Three-mushroom Pizza Pie

Mushroom mix gives visual and textural interest and jalapeno — shot of heat

 

Topped with 2 cheeses, 3 mushrooms, jalapeno & bechamel sauce

Jim Lahey’s no-knead home-kitchen bread recipes first published in the New York Times in 2006 by Mark Bittman. It was groundbreaking. His no-knead technique has been widely embraced by home bakers. Instead of kneading the dough, he adds a little yeast and extends fermentation to strengthen the dough. No kneading is needed. You don’t need a mixer either. All you need is a few ingredients: flour, salt, water, yeast and a preheated pot in a hot oven. More importantly, you need patience. The waiting time can be long. In the new paradigm, bread-making has more to do with the mindset.

Making Lahey’s three-mushroom pizza is a joy because I love all the ingredients in it: two kinds of cheese and three kinds of mushroom enriched by a velvety béchamel sauce. You might have noticed that I’ve been busy making white sauces lately (as in Rothschild souffle). Bechamel, a flour-butter-milk mixture, is a beautiful and versatile sauce that showcases the earthiness of the mushrooms without competing with them. (I don’t think the more assertive tomato sauce would work well here.) It is also light enough to enhance the taste of the dough without softening the bottom of the pie.

The mixed mushrooms include chanterelles, shitake caps and oyster. You could use one or any kind of mushroom you have around. The choice is yours. The three mushroom mix provides significant visual and textural interest. If you eat with your eye, like I do, you’d love all the notes like a small orchestra playing on this pie.

Another key component in this pizza not to be missed is the garlic confit — garlic cooked in oil to mellow it. This may involve another step to confit the garlic. But you’ll be happy to have the extra garlic confit on hand. It adds a less pungent garlic flavor to any dish, dressing or sauce. A big flavor booster without the sharpness and rawness of fresh garlic or ground garlic powder.

There is the elephant in the room: the pizza dough. The most impeccable toppings would not have a good pizza made. I have been making pizzas for a while and have not stayed with any single recipe. I kept on testing different flour, natural levain, fermentation technique and have not come up with the perfect dough recipe until this one. What works here is the simplicity of this dough. It uses all-purpose flour. It is a straight dough that uses active dry yeast and needs an overnight fermentation. The dough is well-behaved and stunningly easy to shape with your hands. The crust of the pie chars beautifully. I’ll be happy to make and eat this pie all day long.

To be able to make a thin crispy and terrific pizza like this, direct from your own oven to the table, is crazy wonder, no less.

 

Added feta cheese as well

 

 

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