Pizza and beer!
First, I have to thank Kirsten at FarmFreshFeasts for this pizza inspiration. Not only does she have some killer pizzas on her blog (like this one, and this one), she recently posted this recipe for Chicken Saltimbocca Stuffed With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese. The flavor combination of butternut squash, goat cheese and prosciutto just sounded fabulous!
So logically, I made it into a pizza! Thanks, Kirsten!
Actually making the pizza was so easy I almost couldn’t believe it, although it did take some pre-planning. I used a pizza dough recipe from the book Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish (I love, love, love this book!!). It was an overnight recipe, so I actually started the pizza dough last night around 6 and let it proof all night.
I got up early this morning (5:50, if you must know) to divide the dough and shape it into balls. The balls went on a cookie sheet and into the fridge to proof all day while I was at work.
I got better at shaping the dough as I went. The first one was a little wonky (bottom right).
This was the first time I ever made pizza dough from scratch, so I was super excited. When I got home from work, I immediately put the pizza stone in the oven and set the temp to as high as my oven would go (or 500 degrees). The oven and the pizza stone preheated for about 40 minutes. When I got the dough out of the fridge to shape it, I turned the oven to broil – in his book, Ken calls that “super heating” the pizza stone. 🙂
I assembled my pizza topping ingredients: butternut squash that I had cooked earlier in the season and frozen (I moved it from freezer to fridge last night), goat cheese crumbles, shredded mozzarella (I love cheese), prosciutto and sage leaves. Also black pepper, but it didn’t make it into the picture.
One thing I learned right away. It is apparently impossible for me to make homemade pizza dough without covering the kitchen in flour. Whoops.
As per the instructions in the cookbook, I punched down the center of the dough, flipped it over and punched it down again.
Then the cool part – I picked up the dough by the edge, and constantly turning it, just let gravity stretch it out to the right size and shape. (I don’t have pictures of that because it took both hands and all my attention.) I was so proud – no ripping or tearing, and it was actually vaguely round shaped! Life is good.
I put the dough on a floured peel and proceeded to apply toppings.
From the bottom up: Butternut squash (not too thick), goat cheese crumbles, mozzarella, prosciutto, sage leaves, black pepper. The sage leaves were little, so I just tore them in half and scattered them over everything else.
I turned the oven from broil back to bake (500 degrees) and it was go time.
Getting the pizza from the pizza peel to the pizza stone was the trickiest part. I feel like there’s some kind of wrist flick that I have yet to master, but I did okay. This was awesome though – the pizza stone was so hot that you could hear the sizzle as soon as the pizza dough touched it. So cool!
I baked it for 8 minutes, then turned on the broiler for about 2 minutes to get the top all browned and yummy.
It was fabulous. The crust was tangy, crunchy on the bottom but chewy around the edge – everything I hoped it would be. And the combo of the squash, goat cheese, prosciutto and sage – again, thanks Kirsten! I ate two big pieces, and it took some serious willpower to stop there.
Be on the lookout for some more non-traditional pizzas in the next few days – I do still have pizza dough in the fridge!
Are you a pizza fan? What are your favorite non-traditional pizza toppings?
Ready for my close-up!