Cheesy, comforting, versatile and full of flavor, pizza is a food that’s impossible not to love. And today, February 9, we have even more reason to celebrate it: It’s National Pizza Day!
This year, instead of ordering in, I’m opting for something a little healthier and fresher. I’m going homemade — or at least semi-homemade.
The recipe I used is one I adapted from the cookbook “Gjelina: Cooking From Venice, California.” It’s vegetarian and absolutely delicious. Since making dough from scratch is time-consuming, I decided to pop over to my local pizzeria to buy some of theirs. I much prefer this option to packaged dough from the supermarket. (If you’re feeling more ambitious than I was, Gjelina’s dough recipe is .)
One bite of this incredible pie and you’ll want to make it too… if not for National Pizza Day, then maybe for a fun, modern Shabbat meal.
Pizza With Mushrooms & Truffle-Studded Goat Cheese
The key to this pizza is to use whatever mushrooms look good and fresh at the market. We always have a pie made with just cremini mushrooms that has a bit more of a working-class personality but tastes amazing. This pizza, in contrast, is more upscale. Look for a truffle-studded ash-y goat cheese such as Truffle Tremor by Cypress Grove.
Makes one 10- to 12-inch pizza
Semolina flour for dusting
One 6½-ounce ball Gjelina Pizza Dough, proofed and stretched until 10 to 12 inches in diameter
4 ounces mushrooms, such as cremini or chanterelle, sliced ¼ inch thick if large; small ones halved or left whole
2 tablespoon best-quality olive oil
¼ teaspoon Maldon sea salt
2 ounces truffled goat cheese, such as Truffle Tremor
1½ ounce fontina cheese
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1) Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat the oven to the highest possible setting, at least 500° F, for 1 hour. Lightly dust a pizza peel or a rimless baking sheet with semolina flour. Using your forearms or the backs of your hands, transfer the stretched round of dough to the prepared peel.
2) In a small bowl, toss together the mushrooms, olive oil and sea salt. Scatter the mushrooms generously over the dough, almost covering the whole base. Crumble the goat cheese over the mushrooms. With a vegetable peeler, shave the fontina over the top. Be somewhat sparing with the cheese, as it will spread in the oven.
3) Slide the dough onto the pizza stone in the oven and bake, allowing it to bubble up and rise, 4 to 5 minutes. Once the rim starts to look pillowy and airy, using the pizza peel, turn the pizza 180 degrees to ensure that it browns evenly all over. It’s ready when the rim is a deep golden brown and beginning to char, and the bottom of the pizza is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes total.
4) Using the peel or rimless baking sheet, transfer the pizza to a cutting board or a baking sheet with a rim. Scatter the thyme leaves on top. Slice and serve hot.
Recipe reprinted from “Gjelina: Cooking From Venice, California,” by Travis Lett with permission from Chronicle Books.
Jean Hanks is the food intern at the Forward.