Arugula topped pizza with figs and prosciutto
This recipe, from Mario Batali's Molto Gusto cookbook, makes eight 9-10 inch pizzas. You may want to make them all arugula topped with figs and prosciutto, or use some of your favorite toppings.
If you want to make the pizza crusts ahead of time, the crusts can be shaped, pan-fried and rested. Up to 2 days later, they are topped and finished off under the broiler. Or you can wrap them well with plastic wrap, and freeze them for up to 2 months.
For the pizza dough:
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- a 1/4 ounce packet of active dry yeast, or about 7 grams.
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 3 1/2 cups "double 00" flour, or all-purpose flour
- Scant 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Semolina flour, for dusting
- 1 large or 6 small balls of fresh mozzarella (about 3 slices per pizza)
- 1 large bunch of arugula
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp. fig jam per pizza
- kosher salt, a generous pinch
- Juice from half a lemon
- 12 slices of prosciutto, sliced thin
- First, proof the yeast. Place the water (warmed to 95F), yeast, and sugar together in a bowl. Let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes, until the yeast is foamy. HINT: 95 degree F water will feel warm to your touch, but not hot. Warm tap water works fine. If the water is too hot, it will kill off the yeast; if it is too cold, it will not proof. Either way, there will be no foam and you will have to start over.
- If using a standing mixer, fit it with a dough hook, and place the flour and salt in the bowl and mix well. With the mixer on low, add the yeast mixture and oil, mixing well. Slowly increase the mixer speed to medium-high, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and give it a few turns by hand to finish kneading it. The dough will be slightly sticky. (Skip to step 7).
- If mixing by hand, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the yeast mixture and oil.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix the wet and dry ingredients until the mixture is too stiff to stir. Then mix with your hands in the bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding only as much flour as needed to prevent it from getting too sticky. The dough should be smooth and elastic a only a bit sticky when it's done.
- Transfer the dough to a metal or ceramic bowl coated with olive oil, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
9. To shape the dough, press and stretch it out to a 9-10 inch round. If the dough starts to stick, add small amounts of semolina flour and water.
overwork the dough.
11. To par-bake the pizza crust: Heat a griddle pan or a nonstick pan to medium heat. Carefully place the pizza round on the preheated pan and cook until barely tan on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Flip the crust over and cook until the second side is completely dry, about 1 minute longer.
12. Transfer the crust to a wire rack or a baking sheet, brushing off any excess flour, and allow to cool. At this point, the par-baked crust can be cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated overnight, or frozen for up to 2 weeks.
14. Slice the mozzarella slices.
15. Finish the pizzas: Preheat the broiler on high. Spread a few Tbsp. of fig jam on the crust. Top with a few slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.
16. You can also top with slices of prosciutto at this point if you like it hot and crispy, or you can wait and place the prosciutto after broiling, if you like it warm and soft.
17. Slide the pizza about 4 inches under the broiler, and broil for 7-8 minutes, watching carefully so that the pizza doesn't burn.
18. Immediately top with the folded slices of prosciutto, and pile high with arugula. Serve immediately.
Pizza Making Tips from Mario Batali
- Get out all the equipment you will need first: a standing mixer, a large bowl, a wooden spoon, a whisk, and a griddle. (Remember Mis en Place?)
- Get a pizza peel. It will make the process easier and more fun.
- Use a whisk to mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.
- Work quickly when shaping the dough; pizza dough becomes limp and sticky the longer it is stretched.