Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pizza Sorrentina

I almost feel silly calling this a recipe (rather than a list of ingredients) for the pizza above unless you count the pizza dough, because it's so easy!  At first glance, the basil and lemon combination caught my eye, but then I saw the recipe called for smoked mozzarella rather than just fresh and I was completely SOLD!  I searched high and low for the smoked mozzarella but finally found it at Trader Joe's in Salt Lake City.  I'm sure there might have been somewhere slightly closer that had the motz, but hey, any excuse to go to Trader Joe's and I'm there!

The story behind this pizza is pretty cool.  The story/recipe was run in the Wall Street Journal and is served at Keste Pizza & Vino in New York City's West Village. The pizza was invented by the daughter of a great pizza maestro in Naples, Italy.  She created it for her mother, who loved lemons. It gets it's name, Sorrentina, from the town Sorrento, which is known for it's lemons.  

This pie is deceptively delicious and you will love every bite.  The bites of smoky mozzarella are cut by the bright and tart flavors of the basil and lemon. A perfect balance.

Pizza Sorrentina
Notes: I did not use the recipe for the pizza dough from the article in the WSJ because it called for a specialty flour (00 Caputo) and I didn't have 8 hours for it to rise.  I did use a slightly adapted version of my favorite pizza dough, which still turned out wonderfully.

For the dough:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. active-dry yeast
2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 - 1 2/3 cups warm water

For the toppings:
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
3 ounces smoked mozzarella
10-12 fresh basil leaves
olive oil, for drizzling

To make the dough, place the dry ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Make a quick pulse to combine, then add the oil and water.  Mix until dough is firm and smooth, 5 minutes or so, but still slightly tacky to the touch.

Divide the dough into 3-4 balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet (you may need more than one). Rub the dough balls with oil and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. During the last half hour preheat pizza stone in a 450 degree F oven. You can also use an inverted baking sheet, which doesn't need to preheat.

Soak lemon slices in water for 15 minutes, then pat dry.

To roll out the dough: Dab your fingers in flour and then place one ball on a generously floured work surface (either parchment or a pizza peel). Press down in the center with the tips of your fingers, spreading the dough with your hand. When the dough has doubled in width, use a floured rolling pin and roll out until it is very thin, like flat bread. The outer portion should be a little thicker than the inner portion.

Layer cheese over the top of the dough, leaving  about a 1-inch border.  Arrange lemon slices and tuck in basil leaves. Drizzle olive oil over the top, brushing around the edges.

Slide pizza into oven onto baking stone. If using parchment, no need to slide pizza off parchment onto stone, just slide it on there with it.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until puffy and golden. Remove pizza and repeat with remaining dough.

SOURCE: WSJ: Pizza With a Twist via Alexandra's Kitchen, dough adapted from Todd English's The Fig's Table.

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