Sunday, November 7, 2010

Four Cheese Pizza

For anyone who loves cheese pizza, this is an easy recipe from Cooking Light’s May issue and is so delicious. I found the taleggio at Caputos in Lake Forest. Don’t skip it as it makes the flavor of this pizza. Taleggio is a pungent cow's milk cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy. The cheese is cave aged and is quite tangy.
P.S. I go right to step 3 because I use my own favorite pizza crust.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 2 wedges)


• 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided

• 10 ounce bread flour (about 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)

• 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

• 7 teaspoons olive oil, divided

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

• Cooking spray

• 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal

• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic

• 1/3 cup (about 3 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese (such as Calabro)

• 1 1/4 ounces taleggio cheese, thinly sliced

• 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

• 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and spoons; level with a knife. Add flour to 3/4 cup water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, 4 teaspoons oil, and salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.

2. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Press dough out to a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured baking sheet, without raised sides, sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a 1/2-inch border. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.

3. Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack. Preheat oven to 550°. Preheat stone 30 minutes before baking dough.

4. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil and garlic; gently brush garlic mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spread ricotta evenly over dough; arrange taleggio and Gorgonzola evenly over ricotta. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide. Bake at 550° for 10 minutes or until crust is golden. Cut pizza into 10 wedges; sprinkle with chives.

Note: I’ll often make extra pizza dough and freeze the crust. When I want a quick meal, I’ll let one thaw and pile the leftovers on top. It makes for a quick and delicious dinner.