Four Cheese Pizza

Cameron’s Four Cheese Pizza

1 pack active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105-115?F)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

12 ounces pizza dough (1/2 recipe)
2 tablespoons pesto sauce
2 tablespoons oven dried tomatoes, cut thin slices
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Fontina cheese
2 roma tomatoes, ends trimmed, sliced
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan
8 large basil leaves, chiffonade cut

FOR THE DOUGH: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4-cup warm water. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. (The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients, and process until the dough begins to form a ball.)

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled).

Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Yield: Makes 4 (8-inch) pizzas

FOR THE PIZZA: Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500ºF. To prepare each pizza, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch or 10-inch rounds, with the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough. Brush lightly with pesto and scatter the oven-dried tomatoes evenly around the inner circle of the pizza.

Sprinkle the mozzarella and Fontina, arrange the slices of the Roma tomatoes, and then sprinkle with the goat cheese, oregano, thyme, and finally the Parmesan. Bake on the pizza stone until the pizza crust is nicely browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. When the pizza is removed from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and garnish with the chiffonade of basil leaves, cut the pizza into slices, and serve immediately.

Yield: 1 (10-inch) or 2 (8-inch) pizzas; 3 to 4 servings

Oven-Dried Tomatoes:
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, about 12 medium-sized tomatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the over to 250ºF. In a pot of boiling water, blanch tomatoes. Drain and refresh in ice water. Drain. Peel, core, cut into quarters, and remove seeds. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the tomato quarters on the tray, cut side down. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme and garlic. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and sugar, and sprinkle evenly over the tomatoes. Bake until the tomatoes begin to shrivel, about 1 hour. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, transfer to a container. Pour olive oil over and cover the container. Refrigerate and use as needed.

12 medium fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a mortar and pestle, pound the basil, garlic, nuts and salt until thoroughly mashed. Add the oil, a few drops at a time, until you have a smooth paste. Pesto can also be made in a blender. Pour in the oil first, then the garlic, nuts, and finally the basil leaves. Blend on low to a smooth paste. Season with the kosher salt.

Yield: Scant 1/4 cup

Wolfgang Puck

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