Thursday, March 5, 2009

Four Seasons Pizza

Four Seasons Pizza

Pizza Dough, recipe follows
2 cups grated mozzarella
2 cups grated Fontina
6 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 pound steamed clams
1 tomato
8 thin slices prosciutto, cut into julienne
1 1/2 cups Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
2 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Prepare the dough 1 hour prior to making pizza. Divide the dough into
4 6 ounce balls. Allow to rise until ready to shape. Preheat oven with
pizza stone to 500F. Prepare the toppings. In a bowl, combine the
mozzarella and Fontina. In a small saute pan, over high heat, saute
the mushrooms in the olive oil until done. Season with salt and
pepper. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool. Reserve. Remove the
meat from the steamed clams and reserve. Discard the shells. Slice the
tomato into at least 6 thin round slices. Reserve. To assemble the
pizzas: Place a ball of dough on floured board and stretch to about 10
or 12 inches. Repeat with 2 additional balls. Divide last dough ball
into 6 pieces, and roll each one into 10 inch strips. Divide tomato
sauce evenly on dough circles leaving a small rim. Divide the cheese
on top of each pizza. Carefully place 2 strips of dough over each
pizza so that you have 4 quarters which represent the 4 seasons.
Garnish each quarter: 1 with tomato, 1 with clams, 1 with mushrooms
and 1 with prosciutto julienne. Slide pizza onto hot pizza stone. Bake
for 7 to 8 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the
oven and transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle basil over tomato
section and grated Parmesan over the mushroom section. Serve immediately.

Pizza Dough:
1 package active dry or fresh yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water, 105 to 115F
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.
In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt.
Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and
mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of
the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. The
pizza dough can also be made in a food processor fitted with the steel
blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients, and process
until the dough begins to form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a clean
work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should
be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let
it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. When ready, the dough
will stretch as it is lightly pulled. Divide the dough into 4 balls,
about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and
tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a
smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand
until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover
the dough with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this
point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to
2 days. Makes 4 8 inch pizzas.

Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup homemade chicken stock or store bought, heated
3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Over medium heat, saute the
onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute
longer. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the
chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Strain into a clean saucepan. Whisk in butter, piece by piece. Add
basil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Use as needed.
Makes 2 1/2 cups.