Having a ready-made pizza delivered to your doorstep is certainly the easy route. But often times we love a culinary challenge, and this pizza recipe from Milk Street proved to be just that. We made our dough from scratch, even warmed it up to a perfect 75° in a sous vide bath, but it still was tricky to stretch out. You can always purchase a pre-made dough and save yourself some aggravation, just sayin’…
Be aware, heating the oven and pizza steel or stone to 550°F takes about an hour. Use this time to roast portobello mushrooms, and to combine the fontina-Parmesan cream white sauce. Don’t undercook the mushrooms. Roasting them until well browned removes moisture that would otherwise make the pizza crust soggy. Another suggestion would be to use cremini mushrooms instead of portobello caps, then you wouldn’t have to remove any gills.
For a time-saver on dinner day, the mushrooms also can be prepped up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated. When shaping the pizza dough, make sure that the edges are thicker than the center so they contain the cream sauce, which becomes runny during baking. For a crisp, well-browned bottom crust, if your oven only goes to 500°F, the pizza will need to bake for an extra two minutes.
The first attempt was unremarkable. The crust shape was more rectangular and we over-charred the mushrooms. Since the Fontina-Parmesan Cream makes enough for two pizzas, we made another several days later, which was more of a success story. This time we browned cremini mushrooms in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Plus we added about another cup of shredded fontina on top of the mushrooms. And that my friends, was a perfect pie!
Roasted Mushroom Pizza with Fontina and Scallions
- 1 lb. cremini mushrooms
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 portion pizza dough (warmed to 75°F)
- Bread flour, for dusting countertop
- 1 Tbsp. semolina flour, for dusting pizza peel
- 1 cup fontina-Parmesan cream (recipe below); more on top of the mushrooms if desired.
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- At least 1 hour before baking, heat the oven to 550°F with a baking steel or stone on the upper-middle rack and a second rack in the lower-middle.
- Cut the mushroom caps into ¼-inch slices. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms, olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Spread the mushrooms in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on the lower oven rack, stirring once, until they have released their moisture, the moisture evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 15 minutes. OR, brown them in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop.
- Stir in the thyme and garlic, then roast/cook in skillet until the mushrooms have browned and the garlic is no longer raw, another 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Turn the dough out onto a counter dusted generously with bread flour. Flour your hands and, using your fingers, press the dough, starting at the center and working out to the edges, into a 12-inch round, turning the dough over once. The round should be thin in the center, with slightly thicker edges. Lightly dust a baking peel, inverted baking sheet or rimless cookie sheet with the semolina. Transfer the dough to the peel and, if needed, reshape into a 12-inch round.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread the fontina-Parmesan cream evenly on the dough, leaving ½-inch border at the edge. Scatter the mushrooms over it and season with pepper. If desired, add more shredded fontina on top of the mushrooms.
- Slide the pizza onto the baking steel or stone and bake until the crust is well browned, 7 to 9 minutes.
- Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a wire rack. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then sprinkle with scallions and red pepper flakes.
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, cold
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium until stiff peaks form, about 2 1⁄2 minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the fontina, Parmesan, rosemary and pepper.
- Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Adapted from a recipe by Diane Unger for Milk Street