have still not grown any, so once again I turned to my garden to see what would work instead of arugula. I happily decided on some cilantro and pretty well my entire crop of Swiss Chard,

and added some of the basil leaves that I had left in the refrigerator.

I buy my yeast in 1 lb packages, and have no idea how much is in one of those little envelopes, so I used 1 TB.

I used some of my doncella honey, figuring that its lemon-y sweetness would back up the flavors of the greens.

No fresh thyme anywhere ... so I used a couple of dried bunches to flavor the oil, then removed them.

Cheese here is limited in range, expensive and, for the most part, tasteless. I bought two bags of cheese blends, and for a bit of flavor, mixed a chopped roasted red pepper into a small container of cream cheese for the base. In the end, I used much less cheese than the recipe called for.

I was happy to see that this recipe uses lemon ... and we are in lemon season ....


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.



What a fabulous sounding pizza, though it certainly is a long way from the traditional NY pizza of my childhood. I am so glad to hear you have finally made your own pizza dough, it is so good and worth the time. Thanks for joining us for this month's BBD!

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home