Friday night is usually pizza night for Alberto and I and even though he was out for dinner this evening I saw no reason to abandon the tradition. I spotted this recipe whilst flicking through the lovely Dinner by Domini Kemp and was intrigued by it. The idea of a pizza with honey in the base dough and crème fraîche on top was interesting but I worried that it would be too sweet. Still, I was willing to give it a try.
I’ve only done one main recipe from this book so far and found that one easy to follow. This one, however, is frustratingly vague on a couple of points and seemingly contradictory in a couple of places. For example, the author talks about the dough being a thin one, but then recommends allowing 30 minutes for it to rise! (actually this dough comes out really well, especially with the aid of my pizza stone, as it is crisp on the bottom and fluffy on top.) Also the recipe says that it serves 2-4, but the description says that it will serve two people for a ‘light meal’, or one hungry person! Which is it? 1? 2? or 4? The recipe says to use 500g of flour to make two bases, whereas I normally use about 250g to make two thin bases. Hey ho – I went with the proportions as listed in the book, and which I will list here, but halved to only make one base.
I have to say, despite my initial reservations that the resulting pizza might be a bit bland and sweet it was, in fact, delicious. The crème fraîche topping isn’t sweet at all, the base is lovely and fluffy, and the salami and Gruyère are nicely tangy, along with the light sharpness of the rosemary. Definitely one to make again!
Serves 2-4 (or 2) (or 1)
For the dough:
500g of strong white bread flour
7g of dried yeast
150ml of warm water
1 tablespoon of clear honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil
A good pinch of of salt
Up to 100ml of additional water (you may not need this – see how it goes.)
For the topping:
200g of crème fraîche, approx
50-100g of sliced German salami
Leaves from a few sprigs of rosemary, oregano of thyme (I opted for rosemary, thyme and basil and that worked really well)
100g of Gruyère, grated
Salt and pepper
Olive oil to drizzle
Mix the flour, yeast, honey, olive oil and salt in a bowl. Gradually add the warm water, mixing well to form a soft dough. You may need to use some additional water, but I didn’t find it necessary.
Once the dough as formed turn it out on to a floured surface and knead for a minute or so until smooth.
Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 3 hours, until doubled in size. (3 hours!! I only leave bread flour to rise for 2 hours. Still, I ended up leaving it for well over 2 hours, due to being busy doing other things.)
Pre-heat the oven to 200 and warm through your pizza stone for at least 40 minutes.
Cut the dough into two and roll out into two, broadly rectangular pizza bases. The dough should be quite elastic so it may spring back a bit, but roll it out as thin as you can. Lay out on greaseproof paper and allow to sit for 30 minutes to rise slightly.
When the pizza stone is hot sprinkle it lightly with flour, then place the dough on the stone and start to top your pizza.
Top with a generous layer of crème fraîche, sprinkle with the herbs then add the salami (I popped on some diced smoked pancetta as well.) and scatter over the Gruyère. Season with salt and pepper.
Place in the hot oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling.