Sunday, August 07, 2011

May's Pizza del Mese: Fig and Prosciutto Pizza

Your eyes do not deceive. It is indeed August and I am just now posting May's Pizza del Mese. Want to do the time warp again? We made it in June in Rhode Island and again in July in California. Crazy stuff. But all that confusion is well worth it in the case of Fig and Prosciutto Pizza. This is our favorite pizza so far.

In Rhode Island Rebecca used her own magical pizza dough recipe. The book Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough recommends using their Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe, which I included below. Whole wheat pizza dough has similar connotations as whole wheat pasta--healthier, but at the expense of texture. But Bruce and Mark's whole wheat pizza dough is awesome. You won't think you're eating healthy at all.
Speaking of healthy, the original recipe calls for 12 ounces (3/4 pound) broccoli rabe, chopped (about 2 cups). That stuff is great for you, but if you can't find it locally, just use whatever dark leafy green you've got handy. My CSA basket overfloweth with chard, so I used that and it was awesome.
The pizza pictured above is Rebecca's creation in Rhode Island. Neither in Rhode Island nor in California did I get it together enough to remember to buy Gorgonzola or Danish blue cheese. The original recipe calls for 1 to 2 ounces Gorgonzola or Danish blue, crumbled, sprinkled along with the rosemary and black pepper just before popping this beauty into the oven. It turned out delectable, but next time I'll try to remember the funky cheese.
Rebecca bakes her pizza on parchment paper. She uses the back of a cookie sheet like a peel.
In Rhode Island we improvised the toppings based on my vague recollection that there was a pizza involving figs and prosciutto. The grocery store there only had dried figs, so we soaked them in water overnight. They were much sweeter than the fresh figs. Not a bad thing, just different. The fresh figs have a very mild taste, so I used about twice as many as the original recipe called for.

As long as fresh figs are in season, I'll continue to make this awesome pizza.

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza adapted from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

  • Vegetable oil to apply to the cooking surface of Lodge Pro Logic Cast-Iron 14-Inch Pizza Pan
  • One recipe Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (see recipe below)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 12 oz. (3/4 lb.) chard or other dark leafy green, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 T Classic Pizza Sauce (see recipe in January's Pizza del Mese: Pizza Margherita)
  • 6 oz. mozzarella, shredded
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 6 fresh, ripe figs, quartered
  • 2 T minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Apply a thin coating of vegetable oil to the surface of the cast iron pizza pan. Lay the dough at its center and dimple the dough with your fingertips. Then pull and press the dough until it forms a 14-inch circle on the pizza pan.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 2 T olive oil. Once it heats up, add the chard. Saute until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue stirring often, until tender, about 4 more minutes.
  • Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border at its perimeter. Top the sauce with the shredded mozzarella.
  • Spoon the chard and garlic over the pizza, then top with the prosciutto and fig quarters. Sprinkle the rosemary and black pepper over the pie.
  • Place the pie on its pizza pan in the oven on the middle rack. Check it about every three minutes for the first nine minutes to pop any air bubbles that may blow up at its edge or across its surface. Bake until the crust's edge is golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes.
  • Transfer the pizza pan to a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes. Remove the pie from the pan, transferring it directly to the wire rack to cool completely. Transfer the pie to a cutting board to slice the pizza into wedges to serve.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough adapted from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough Ingredients
  • 3/4 C lukewarm water (between 105 F and 115 F)
  • 2 t active dry yeast
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/3 C bread flour
  • 2/3 C all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 T canola or vegetable oil
  • Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with warm tap water, drain it, and dry it thoroughly. Stir the water, yeast, sugar, and salt together in the bowl just until everything is dissolved. Set aside at room temperature for 5 minutes to make sure the mixture bubbles and foams. If it doesn't, either the yeast expired or the water was not the right temperature. Throw the mixture out and start again.
  • Add both flours and the oil, attach the dough hook, and beat at medium speed until combined. Continue kneading at medium speed, adding more all-purpose flour in 1 T increments if the dough gets sticky, until the mixture is soft and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  • Wipe a clean, large bowl with a bit of cooking oil on a paper towel. Place the dough in the prepared bowl, turning the dough so all sides are coated with oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Previous Pizza del Mese:

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