Monday, April 18, 2011

Garlicky White Arugula Pizza With a Fantastic 30-Minute Pizza Crust

I'm in love...with a pizza. And I would like you to be too. There are worse things to be in love with for sure...but this pizza is simply DIVINE. Let's live a little and deviate from red sauce versions once in a while. The crust recipe below was loosely inspired from an recipe--it's SUPER quick and easy to work with...the crust is crispy, chewy, and very flavorful. Seriously, you will LOVE this crust--you can make it the night before you make dinner. You may not want to share it...that's ok. By the way, I saw the topping on a Barefoot Contessa one time---but I did not look up her recipe. I'm giving credit where it's due though...

The only thing I might try next time we make this is to add some grilled chicken along with the cheese. I'm so glad I made a double recipe of this crust--because we are going to be having this garlicky white arugula pizza again for dinner--it's quickly becoming a favorite. (By the way, I don't trust people that don't like pizza...not liking chocolate is one insanity, but not liking pizza?! You may as well go through life with a straight jacket on....)

  • 1/2 cup beer (warmed or room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup water (warm)
  • 1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast (my package said 5/16 oz but it worked great in recipe!)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour (OR, all purpose flour PLUS 2 tsp. vital wheat gluten)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Cornmeal (for dusting pan)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
In a medium bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast and sugar in the beer and warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.               
Stir in flour, salt and oil--as well as the Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal.

Spread the crust with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.      

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat-feta cheese
  • 1 recipe pizza dough
For topping:
  • 5 oz. baby arugula (washed and dried)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. If you don't have one, GET ONE.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, saute the garlic, crushed pepper, and Italian seasoning in the olive oil being careful not to burn the garlic. When the garlic starts to brown, turn off the flame.

Roll out pizza dough or press it out with your hands until it reaches a round of your liking (using hands is my favorite method). Brush the garlic olive oil over the crust. Place the provolone slices onto the crust (don't overlap). Sprinkle the feta cheese and mozzarella evenly over the pizza.

Gently pull out the oven rack with the pizza stone (if using) and gently sprinkle cornmeal onto the stone. Carefully transfer the pizza onto the cornmeal covered pizza stone (keep in mind the stone is HOT!).

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and the crust is golden. Let cool a few minutes after removing it from the oven.

Meanwhile, while pizza is baking, toss together the arugula with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serve the pizza with the arugula salad on top. Heaven, folks, heaven!

Makes ~8 slices (how many that feeds is up to you).

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