Mushroom & Crème Fraiche Pizza

Homemade pizza is one of the simple pleasures of life. Make dough. Let rise (as many as 4 or 5 days in the fridge if needed). Roll out dough. Spread toppings. Put in a very hot oven. Open a bottle of beer or pour a glass of wine. Patient 10 minutes. Enjoy.

PS – use a pizza stone: it will immensely increase the quality of your pizza. One word: perfect crust!

PPS – neither tomato nor pepperoni necessary (although sometimes they have their use!)

Mushroom & Crème Fraiche Pizza
2 servings as a main dish, 4-6 as Appetizer
  • ½ pound of mushrooms, cleaned, and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided (more as needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • ½ pizza dough recipe (See below)
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche (purchased or homemade)
  • ¼ teaspoon finely minced rosemary and/or thyme leaves

Preheat oven (and pizza stone if using) to anywhere between 475F and 500F (245-260C).
Slice mushrooms thinly. Melt butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet (do not use non-stick) on high heat. When the butter foams, add mushrooms and cook on high heat for a few minutes until the mushroom starts to give off water and turn color. Stir as needed. Remove mushrooms from heat, salt and pepper to taste.
Put pan back on medium heat, add remaining oil and onion slices. Salt, sauté for 10-15  minutes until onion soften, getting limp and translucent (do not let them brown). Remove from heat.
Roll out the dough on lightly floured parchment paper to the shape you desire. You may make several small pizzas if you prefer. (Any trimmings, should be gathered, kneaded briefly, and rolled out again). Arrange onion slices and mushrooms on pizza. Top with dollops of crème fraiche. Sprinkle the herbs on top. Immediately transfer the pizza (still on parchment paper) to the hot pizza stone. Bake for 12 to15 minutes until the edges are nicely brown and puffed.

If you do not have a pizza stone, bake on parchment paper on a sturdy cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes, lowering the heat to 400F at the 15 minutes mark.

Pizza Dough
The dough might be prepared several days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Makes 2 pizzas each serving 2 as main meal, 4 as appetizer
  • 1 cup whey (or water)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose or bread flour (or combination)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat whey until warm to the touch (about 115F), stir in sugar, sprinkle yeast. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes until yeast foams gently.
Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Add the yeast mixture, mix with your fingers, then with your hands until all the liquid is incorporated and the dough holds well together – no need to knead. The dough should be sticky (if using bread flour you may have to use 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of water.) Shape the dough into a ball. Pour the olive oil on top of the dough and roll the dough gently in the bowl to coat it with the oil.
If you are making only one pizza, split the dough in 2 even portions. Store one half in the fridge in a slightly oiled airtight container, much larger than the dough to give it room to rise – up to 3 or 5 days – for another future pizza.  The dough will slowly rise in the fridge. Remove from fridge 1 hour before using. It’ll then be ready to roll out.
Leave the other half of the dough in the bowl, covered with a wet and wrung-out kitchen towel, and let rise at room temperature until it doubles in volume, about 1 to 2 hours in a warm room — longer in winter away from the wood stove. It’s now ready to be rolled out.

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