Ok! Visitor season is officially over! I now have time to blog again! And what do I do when I have time? Pizza! And this pizza in particular is, in my most humble opinion, is nothing short of genius. When it first comes out of the oven it just looks like your normal everyday heart-achingly delicious-looking totally amazing mushroom pizza, but underneath lies the true and obscene nature of this beast: ham, more ham, and of course butter.
I don't often get inspiration from a beautiful sunset or a moving speech or a flower. Mainly my inspiration comes from ham, and the other day as I died over a ham and cheese croissant at a local bakery in my neighborhood before devouring the Gruyere and mushroom croissant shelved so ingeniously next to it, the image of this pizza flooded my mind. It required immediate attention; I ran home, banged out my simple dough and sauce recipes, and a few hours later, the entire pizza was in my stomach.
As is true with all of my pizzas, this is my favorite one so far. The ham is sauteed in butter and cream, which imparts a creaminess to the mixture without it getting greasy somehow. Thyme is an underlying flavor throughout the pizza, tying together the meaty and earthy flavors nicely.
Butter Count: 1 Tbsp
306 g bread flour
2 g active dry yeast
8 g salt
2 g vegetable oil
200 g water
Enough of THIS SAUCE to cover a pizza, about 1 cup
6 slices ham
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp cream
2 Tbsp thyme
1-2 cups Gruyere depending on preference
3 white mushrooms, sliced
3 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 portabella mushroom, sliced
1. Mix the flour, yeast, and salt together. Add the oil and water. Mix with fingers until well combined.
2. Knead the dough for 3 minutes. Let rest, uncovered, 15 minutes. Knead for another 3 minutes. Cover with a damp towel. Let rest 4-6 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat a grill/oven to the highest possible temperature. If using a baking steel, place it inside the grill/oven at this time.
4. Place a sheet of parchment paper on the pizza peel (or the counter if not using a peel).
5. Sprinkle the parchment paper with cornmeal, generously.
6. Stretch half of the dough into desired shape and lay it on the parchment paper.
7. Cover the surface with sauce.
8. In a frying pan over high heat, saute the ham with the butter, cream, and thyme until the cream has thickened and the liquid is basically all evaporated. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ham from the pan and transfer it to the sauced pizza.
9. Cover the ham'd pizza with the cheese, and mushrooms.
10. Transfer the parchment paper to the preheated grill/oven. Close the grill, if applicable.
11. Cook for 10 minutes before checking the doneness of the bottom of the dough. Cook additional 1 minute at a time before checking the doneness again. Repeat until the bottom is fully cooked and nicely browned.
12. If desired, transfer (without the parchment paper) to the broiler and cook an additional 2 minutes until the top is slightly burnt.
13. Repeat steps 6-11 with the other half of the dough because one pizza will clearly not be enough.