Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Minnesota, Maple, and Pizza

Spend enough time in your kitchen and every once in a while you will accidentally stumble upon a new technique or flavor. Usually I use honey to feed the yeast when I am making pizza. But I knew we'd be topping our pies with lots of local ingredients and flavors, including bacon, mushrooms and heady herbs.

On a whim I used maple syrup in the yeast and then switched up the flours to make a healthy crust (spelt and flax replaced nearly half the whole wheat and all-purpose flours). The result was a really flavorful crust with just a hint of maple. T claimed it was the best pizza I've ever made. This is a crust recipe worth keeping.

Minnesota Spring Pizza
4 servings

For the crust:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one package)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup spelt flour
1/3 cup ground flax
1/3 cup white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine yeast, honey, and water in small bowl and allow yeast to rise, about 5 minutes. Add foamy yeast mixture to flours and salt; knead or process until a soft but grainy dough forms. Roll ball of dough in bowl with olive oil; cover and rise to double (You can make this up to 24 hours in advance).

For the toppings:
Asparagus, blanched
Purple potatoes, sliced thin and blanched
Bacon, chopped and cooked (reserve 2 tablespoons fat)
Oyster mushrooms or any fresh local, chopped and cooked in equal parts bacon fat and olive oil
Fresh herbs: rosemary, safe, basil, chives, ramps, cilantro
Fresh local cheese, shredded: Fontina, Cheddar, Parmesan, Gouda
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Divide dough into 2 to 4 equal pieces. Roll thin and grill over direct heat or bake in 450 degree oven, flipping when grill marks appear on bottom. Remove from heat and top cooked side with cheese, bacon, vegetables, and herbs. Season to taste with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and olive oil. Return to grill or oven, cover grill, and cook until cheese melts.

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