White Pizzas with Arugula for Barefoot Thursday

August 27th, 2009

This was a very easy recipe in spite of the length of the directions. Do not be put off by them. Andrea of Nummy Kitchen has chosen another brilliant recipe from Ina Garten, our Barefoot Contessa guru. The Barefoot Bloggers meet online on the second and fourth Thursday of the month to cook one of Ina’s recipes.
There are so many things I like about this recipe. The yeast dough is easy to make and does not take hours. There is a wonderful garlic oil, infused with thyme and red pepper flakes that would also be good in vinaigrettes or drizzled on vegetables. The pizza is healthy with the salad right on top of it and it lends itself to so many variations. How about adding thinly sliced tomatoes and piling on a Caesar salad instead of the arugula or adding olives and feta and topping with a Greek salad. The recipe makes six 8 inch pizzas, but can easily be halved for just a few. Thanks Andrea for another great recipe.
For the dough
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
Good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the topping
3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled
For the vinaigrette
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby arugula
1 lemon, sliced
Mix the dough.
Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
Knead by hand.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.
Let it rise.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Make garlic oil.
Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)
Portion the dough.
Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Stretch the dough.
Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)
Top the dough.
Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.
Make the vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Add the greens.
When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.
TIP Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop.
TIP Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour.
TIP To make sure yeast is still “alive,” or active, put it in water and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If it becomes creamy or foamy, it’s active.

18 responses to “White Pizzas with Arugula for Barefoot Thursday”

  1. Suzie says:

    I love your suggested variations, especially the greek suggestion. I will be trying that out soon.

  2. Kate says:

    This is an amazing pizza! I wasn’t certain at first but the proof is in the taste!

  3. Pizza with arugula salad on top…priceless!

  4. Mary says:

    This is an amazing recipe. I’m not a huge fan of pizza, but this one really tempts me. I love arugula and it seems perfect here.

  5. Andrea says:

    Penny, I’m so glad you liked this pizza, thank you for cooking along with me 🙂 Your pizza looks wonderful and I love your ideas about topping with tomatoes or doing a Greek salad on top with feta and olives, that sounds so delicious!

  6. Lynda says:

    This pizza sounds delicious. I don’t make it as much as my family would like, but I will have to surprise them with this one next time. thanks!

  7. toni says:

    Love every detail of this – the selection of cheeses and the arugala. Even though it’s been incredibly hot and humid here, I’ve had a necessity to bake. DUH? Do I need therapy? 😉

  8. Katy ~ says:

    Love white pizza! The cheeses sound so good together. This would be a great personal favorite with me.

  9. Faye says:

    Yea yours looks great! Very fresh. I should have used less cheese too.

  10. Leslie says:

    This looks fantastic! I’m glad you enjoyed it, it was a bit hit here.

  11. Meryl says:

    I also love to do pizza with salad and a fried egg on top–delicious!

  12. vickie45 says:

    I love your idea of adding a greek twist to this pizza, and as for your kitchen, I’M SO JEALOUS.

  13. Grace says:

    i do like a saucy pizza, but a white pizza from time to time is definitely a good thing. i love the greenery you’ve added–spicy arugula is the perfect touch!

  14. I am so glad that you found my blog. I feel bad that I wasn’t able to make this recipe in time for the BB’s. I am a HUGE fan of Ina Garten and I had a feeling this would be an excellent recipe.
    So nice to meet you, and I hope to see more of you around.

  15. Love everything about this pizza. I like your Greek inspired ideas too.

  16. Robin Sue says:

    I do like pizza with the salad on top- something rustic about it. The tips you have included are very helpful, I never use a warm bowl, great idea!

  17. Tammy says:

    This looks wonderful! I haven’t completed mine yet because I’m still on the lookout for arugula. Seems to be missing in my region! I am looking in a neighboring city this week, so who knows? It may get completed soon. I like your variation ideas!

  18. girlichef says:

    Your pizza turned out superb! Looks absolutely mouthwatering! 🙂

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