For the pizza dough:
- 1 package active dry or fresh yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
For the pizza:
- 12 ounces (1/2 recipe) pizza dough
- 2 tablespoons pesto, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons oven-dried tomatoes, recipe follows, cut into thin slices
- 3/4 cup shredded or grated mozzarella, about 3 ounces
- 3/4 cup grated Fontina
- 2 Roma tomatoes, ends trimmed and cut into 12 slices
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 6 to 8 large fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients, and process until the dough begins to form a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand for 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled.
Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Yield: Makes 4 (8-inch) pizzas
For the Pizza: Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
To prepare each pizza, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch or 10-inch rounds, with the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough. Brush lightly with pesto and scatter the oven-dried tomatoes evenly around the inner circle of the pizza.
Sprinkle the mozzarella and Fontina, arrange the slices of the Roma tomatoes, and then sprinkle with the goat cheese, oregano, thyme, and finally the Parmesan. Bake on the pizza stone until the pizza crust is nicely browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Yield: 1 (10-inch) or 2 (8-inch) pizzas; 3 to 4 servings
- 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, about 12 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Preheat the over to 250 degrees F.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the tomato quarters on the tray, cut side down. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme and garlic. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and sugar, and sprinkle evenly over the tomatoes.
Bake until the tomatoes begin to shrivel, about 1 hour. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, transfer to a container. Pour olive oil over and cover the container. Refrigerate and use as needed.
Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups
- 12 medium fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
- 3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a mortar and pestle, pound the basil, garlic, nuts and salt until thoroughly mashed. Add the oil, a few drops at a time, until you have a smooth paste.
Pesto can also be made in a blender. Pour in the oil first, then the garlic, nuts, and finally the basil leaves. Blend on low to a smooth paste. Season with the kosher salt.
Yield: Scant 1/4 cup