January 29, 2008

HHDD #17: Mushroom provolone pizza with truffle oil


When Joey announced she'd be hosting this round of Hay Hay it's Donna Day! (HHDD), I promised her I'd join in. I always enjoyed seeing the entries to the past rounds that the thought of joining in the fun crossed my mind a few times. But like with other food events (I've only managed one Lasang Pinoy round), I worry about committing and then not meeting the deadline. And although we're given more than enough time, I find myself coming home from work or the gym too late and too tired to eat, much less to cook anything in the hot kitchen.

But enough with the excuses! I made a promise and I'm happy to say I kept my promise. Yay! Yay! for me! :)

I was really excited to find out that this round was about pizzas - a big favorite of mine! Though I have certain favorites from popular pizza chains and Italian restaurants around town, none can compare to the joy of making your own. I love it's versatility, which is why I also love pasta and salads so much. You can let your imagination go wild in creating your own unique flavor. Pizza dough is like a blank canvass, and you are the artist. And while I've made my share of pizzas in the past, fooling around with different ingredients for toppings, I can't say I've ever made my own pizza dough. But I wanted to! And what better time than now.

Because the event is a homage to Donna Hay, whose cookbooks and magazines are virtual eye candy - such gorgeous food styling! - and whose recipes are simple enough to make an amateur in the kitchen like me seem like a pro, I used her recipe for basic pizza dough. I'm glad I did because it was easy and perfect.

Mushroom Provolone Pizza with Truffle Oil

To make the pizza dough
(pizza dough recipe from Modern Classics I by Donna Hay)

1 tsp active dry yeast
Pinch sugar
2/3 cup warm water
2 cups plain flour; (I used unbleached bread flour)
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Mix together the yeast, sugar, and water in a bowl. Set aside until bubbles form. Add the flour, salt, and oil, and mix to form a smooth dough.
Knead dough on a dry surface with lightly floured hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, dry place until it has doubled in size. Mine took about an hour.
Makes one pizza.

Note: The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw and bring to room temperature before shaping.

To shape the dough:
(tips from The Gourmet Cookbook)

Hold one edge of the dough in the air with both hands and letting bottom touch work space, carefully move hands around the edge, as if turning a steering wheel, allowing the weight of dough to stretch round to roughly 10 inches in diameter.
Lay the dough on the lightly floured work surface or pizza peel if you're lucky to have one. Otherwise use a rimless baking sheet or in my case, a round flat wooden cheese board. Continue to work edges with fingers, stretching the dough until you get the thickness/thinness you desire.

To make the pizza:

pizza dough
Provolone cheese, thinly sliced
fresh mushrooms sliced
oregano for garnish
extra virgin olive oil
truffle oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place your baking stone in the lowest rack of a preheated oven (425 deg), allowing it to warm up for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, brush some olive oil lightly on the flattened dough. Transfer this onto the hot pizza stone and let it parbake for a few minutes, just until edges start to turn golden. Maybe around 2-3 minutes.
Saute the mushrooms in olive oil and set aside.
Remove parbaked pizza dough from oven. Arrange cheese slices on top then scatter the sauteed mushrooms above the cheese. Sprinkle with sea salt and grind some black pepper over the pizza and return to the oven to bake a little more. Once the cheese has melted and the crust is crisp and golden, about 6-8 minutes or more. Remove the pizza from the oven, garnish with fresh oregano and drizzle with truffle oil.

The pizza couldn't have been more perfect! Everyone (mom, dad and sister) gushed after taking the first bite, exclaiming how good it was and asking for more. I quickly hid two slices in the fridge (to be reheated at work tomorrow) and watched them clean up the rest. I was happy. :) They aren't easy to please, especially my mom!

The provolone was the ideal vessel for these ingredients, mild enough that it didn't interfere with the aroma and flavor of the truffle oil, and it melted nicely over the crust allowing the mushrooms to sink deliciously into its arms. The crust was just the right crispness, thanks to the pizza stone.

Thanks, Joey! And congratulations on the previous win and for hosting this round! :) And thank you too, Barbara, for conceptualizing such a successful food event!


Below, is another pizza I made using the same pizza dough recipe, with crushed tomatoes as the base, and sliced apples, gorgonzola, prosciutto and arugula as toppings. It's a copycat of a pizza I tried at the La Lucciola restaurant in Bali last year. I loved it, which isn't surprising because I love aurgula and gorgonzola, so I vowed to try and replicate it someday.

You can see the original pizza if you click here. Instead of tomato sauce, I used fresh seeded and crushed tomatoes with basil as the base. You can tell from the dark-browned edges I left it in a tad too long but it was still delicious with a good crunch. I'd definitely make this again!



joey said...

Yay! So glad you joined Nens! :) And both pizzas look and sound amazing! I want to "sink deliciously into the arms" of your pizza!

Wasn't the crust so easy to whip up? :)

Thank for sharing that shaping technique!

The Knittymommy said...

Both pizzas look so good! This is inspiring a Sunday Dinner idea.

katrina said...

How can you do this to me at 1am??? You know what a pizza monster I am...and with truffle oil, to boot! (You and Mila are driving me crazy with craving for that!) Both pizzas look perfect to me, Nena. I think that if I ever decided to move, I'd make sure I was right next door to at least one of you girls. Then I really *would* be your stalker! ;-)

Marvin said...

