Friday, September 16, 2011

Fig Balsamic Jam for Pizza

Most people probably come home with t-shirts or tchotchkes as souvenirs, but I always get something edible. At this time of year, I decided to bring home California figs! I also picked up two pounds of the best white nectarines ever - they were so fragrant and sweet, I thought I was eating candy.

After our comforting meal at ad hoc, I quickly ordered their cookbook. The night I received it, I promptly made the fig balsamic jam. Instead of using it as a filling for a pork loin, as recommended in the cookbook, I decided to make pizza. Ree, the Pioneer Woman, has one of the most popular blogs out there, and she now has her own show on FoodTV. In a recent episode, she made a fig prosciutto pizza with arugula. This was a great recipe to use the jam, and we finally tested the thin crust pizza dough from Cooks Illustrated. It was so easy to mix up that I think this will be our go-to pizza crust.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
  • 3cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 2teaspoons sugar
  • 5/8teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3cups water (divided)
  • 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 1/2teaspoons salt

  1. 1. Add yeast and sugar to 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F). Let the yeast proof for 10 minutes and add remaining 2/3 cup water. Place the flour in a food processor fitted with metal blade. With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand 10 minutes.
  2. 2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly oiled countertop until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

    3.  One hour before baking pizza, adjust oven rack to second highest position, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Shape each half into smooth, tight ball. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray; let stand for 1 hour.

    4. Generously coat 1 ball of dough with flour and place on well-floured surface. Using fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch disk, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using hands, gently stretch disk into 12-inch round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch. Transfer dough to well-floured peel and stretch into 13-inch round.

    5. Cover pizza with desired toppings. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove pizza and place on wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat step 4 to shape, top, and bake second pizza.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that looks delicious. This is such an appropriate post too because Scottie was just cutting up some figs tonight. And I was telling him that I've never eaten a fig as a fruit. I've had it at a restaurant as part of a meal but never bought figs in the grocery, etc. They were delicious. And very sweet too! Maybe I'll make some pizza now. Hope all is well there! We'll be in Chicago soon - second weekend of October.