We've had a pretty productive month around these parts. We finally selected a beautiful color for Barrett's nursery and I'm now in the midst of all that prep work. Also, on a whim I decided to paint the living room too.
I added more herbs and vegetables to my container garden because I missed not being able to nurture and watch things grow last year while something more blessed and precious was growing inside of me.
As spring draws to its final weeks, I hope everyone enjoyed a great season and is looking forward to summer.
If you caught my last post, I mentioned being excited about three new favorite recipes discovered over the past several months. This is the second.
I had a slightly different pizza I planned on making that featured a lot of the same ingredients, when Food Network posted a link to Ina's White Pizza on their Facebook page. I immediately scrapped whatever I had in mind and forged ahead to make this one. Drawn in by the use of three cheeses, zest of fresh lemon and spicy punch of arugala. I thought the "mess" of greens on top was gorgeous and fun.
I knew I'd love. I just knew it. I had no idea how much. Since making this pizza, we've had it an additional four times. It's perfect for spring and summer, especially when served alongside fresh cucumber and watermelon margaritas (I'll post that recipe soon). Just divine, I tell you.
I encourage making this for friends, on the weekend, small parties, because it's Tuesday and you deserve it. Or, just because.
I know the directions seem a little lengthy, but the process moves along rather quickly. And it's so worth it!
White Pizzas with ArugalaIna Garten via Food Network
For the dough:
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons Good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
*I use my own dough recipe, however, kept Ina's recipe here because it is very similar to mine. I use instead:
1 1/2 cups warm water, 1-2 packages of fast rising yeast, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 cups all-purpose, plus 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, and reserve an additional 1/4-1/2 cup all purpose flour to add while kneading if dough is too sticky, 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt.
For the Garlic-thyme oil:
1/2 cup good olive oil
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) (I used Fontinella)
1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces) (I would not recommend using pre-grated cheese. A whole block or ball of mozzarella is best.)
11 ounces creamy goat cheese, 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 (I used an equal mix of baby arugala and baby spinach)
1 lemon, sliced
*(From the dough I make four individual sized pizzas (You could also make two large pizzas or 6 small). I usually make two at a time, one for me and one for my husband, who usually eats half of mine. Because this is the case, I reduce this original vinaigrette recipe accordingly, cutting it in half, or even reducing it to 1/4.)
Mix the dough. *Tips: warm bowl by running under hot water and drying thoroughly before adding ingredients and mixing dough. *To make sure yeast is alive, sprinkle over-top of warm water with honey and oil and allow to foam. Always check dates for your yeast. I store mine in the refrigerator. *Always add flour before adding salt because salt can kill yeast.
In bowl of electric mixer fitted with dough hook, add warm water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Allow yeast to dissolve. Add 3 cups of flour to bowl and turn mixer on to medium-low speed, add in salt while mixing. While continuing to mix add up to an additional 1 cup of flour until dough becomes soft. You may not need whole cup. Allow dough to continue kneading, approximately 10 minutes, adding small amount of additional flour to prevent dough from sticking to sides of bowl if needed. When ready, turn dough out onto lightly floured large surface and knead by hand 12 times, just to ensure all of the dough is uniformly combined. Return dough to clean, well oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover with towel or plastic wrap. Let dough rise 45 minutes.
Hand mix version:
In large bowl, add warm water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Allow yeast to dissolve. Add 3 cups of flour to bowl, stir to combine with wooden spoon, add in salt. Add up to an additional 3/4 cup from reserved 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until dough starts to come together). You may not need whole cup. Reserve remaining 1/4 cup flour. Turn dough out onto clean large, lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it completely comes together. If dough remains sticky, add in additional 1/4 cup of flour while kneading (if necessary.) Continue kneading until dough becomes soft and smooth, about 6-8 minutes. You should feel the dough become lighter as kneading, and more uniform and elastic. Return dough to clean, well oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover with towel or plastic wrap. Let dough rise 45 minutes.
In small saucepan, add 1/2 cup olive oil, sliced garlic, fresh thyme sprigs and red pepper flakes. Allow to simmer over low heat for approximately 10 minutes, until garlic has rendered out some of its natural juice, but remains soft in appearance. Garlic will brown and burn very quickly. Be mindful to watch your oil and remove from heat if garlic cooking too quickly. Put aside.
Make sure your oven is clean. Set oven to 500 degrees to preheat.
Making dough portions.
When dough has risen, punch down dough and turn out onto clean surface. Divide into 6 equal pieces (or 4, if you'd like to make smaller individual, or two large). Unused dough can be refrigerated for several days.
On large sheet pan lined with parchment paper and lightly oiled, press and stretch dough into 8-inch circle shape, repeat with another dough portion. Two rounds of dough per pan. Cover with plastic wrap (or damp towel) and allow to rise 10 minutes, or 30 if using refrigerated dough.
To top dough.
Once garlic-thyme oil has cooled, remove thyme from stems and toss stems. Give oil a stir and brush entire surface of each pizza with oil. Leaving some for drizzling over-top. Sprinkle pizzas with salt and pepper. Top each pizza equally with the three cheeses, fontina, mozzarella and then goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle each pizza with no more than 1 tablespoon remaining oil. Place pans in oven and bake until crusts have become crisp and cheese begins browning to light golden color, 10-15 minutes. Bottom of crusts should be nicely browned.
Use whisk to combine 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. When pizzas are ready, toss the greens into large bowl, add only enough vinaigrette needed to moisten greens. Top each pizza with a large bunch of greens and a lemon slice. Slice pizza and serve immediately.