Focaccia + Roasted Tomatoes + Ricotta

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Do you ever get stuck on a food and somehow can't manage to stop eating it?  Well, I've had pizza for what seems like many days in a row.  (And granola, too. See previous post.)  It started with a pizza restaurant down the street and has continued with this focaccia and it's leftovers.  

Use any type of flours you like but I have to say the rye really adds a great flavor and texture.   

Serves 4. 

Focaccia Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes + Fresh Ricotta

For the focaccia

1 packet yeast

1 1/4 cup very warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cups rye flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1/8 cup + 1/4 cup olive oil

large handful fresh basil leaves, chopped

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red chile flakes

grated hard cheese like pecorino, parmesan... 

6 plum tomatoes, cored and cut lengthwise

8 cremini mushrooms, sliced

for the ricotta

4 cups whole milk

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon or less) 

For the focaccia:   Combine water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and let sit a couple minutes.  There should be bubbles or foam which shows that the yeast is active and working.  Add flours, salt and 1/8 cup olive oil.  Mix to form a dough and knead for 10  minutes.  Transfer to an oiled bowl and lightly oil the dough to stop any dryness or crust from forming.   

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.  It will double in size.  Stretch onto a baking sheet and let rest 20 minutes. Poke/dot dough's surface with fingers.  Pour remaining olive oil over dough.

Heat oven to 400.  Bake 25 minutes.  

Top with lots of ricotta then chopped roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, salt, chile flakes, fresh basil and grated hard cheese.  

Prepare ricotta while dough is rising.  Roast tomatoes at the same time your baking focaccia.  

For ricotta:  In a pot, combine milk, cream and salt over medium high heat.  Heat to 195 degrees (about 12-18 minutes).  Stir frequently.   

Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.  Milk will curdle.   

Pour everything into a colander lined with cheese cloth and let it drain for 20 minutes.  Transfer ricotta to a bowl and chill until ready to use.  

For tomatoes:  Toss tomatoes in a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast 15 minutes, cut side down.  Remove from oven and chop.

 For the mushrooms:  Saute in a dash of olive oil over medium high heat, about 7 minutes.  

 

Chantrelle + Mahon Pizza

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Sadly, I don't have a wood burning oven for perfect pizza making at home.  (Luckily, Motorino and Forcella both do and are not more than ten minutes away.)  

So, how to make great pizza at home?  I have some suggestions:  use very good ingredients, make your own sauce, heat oven to its highest setting, aim for a thin crust and use a pizza stone to keep the temperature high and consistent.  

Someone told me about this crust recipe and I didn't believe them but it's the quickest and my new favorite for at home pizza making.  Makes two small thin crust pizzas.  (The crust in the above photo is not this crust, it was a portion of whole wheat dough I had in the freezer.)  

Quick Pizza Crust

1 cup self rising flour

1 cup plain greek yogurt

Chantrelle Pizza

4 cloves garlic, diced, divided

olive oil

1 shallot, diced

fresh thyme leaves, about 1 teaspoon

1 cup chantrelle mushrooms, brushed clean

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1 1/2 cup mahon cheese, grated

1 inch cube parmesan cheese, grated

1 large tomato, sliced

For the Crust:  In a bowl combine yogurt and self rising flour with your hands until it comes together.  Should resemble playdough.  Adjust with more yogurt or flour as needed.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Form two discs and roll out on a floured surface very thin.

For the Pizza:  Place a pizza stone in oven and heat to 500 degrees.  Saute 2 cloves garlic, shallot, thyme and chantrelle mushrooms in a tablespoon of olive oil until shallot it clear and chantrelles are soft, about 5 minutes.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Rub each pizza with a drizzle of olive oil and rub with 1 clove diced garlic.  Top each pizza with half the cheeses, tomato slices and mushroom mixture.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  You may have to cook the pizzas one at a time.  Serve hot.

I used a pizza pan that is circular and has holes in it. (Usually called a pizza crisper)   I place this on the pizza stone (extra crisp) or place the stone on one rack and the baking sheet on a rack right above it (crisp).