Thursday, August 27, 2009

Barefoot Contessa White Pizza with Arugula

I'm so excited, today is my day to pick an Ina Garten recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers! I have been a member of the Barefoot Bloggers for over a year now and have absolutely loved participating in this online cooking group. We have tried so many fun recipes that I would probably have never even attempted, were it not for this group -- and the best part is, just about all of the recipes turn out delicious dishes that I want to make over and over again.

If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! If you've been a reader and have wondered where I've been the past month, I'm sorry to have not posted for so long. It's just been a crazy summer and after having house guests and doing a family road trip at the end of July, I just couldn't get back into the swing of blogging, and as soon as I tried, I had a computer crash! But that's all over now, thank goodness because I really missed Nummy Kitchen and all of my blogging friends :) Now let's get to the recipe -- this is a pretty long one...

White Pizza with Arugula
Ina Garten

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. * I dropped the oven temperature down to 425 * (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.

(I could only find an arugula blend -- not a problem!)

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.


Phew! That was a long recipe -- please don't let it intimidate you, this is a really easy recipe and you can make the whole amount of dough and use it at a later time for any kind of pizza. I've made the dough a few times and it always turns out nicely and is very easy to work with. You can even mix it on the dough cycle in your bread machine.

Now I have a bit of Barefoot Blogger catching up to do... The first recipe for August was Mango Banana Daiquiris picked by Veronica of Supermarket Serenade -- thanks for a fun fruity pick, Veronica!

I missed posting the two July recipes but I did cook along with everyone! These were two of my favorite Barefoot Bloggers picks...

First off was an amazing and easy dish,
Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes picked by Cat of Delta Whiskey . Thank you Cat, this is a new favorite for me!

The second recipe for July was picked by Aggie of
Aggie’s Kitchen who picked Peach & Blueberry Crumbles -- this is just a quick photo of the crumble (I made one big instead of littles) before adding the topping. The crumble baked up golden brown and beautiful and were delicious, I love the peach and blueberry combo, what a great summer dessert :)
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