Friday, August 15, 2008

Sourdough Series: Artichoke à la mode Pizza

We have a tendency to spend our Friday evenings making homemade pizza. Carry out pizza is awesome when we're super busy. But, there's something about the taste of homemade that can't be duplicated.

Which brings me to yet another handy use for my sourdough starter... pizza dough.

Unlike a sourdough loaf, which requires a longer, slower rise than ordinary bread dough, sourdough pizza dough actually requires far less rising time than average. What this means is that, if I've thought far enough ahead to feed my starter, I can have pizza dough in less than an hour.

This past week, we made one of our absolute favorite pizzas, the artichoke à la mode. We first tasted this pizza at Pizza Man in Milwaukee. And we decided that we had to figure out a way to make it at home. The biggest pitfall seemed to be the fresh artichokes, since we can only get those a few times a year when they're in season. However, thanks to the discovery of fresh frozen artichokes from Trader Joes, we are now able to make this year round.

Now, you're probably curious about how this recipe actually works. So, let's get started.

First, you make the dough (an easy mix of sourdough starter, flour, oil, and salt). Once the dough is mixed up, it needs to rest for about 30-40 minutes. During this time, it rises a bit; but, it doesn't double like a typical dough.
When it's well rested, you can roll the dough out into the desired shape. We like to make oblong pizzas, which fit nicely on my rectangular pizza stone.
This particular pizza was topped with homemade pizza sauce, artichokes, and chunks of cream cheese.
Because you can never have enough cheese, we top that with a good mound of delicious mozzarella.
In the past, we ordinarily topped this pizza with thinly sliced fresh tomatoes (like Pizza Man). But, we found that the flavor was infinitely improved by the addition of some of those little roasted cherry tomatoes we made earlier in the week. So, they'll be a "must have" in the future. After adding the cherry tomatoes, the pizza looks something like this.Thinking that it might taste best if cooked, we put the topped pizza in a 450º oven, and bake it until the cheese is golden and the crust is crispy.
What comes out of the oven is one serious pizza... that smells even better than it looks.

Sourdough Pizza Dough

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  1. I love the idea of cream cheese on a pizza. Love it! And sorry it's taken so long for me to get over here and to add you to my sidebar. I'm a flaky friend.

  2. I will definitely try this recipe - so curious to see what the cream cheese will be like on a pizza! Looks amazing.

  3. Wow! looks amazing. I might substitute the two cheeses you put on with goat cheese too if you have that available. Excellent point about making the dough from scratch - I love making our own dough. mmmmm pizza!

  4. serious yum, pizza is one of my most favorite-ists meals! anything can be made well pr poorly.

  5. I 've never made pizza dough but i've been thinking about it alot. My friend cookie makes it every friday for dinner. and now this wonderful recipe,cream cheese on pizza!! I love that idea, your pizza looks great!! I guess a baking stone is pretty much a must for homemade pizza huh?? Gonna have to check into that. thanks for inroducing me to something new, love that!!

  6. mmmmm..we are a homeade pizza Friday house as well! I might have to give the Sourdough version a try! YUMMO

  7. That just looks so good. I am desperately craving a slice!

  8. Pizza looks so YUMMY! One thing though- you may want to consider renaming because "a'la mode" means "with ice cream"-- I don't know if it is a direct French translation but that is the only way I have seen it used in American cooking... Now only if there were some way to incorporate pizza and ice cream into one dish! mmm

  9. You're right about "a la mode" normally being a reference to "with icecream"! But, we're a little bit less than proper around here at Burp!

    In this case, the dollops of cream cheese on top are a bit like little blobs of icecream... hence the name!

    Incidentally, "a la mode" can also be translated as "chic" or "fashionable"... but we're not going to claim that this pizza is anything but delicious.

  10. I've never tried sourdough pizza dough. Wow, what a great idea!


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