Wednesday, April 27, 2016

White Pizza! How to Prepare and Bake a Mushroom, Thyme, Goat Cheese with Truffle Oil Pie

I'm a huge fan of hand-stretched, thin-crust pizza blistered in a wood-fire oven.  Alas! I have no spacious garden to house a clay or stone pizza oven, but I think a pizza stone and/or an extremely hot oven can reproduce a pie reminiscent of my favorite pizzeria.  This type of pizza is also not doughy, nor slathered with a heavy sauce and laden with a pound of meat, cheese and vegetables.  White pizza is quintessentially crispy on the outside, yet chewy on inside with a scant amount of sauce or none and just a few ingredients scattered on top.  I wasn't very Northern Italian with my pizzas above.  My husband had a bumper crop of onions from our spring garden, which I sautéed with a package of Costco mushrooms.  I also had a Costco-sized tub of Laura Chenel's goat cheese and leftover spicy Italian sausage.  How could I not overload my pizza?!?

I pride myself on cooking from scratch, but that doesn't mean I won't avail myself of the shortcut of purchasing pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store.  Per directions on the bag, I take out the dough 30 minutes before handling to take the chill of the refrigerator off.  Preheat your oven to 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit to also warm your kitchen.  On a baking sheet, I spread a tablespoon (or more if you like crispier) of extra virgin olive oil.

While my dough is rising a bit or increasing in volume, I go into my garden to snip some twigs of fresh thyme and then slice an 8-ounce package of white button mushrooms.  Remove the thyme leaves from the branches and then chop with either a couple of shallots or half a white onion.  I melt a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and then sauté over medium-high heat the onions, mushrooms, and thyme.  Set aside to cool.

On a floured cutting board (or your clean counter), knead your pizza dough.  A few holes here and there is okay for a thin crust pizza.  I like to let the dough hang off my hands to stretch out the thick spots, and when laid down on the pan, I also tug here and there on the dough again to thin out doughy areas.

The fun part!  Scatter your sautéed ingredients on the dough.  Then crumble an 8-ounce log of goat cheese and strew atop your pizza.  Next drizzle truffle oil all over.

Bake your pizza in the hot oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly to your liking.  Lastly, I sprinkle truffle salt because I have it and because I didn't sprinkle salt into my sautéed mushrooms and onions.  However, if you don't have truffle salt, just remember to salt your vegetables a teensy bit.

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