January 13, 2013

... White Four-Cheese Pizza with Basil and Garlic

Happy New Year, kids!  After a crazy busy Fall and Winter, I'm really excited to be back in the kitchen trying out new recipes.  Thanks to Santa, I have several terrific new cookbooks and I can't wait to share them with you.  First up...

This should come as no surprise considering how many posts I have based on Deb's recipes.  I love making pizza at home, so was thrilled to find her recipe for homemade pizza dough.  She gives instructions for both a rushed dough and a leisurely dough, but honestly who plans ahead enough for a pizza dough that takes more than 8 hours?  Not this girl.

So, pizza dough... check.  I'm a huge fan of white pizza (the whole not-a-lover-of-tomatoes thing I'm always talking about) and this recipe is my new fave.

Easy pizza crust, four cheeses, garlic, basil... You can't get much better than that.  

White Four-Cheese Pizza with Basil and Garlic
serves 6

for the dough...
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for counter
1 teaspoon table salt
olive oil, for coating bowl

Turn your oven on to warm (about 200 to 225 degrees) for 5 minutes, then turn it off.

Pour 1/2 cup warm water into the bowl of your electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let it stand for 5 minutes.  Add the flour, then salt, and mix with your dough hook at a moderate speed until the mixture starts to form a craggy mess.  Reduce the speed to low and mix for 5 minutes, letting the hook knead the mass into a smooth, elastic dough.  Remove dough and wipe out bowl.

Coat inside of mixing bowl with olive oil, place dough back in bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in previously warmed oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes, or until doubled.  Remove dough from oven (now is a good time to preheat it according to your recipe's instruction).

Turn the dough out onto a floured counter (if you want to roll it out), pizza peel, or prepared baking sheet, and let your recipe take it from here.

for the pizza...
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, then coarsely chopped
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  Brush 13x9-inch metal baking pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Mix remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in small bowl.

Roll out pizza dough on lightly floured work surface to 14x10-inch rectangle.  Transfer dough to prepared pan; brush lightly with some of the garlic oil.  Top with mozzarella cheese and goat cheese, leaving 1/2-inch plain border.  Crumble ricotta cheese over, then sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake pizza until crust is golden brown and cheese melts, about 18 minutes.  Drizzle remaining garlic-oil over pizza.  Let stand 3 minutes.  Sprinkle with basil.

Taylor's Notes:
The pizza dough was so easy, but mine didn't raise like Deb said it would.  I left it in the warmed oven for about 15 minutes longer than the recipe noted in hopes that it would raise a little more, but no luck.  I didn't notice that it made a huge difference in the taste of the crust - just might have produced a little smaller pizza.  Which, let's be honest, isn't a horrible thing if you're eating it by yourself.

For the pizza, I swapped out the Parmesan for Asiago and added a few toasted pine nuts for a little crunch.  The basil was a perfect addition - please don't leave it off!

Enjoy and Happy New Year!


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