Friday, March 18, 2011

Mushroom & Apricot White Pizza

Mushroom & White Rock Pizza d3-w

I can't tell you how many times I've whipped up a simple thin crust pizza (or flat bread if you will) over the last few months. The crust is perfectly crisp on the outside with a hint of tender crumb on the inside and the topping possibilities are endless - from simple stirfried leeks to caramelised onions, a splash of balsamic vinegar, sundried tomatoes, thin slices of zucchini, blue cheese, smoked salt, a drizzle of macadamia nut oil or a handful of nuts.

What I love about this is that the dough is super easy to whip up and with the high summer temperatures it doubles in volume in nearly no time, ready to be rolled out ultra-thinly, scattered with toppings and put in the oven to crisp up. I like to keep my toppings simple - leftover nibbles work like a charm here (think olives, slices of cheese, etc) - and minimal. This is not the time to go topping heavy - save that for proper deep dish pizza bases and the autumn/wintery months. 

The summer months instead call for simple and easy-to-assemble snacks and these pizzas fit the bill perfectly. I like rolling the dough out into a large rectangle and cutting the baked pizza into smallish squares - perfect as tapa with an early evening glass of wine or even as a snack around the bbq.

The idea for this particular topping came to me on a whim - I had a few mushrooms in the fridge and a hunk of apricot studded cheese and I'd just discovered the magic that is smoked salt and macadamia nut oil after a visit to Wild Peacock. I took a gamble and combined all these elements in a single pizza, working sparingly with my toppings to best showcase the delicious crunch of the thin base. 

I'm not shy to say it was an absolute winner. So much so that I've repeated this particular variation a few times since - always spectacularly easy and always fantastically fabulous to eat.

Mushroom & Apricot White Pizza
A Creative Pot original
Serves 4 – 6 as appetizer

Serve with a chilled glass of wine for pre-dinner drinks. For my overseas readers - you can substitute the cheese with a mild, firm-ish blue cheese (or even feta) and finely chopped dried apricot.

For the dough:
10g instant yeast
10 ml sugar
pinch of salt
125 ml luke warm water
160 – 210 g white bread flour
5 ml olive oil

For the topping:
150g mushrooms, thinly sliced
100g Fairview White Rock with Apricots
50 ml macadamia nut oil
smoked salt & pepper, to taste

1. Mix yeast, sugar, salt and water in a large bowl. Add enough flour so that when you stir it, the dough comes together (this will be roughly a third of the flour).
2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 – 15 minutes, gradually adding more flour until the dough feel smooth and elastic. Roll into a ball and lightly oil the surface, before covering with clingwrap.
3. Place dough in a warm spot and let rest until doubled in volume. Knock down.
4. Pre-heat oven to 220C. Roll dough out very thinly and transfer to an oiled baking stone. (Failing that a piece of heavy duty foil also works marvelously).
5. Arrange mushroom slices over the base and crumble cheese on top.
6. Drizzle with macadamia nut oil and season with salt and pepper.
7. Place in oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the base is crispy. Careful – because the base is so thin it burns easily.

    Full disclosure: I did not receive the Fairview cheese free of charge, neither was I asked to mention it on my blog, I simply love it.

    13 comments:

    Joanne on March 18, 2011 3:09 am said...

    Apricot studded cheese? I wonder where I can find that in the US...

    Hmm...you've inspired a craving.

    Koci on March 18, 2011 4:58 am said...

    What a pretty pizza! I love the idea of making some lighter pizzas in the warmer weather. And that macadamia nut oil sounds so cool. Yum!!

    Mika on March 18, 2011 9:31 am said...

    I tried ananas cheese and it was delicious...but never used it for pizza...as italian I'm very traditional when I have to cook or eat pizza...
    But I'm really interested in this apricot blue cheese combination...

    Miriam on March 18, 2011 10:22 am said...

    Sounds amazing...

    nina- My Easy Cooking on March 18, 2011 10:44 am said...

    Holy heck, you are indeed a cheese slut!! I'll trade ½ my sandwich for this!!

    Marisa on March 18, 2011 11:09 am said...

    @Joanne - Just use normal blue cheese and add a few dried apricots. WIN.

    @Nina - That sounds like a deal! Your roast lamb sandwich sounds divine.

    Mary on March 19, 2011 12:08 am said...

    What a sophisticated recipe! I really love the food and recipes you feature here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

    arcadia on March 19, 2011 7:46 am said...

    Baie vindingryk! Hoe het die Pasella shoot toe gegaan?

    foodies at home on March 19, 2011 7:52 am said...

    That is the most unique pizza I have ever seen! I love that cheese. I used something similar on a burger recently

    thecompletecookbook on March 19, 2011 11:17 am said...

    What an incredible pizza - a taste-explosion yummy!
    :-) mandy

    Anh on March 22, 2011 11:20 am said...

    lovely pizza! And the combo sounds so fun :)

    Errin on April 06, 2011 3:39 am said...

    this looks so interestingly delish. I see a dinner trend coming on at my house.... :)

    blushingstrawberries on May 07, 2011 10:37 pm said...

    Delicious! Perfect with a crisp pinot grigio and good company!

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