This pizza was a deep improvisation. In retrospect, I really made more of a flammkuchen than a pizza, but it was tasty none the less. If I were to make it again, I'd stretch it out more like a flatbread and cut into smaller squares to snack on with a nice rosé on the balcony.
But this pizza is a wonderful celebration of a few seasonal ingredients. I've noticed these thin and tender fennel bulbs in the supermarket lately. They're these thinner ones, not the round bulbous ones that appear in the thick of winter.
The pizza dough is a simplified version of Bon Appetit's perfect pizza dough. You can absolutely let it ferment for up to three days in the fridge, but it's also totally fine to use an hour or two after. The pizza will simply come out more doughy the earlier you use it. The pizza dough makes 6 pizzas. For this recipe you'll only need 1/6 of the pizza dough recipe, but it keeps in the fridge well. If you really need to get ahead of yourself, you can make the other pizzas and slightly undercook them and stick them in the freezer for a later pizza date. I have a freezer about the size of a shoebox so it's not an option for me.
Another note I have for future versions is to try it with finely zested lemon on top over the fennel. I wonder if it would impart a freshness that could be nice.
1 kg (2.2lb) white flour
660g warm water
14g dry yeast
50g olive oil
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, super thinly sliced
5-10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 leek, thinly sliced
200g chanterelles, roughly torn if big
150g blue cheese
100g Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
To make the pizza dough, mix the flour and slat together in a medium-large bowl. In a separate container, mix the yeast and slightly warm water. After 5 minutes, add the olive oil to the yeast and water mixture. Then pour the liquids to the flour bowl and mix until well incorporated. Let rest at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours on your counter, covered with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Preheat oven to as hot as it will go. Flour the counter top and divide the pizza dough into 6 balls. Working with one ball at a time, stretch it out slowly and place onto either a baking sheet or a pizza sheet. No shame in using a good 'ol rolling pin.
Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the formed pizza dough. Place the thin slices of garlic evenly over the dough, top with the thyme sprigs, leek slices, and chanterelles.
Bake the pizza until the crust just barely starts to get a little golden. Then take out, remove the thyme sprigs and add the blue cheese and Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for a few minutes until the cheeses melt.
Remove from the oven and top with the thinly sliced fennel.
Every Sunday evening, I send out a newsletter with the following week's dinner menu, and the seasonal produce featured. The newsletter is free, and I won't share or sell your email address.
If it turns out it's not the content you're looking for, you can easily unsubscribe with a link at the bottom of the email. This project was originally a way to wrap my head around the evolving seasonal produce in the supermarkets.
I'm so excited to share the journey and learn from you as I go along!
- Julia Feld