Both pizzas look great, but the apples, gorgonzola, prosciutto and arugula sounds amazing. Those flavors seem like they would go perfectly on a pizza.

Bron said...

Looks delicious!

christine said...

Hey Jo! Yes, the crust was almost too easy. :) In my first attempt though, I found the crust to be too thick (I prefer it on the thinner side). So I loved that it was easy to whip up another batch quickly and then just wait for it to rise.

Try it, KM, I think G and the kids would love these pizzas. :) Though you might want to lessen the gorgonzola if the kids aren't used to stinky cheese.

Hey Katrina! Joey and I were just saying (for the nth time) how we wished we were neighbors because I would have loved to help her with the lemon meringue pie which she would have happily traded for some pizza. And if you were my neighbor, you can 'stalk' me anytime! :) I love feeding people.

Marvin, it's a wonderful combination! You can try it on a salad as well with some nuts if you choose. :) When I made this a pizza that had apples (and caramelized onions) before, I sauteed the apple slices in some butter, it came out great too!

Thanks, Bron! :)

Ruy said...

Being the meat processing machine that I am, this wonderful looking pizza with prosciutto calls out to me like a song. I can just feel the tasty chewy meat with apples, gorgonzola and arugula. What a combo!

Anonymous said...

lovely creations....

Dhanggit said...

nice hhdd pizza entries!!they both look lovely!! as usual stunning photos

christine said...

Hi Ruy! Haha yes, the second pizza would be for the meat-lovers. :) And the combo is really good, I can imagine a milder cheese would work just as well because the flavor and saltiness of the prosciutto might be too overpowering for some.

Thank you, Sakai. :)

Thank you, Dhanggit! I'll come over to see what you've posted on your end. :)

Jen Tan said...

Christine!!!! Your pizza looks absolutely delicioso!!!! Can I have some please?? =) hahaha sooo yummy...ahhh

Who doesn'y love a crispy crust with mushroom and provolone...as if that's not kick as* good already... pumped up pa with truffle oil. You know what, I don't think I have had anything with truffles or truffle oil =( Sad no? I just heard it oh so good and expensive..must try soon =)

Love this post!!! Nothin' beta than homemade talga =)

ScroochChronicles said...

Yummy!! And anything with truffle oil is absolutely delicious.

I don't think your pizza looks over done. Sarap nga eh :)

oggi said...

I love the apple gorgonzola prosciutto combo and the brown crispy dough but then again I also love truffle oil on pizza. I can't decide, I love them both!

christine said...

Ooh Jen, you're in for a treat! I can't wait for you to try some truffle oil, it's of course the next best thing to real truffles, so if you get to try that first, even better! Let me know when you do. :) I love it on risotto and mashed potatoes too among other things.

Hi Cookie! Yes, it was actually still very good. :) And yes, truffles and truffle oil can really take the dish to a whole other level!

Haha Oggi, neither could I, that's why I ended up making both in one night. :)

Jen Tan said...

hey Christine! thanks..I will definitely let you know when I do =)That will be on top of my list when I go dining!

Sidney said...

Do you do home deliveries?
I order both pizzas.
Any wine suggestions?

Nunu's mum said...

Hi Christine,

thought I'd drop you a quick note before I log off to catch my plane.

Our moroccan bar/resto in Boracay is taking shape rather nicely. In fact, we are hoping against hope to open around Valentine's day!

Next time you're in Boracay, look out for Kasbah! That minx of a bar next to Discovery Shores! Hope to see you soon!

Barbara said...

I love this. What a fab combination for the topping.

Brilynn said...

Those are both awesome pizza combos! I'd love a slice of either please.

christine said...

Haha! Nice try, Sidney. :)

Madonna, that is so exciting! Congratulations!! :) Did you know there aren't any good Moroccan restos in Manila? (hint hint). Are you flying off to the Philippines? Now I wanna go to Boracay!!

Thank you, Barbara! :) And thank you too, Brilynn! Help yourself!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Christine,

Hope you're doing well. Then again, you must be with these pizzas. The silky, melty cheese on the first one is making me salivate, and it's only 5:42 am!

Shalimar said...

look pro!!! since we came back from the bahamas I have not cooked at all we have been out of the water so we are shacked up in a hotel.

truffle oil is great isnt it?

reading down am going to join donna soon in boracay not too soon but I managed to ask for my holidays.
I met nunu's mum in amsterdam and we had a blast.

am digging yr archives planning my trip

christine said...

Thanks Susan! That's what your burschetta and fig/fennel pizza did to me too! So nice of you to drop by. :)

Aww Sha, I'm so jealous! I want to meet you and Donna and come along to see the restaurant!

village mama said...

great blog Christine! I am a homemade pizza addict - this pizza post is my type of porn!

christine said...

Thanks, village mama! Don't you just love food porn!? :)

Granite Worktops said...

Hi, Your pizzas are looking really delicious. By the way thanks for sharing the recipe. Bye.

Boracay Hotels said...

Hi Nunu's mum,

Yeah, i agree that there's more freshly food and resto in boracay. There a good atmosphere here...

Tanya Gemarin

Boracay Hotels said...

Thanks for sharing with us.