Sunday, March 4, 2012

I love me some shrooms (the legal kind)!

I love pizza. And I love mushrooms. Put the two together and my love for them is synergistic (aka my love for a mushroom pizza is greater than my individual love of mushrooms and pizzas added together).

So when I saw this mushroomy mushroom pizza on Annie's Eats (one of my new favorite food blogs FYI), well, I just had to make it. And unlike most recipes on my "To Make" list, this one didn't have to sit there for long before it made it to my kitchen table. (aka: on a plate in my lap while I sat on my living room couch watching TV...)

I wanted to eat the whole thing but I refrained... and only ate half

So what makes this pizza oh-so-mushroomy?? Well, you can't see it, but there's a layer of mushroom pesto underneath that salty and bubbly layer of cheese.

Mushroom pesto on homemade pizza dough. BAM!

Roasted portobello mushrooms + rehydrated porcinis + garlic + thyme + red onion (I didn't have shallots) + arugula (I didn't have parsley) + olive oil (which now that I think about it, I may have forgotten to add...) gets blended together into a chunky paste.

Mushroom pesto- delicious!

After spreading the "pesto" on your pizza dough, you top that bad boy with a mixture of fontina and parmesan (I added a bit of aged provolone too) and even more mushrooms on top!

I'm in a cheese and mushroom filled heaven

After a quick trip in a very hot oven on a very hot pizza stone, I was practically giddy with excitement.

The cheese is trying to escape. There is no escaping my hunger.

And just check out this crust. It was my first time using this recipe (in fact, maybe even my first time making pizza dough), and although I had some issues with the dough (it was beyond wet and I was getting worried with how much extra flour I had to add to just make it come together), it ended up perfectly cooked: crispy and tender and delicious!

Pizza dough success!!

Yours in finally attempting to make their own pizza dough, and loving the fact that I have extra stocked away in the freezer for a future, lazy meal,

Mushroom and Fontina Pizza, adapted from Annie's Eats
A few notes:
1. Fontina and parmesan make the cheese mixture quite salty. So I wouldn't add any a lot of (if any) extra salt to the individual components. I also added a bit more cheese, which upped the saltiness a bit. If you don't mind that, go for it. But if you're not a fan of the salty, then don't add in the extra cheese; alternatively, you can up the cheesiness factor by using a less salty cheese in the mix.

2. I'm cooking for a party of 1, but I decided to make the full recipes and split them. So I made the entire mushroom pesto: used half and froze the other half (an experiment to see how it freezes...). I also made the entire pizza dough recipe and split it in 4. Three balls got wrapped in plastic wrap and are currently sitting in my freezer. The last was used to make an ~8" pizza, or about half the size of the one from Annie's eats. I'm including full recipes for the pesto and pizza dough below, so feel free to cut the recipes down, use them all, or freeze leftovers for future use.


Mushroom pesto (enough for two 6-8" pizzas or one larger 12" pizza)
5 oz. (baby) portobello mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper (low on the salt)
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
¼ oz. dried porcini mushrooms
¼ cup very hot water
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (use 1/3 the amount for dried thyme)
2 TBSP fresh arugula, or parsley leaves
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese

Pizza toppings (enough for a 6-8" pizza, or 1/4 of the pizza dough recipe below; double if you want to make a larger 12" pizza) 
4 oz. sliced mushrooms, any kind (or mixture)
1/2 TBSP butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 TBSP dry white wine, optional
1/4 of pizza dough recipe below
Olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cups shredded Fontina cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup aged provolone, optional

1. Prepare the mushroom pesto: Preheat the oven to 450˚ F and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. For the last 10 minutes of baking, add the garlic cloves to the pan.

2. While the mushrooms are baking, soak the porcinis in the hot water for about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor or blender (a mini processor works perfect for this), combine the roasted mushrooms, garlic, rehydrated porcinis (including the 1/4 cup water they've been soaking in), shallot, thyme, parsley, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Stir in the Parmesan.

3. To make the pizza, increase the oven temperature to 500˚ F and preheat a pizza stone. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the mushrooms until browned and tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant. If using, stir in the wine and cook until almost completely evaporated. Remove from the heat.

4. Roll out the pizza dough into a 6 - 8"round. Note: either prepare your pizza on parchment paper (NOT wax paper, it'll melt at 500 degrees) that you'll transfer directly onto your pizza stone or prepare the pizza on a pizza peel with a dusting of flour and cornmeal to prevent the dough from sticking.

5. Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil. Evenly spread the mushroom pesto over the crust (HALF if you're making the small pizza) and top with the shredded cheeses and sautéed mushrooms. Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Pizza Dough, from Annie's Eats (originally from Baking Illustrated, aka Cooks Illustrated)
Yield: enough dough for 2 medium pizzas or 4 small pizzas/calzones

Note: I didn't weigh my dough (I didn't realize she had weight measurements) but this dough was super wet. I probably added close to another 1/2 cup, or maybe even more. If you need to add more dough so that it comes together but making sure it's still on the sticky side. You can always kneed in a little extra flour by hand when its time to roll out your dough.


½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. 

3. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky, go ahead and add more flour, a tablespoon or two at a time. (But don't add too much!)

4. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.

5. Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 2 or 4 equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.)

6. Cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes. To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.


Korena said...

Mushroom pesto - that is brilliant! God that pizza looks good!

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