the inspiration for this baby comes straight from the menu at the masonry, a wood-fire pizza place in seattle that some of our mutual friends opened several years ago.
their mushroom pizza is my jammmmm, and i love the stinky cheese they make it with. i think about that mushroom zaw all the time. so i decided to make my own.
i wanted the mushrooms to be more flavorful on my homemade version, so i marinated them in garlicky olive oil with a bit of red wine vinegar and thyme.
the usual taleggio cheese that they use on their mushroom pizza was substituted here with fontina, and it worked just as well! super mild, but still just stinky and melty enough for my liking.
i’ve been using the pizza dough recipe from half baked harvest cookbook on our pizza stone for a while now. it turns out really well…but obviously the main thing standing between me and top notch homemade pizza is a wood fire pizza oven.
this pizza is pretty simple, but the flavor is most excellent!
it is a bit elevated if you’re feeling like kind of a “fancy” homemade zaw. what i mean to say is, the fontina cheese is more expensive than your standard pizza mozzarella.
the marinated mushrooms are so flavorful and tender. you can use the remaining garlic from the marinade directly on the dough. then top with fontina cheese and all the mushrooms. delicious!
after baking, top with fresh thyme, arugula & red chile pepper flakes and enjoy thoroughly :)
Marinated Mushroom & Fontina Pizza
Makes One 12” Pizza
Active Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 3 hours
Pizza Dough: (Adapted from the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook!)
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 TB. honey
1 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 TB. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves
6 large crimini mushrooms, cut into chunks or slices
splashes of red wine vinegar
salt, pepper, fresh thyme
4 ounces fontina cheese, or another mild but kind of stinky cheese
fresh arugula, optional
red chile flakes, optional
For the dough, add warm water, honey, and yeast to a medium bowl and whisk. Let sit for about 10 minutes until it gets a bit foamy. Add the bread flour and salt, mix and use your hands to knead the dough together for a few minutes. Add a sprinkle of flour if it's too sticky.
Use the olive oil to grease another large bowl and transfer the dough to this bowl, turning the dough to coat in oil. Cover with a warm damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until about doubled in size. You can make the dough in advance and freeze it in plastic wrap if you need to.
To marinate the mushrooms, slice the garlic cloves and put them in the 1/2 cup of olive oil in a jar and let it infuse overnight or for a couple hours with a pinch of salt & pepper (this infusion step is optional, but it makes the olive oil very garlicky!). Place the sliced mushrooms in a shallow dish and pour the garlic infused olive oil over top and toss gently to coat. Add a couple splashes of red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, tossing the mushrooms occasionally.
If using a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven as hot as you can while you prepare the pizza, about 500 degrees F.
After the dough is risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. If you're using a baking sheet and not a pizza stone, you can turn out the dough onto a lightly greased & floured baking sheet. Roll out as thin as you can, about 1/4 inch thick.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F whether you're using a pizza stone or a baking sheet. If you're using a pizza stone, the oven should be BLAZING HOT from preheating the stone, so be careful. We even bought a pizza peel for this step.
Once the dough is rolled out to 1/4” thick, sprinkle some of the garlic from the mushroom marinade onto the dough. Spread the fontina cheese all over and almost to the edges. Top with the marinated mushrooms.
I usually build the pizza on top of a piece of parchment sprinkled with corn meal so that I can shimmy the pizza from the parchment onto the hot pizza stone (also sprinkled with corn meal) in the oven. This step is very precarious, so be alert :)
Bake the pizza at 450 degrees F for 16-18 minutes, until cheese is melty and crust is golden brown. Carefully remove from oven using a pizza peel or scoot the pizza onto a large cutting board with a kitchen tool. Slice and serve immediately!