Sunday, August 30, 2009
Barefoot Bloggers: White Pizza with Arugula
Forget the coconut cupcakes. This dish must be the single-best recipe ever published by the Barefoot Contessa. I have to thank Andrea of Nummy Kitchen for enlightening me in ways I would never have discovered if left to my own selection process.
You ask, what makes each bite of this pizza so incredible that you think you just made something Michelin-star worthy and think that you have what it takes to become the next Food Network star? As noted by the Contessa, it is the contrast of the warm-goat cheese-garlic-infused-olive oil-pizza against the cold, lemony arugula.
This is seriously good stuff.
Better yet, there is something so organic and beautiful about making homemade pizza; it brings out (the fractional interest of) my Italian heritage. I love working with my hands and the smell of the yeast in the dough. I am still marveled by the entire proofing process. Making homemade pizza or pasta is such a wonderful way to love on your friends and family. So even though the weather was about a buck-o-six on the day I prepared this amazing dish, I happily turned my oven onto 500 degrees for this little slice of heaven.
White Pizza with Arugula
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
For the pizza:
1 ¼ cups of warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 packages of dry yeast
1 Tbsp. of honey
1 Tbsp. of olive oil
4 cups of AP flour
4 garlic cloves
red pepper flakes
fresh ground pepper
1 cup of fresh mozzarella
1 cup of crumbled goat cheese
For the salad:
Good olive oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fresh ground peppter
For the dough:
Combine water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of the electric mixer. When yeast is dissolved (and using the dough hook attachment) add 3 cups of flour. Mix on low-medium speed. While mixing, add up to 1 additional cup of flour to get the right consistency to be able to knead dough. Knead dough in bowl for approximately 10 minutes, sprinkling with flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to bowl. When dough is ready, turn it onto a floured surface and knead it by hand again. Place dough in well-oiled bowl and cover with kitchen towel. Let the dough proof for at least 30 minutes.
For the garlic-infused olive oil:
Place ½ cup of olive oil in small saucepan. Add sliced garlic cloves, thyme, pepper flakes (to preference). Simmer on low temperature for about 10 minutes. Don’t burn the garlic!
When dough is ready, roll out to desired circumference. Brush the garlic infused olive oil onto the pizza. Add salt, pepper and cheese. (The cheese can be adapted in a number of ways according to preference. I substituted out the Fontina and some of the mozzarella for more goat cheese. You could also use Feta.) Then drizzle a little more of the oil on top of cheese. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
In the meantime, make arugula salad. When the pizza is done, pull out of the oven and top with the arugula salad. Eat immediately.