Roasted Mushrooms and Bacon Pizza
Servings: Two 11 to 12 inch pizzas
Course: Appetizers, Entrees
Using wild mushrooms makes a remarkable difference in the taste of a pizza. We roast shitake, morel and chanterelle mushrooms before putting them on the pizza to concentrate the earthy flavors and really make them the stars of this pie. Creamy, rich sottocenere cheese adds the assertive and indulgent flavor of truffles while smoky bacon rounds things out.
Cook the bacon in a skillet until done but not crisp. Reserve.
Toss the mushrooms in olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Either place them in the pizza oven on a fajita skillet and roast until browned, about 5 minutes; or grill them directly over a hot fire on the grill for about the same amount of time. Remove from heat and reserve.
Form one dough ball to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Depending on your personal preference, place the dough on a pizza peel with enough flour or corn meal beneath to allow the pizza to slide easily — or assemble your pizza on the work surface and then slide the peel underneath at the last minute. Either way, the less time the dough spends on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.
Top the dough with half of each type of cheese, half the mushrooms and half the bacon. Transfer to the oven or grill and cook until the crust is done.
How to make pizza in the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven
(3 minute cooking time)
Preheat the oven with the upper and lower burner controls set to HIGH for 35 minutes. Turn the lower burner control to LOW before cooking your first pizza. Your total cooking time should be 2 to 3 minutes. Note: you can begin cooking in as little as 20 minutes, but your total cooking time will increase to as much as 5 minutes.
Transfer the pizza to the oven. The edge of the pie near the fire will cook the most quickly. Rotate the pizza a quarter turn as the crust near the fire reaches your desired color, about every 30 seconds. Check the bottom of the dough at every turn to evaluate the color. If the bottom of the dough reaches the desired cooking point, insert a pizza screen under the pizza to keep the crust from browning further. I like the bottom of my pizza to be golden brown with a smattering of black, caramelized accents. If you do find yourself using the screen, you may wish to switch to using a Tipo 00 Italian flour in your dough recipe. This flour, traditionally used in Neapolitan pizza, has a much higher burning point than conventional flour.
Remove and serve when the perimeter is golden brown and beginning to blister.
How to make pizza on the Grill
(10 minute cooking time)
Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate in the indirect cooking zone until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Most stones must be used in the indirect zone. Very few can be placed directly over the fire.)
Transfer the pizza to the stone. Close the hood and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate as needed for even cooking. Remove from the grill when the crust is golden brown.
Note: Because of the extra prep work required for roasting the mushrooms and cooking the bacon, this recipe is written to yield 2 pizzas.
- 1 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 28 ounces, split into two equal parts
- 1/4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (I used a bourbon maple bacon made from Berkshire pork belly)
- 1 ounce morel mushrooms
- 2 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, cut in half
- 3 ounces shitake mushrooms
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- Coarsely-ground black pepper
- 4 ounces sottocenere cheese (a medium-soft Italian cheese laced with truffles and with an ash rind), cut into smallish pieces
- 4 ounces Quadrello di Bufala cheese (similar to Taleggio but with a less intense odor and more milky taste), cut into smallish pieces