We’ve been getting more creative with our homemade pizzas and experimenting with all kinds of toppings lately. It’s one of those casual dishes that’s good for grazing all day on New Year’s Day or a Superbowl Sunday, and one where the kids can help and build whichever kind of pizza they want. It’s easy once you have a solid crust to build on and lately, Mark’s been using the recipe from Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick. The key here is to use flour ideal for pizza dough. Caputo or Tipo 00 flour is generally known to be the best kind of flour for pizza because it’s finely ground, and we’ve noticed a difference in the taste and texture of the pizza crust. Totally worth the effort in seeking it out.
Some of the toppings that we’ve tried have been mushrooms and caramelized onions, roasted beets and swiss chard, buffalo chicken and kabocha squash. One of my favorite variations, however, is the fig jam and ricotta pizza with a generous tossing of fresh arugula. I’m not usually a fan of white pizzas (I love tomato sauce too much), but the sweetness of the jam, coupled with the smooth flavor of the ricotta and the subtle sharpness of the arugula makes it an irresistible combination. Mark made his own ricotta (which he claims is “easy”) but if you can get it, any fresh made ricotta at a specialty store would be better than the stuff you buy at supermarkets in the dairy aisles. When fresh figs are in season, I want to try it with thin slices of the fruit, but I actually like the dollops of jam – which was a substitute when we couldn’t find fresh figs – on the pizza.
The great thing about pizza is that you can try *almost* anything as a topping. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge!
Here’s the dough recipe that we’ve been using:
Pizza Dough (recipe from Roberta’s)
153 grams 00 flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
153 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons)
8 grams fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)
2 grams active dry yeast (3/4 teaspoon)
4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams (about 1 cup) lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil, then pour it into flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, approximately 3 minutes, then let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
Knead rested dough for 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with dampened cloth, and let rest and rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature or for 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin to shape it for pizza.)
To make pizza, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it, then your hands to shape it into rounds or squares. Top and bake.
*Measurements for dry ingredients are given by weight for greater accuracy. The equivalent measurements by volume are approximate.