Pizza night: Soppressata+Fennel and Pizza with Ricotta+Kale

Ever since I had gotten my pizza steel and peel making pizza at home has been so worth it. The crust comes out crunchy. Flavor of the dough is solid. And I can customize it however I want. I also like knowing exactly what goes into it. Mostly fresh ingredients with no preservatives!

So most recently, I didn’t feel like driving over to Trader Joe’s just to get pizza dough and decided to make my own using the bread machine I have. Recent discovery I had with this machine was that if you don’t align the paddles the loaves come out lopsided. So if you have a problem like that you might want to align your paddles so it comes out even. I followed the recipe for the dough that came with the book. very easy and very tasty!

Below shows the dough just after kneading, then resting for 20 minutes, then rolled out.

For a lot of the pizzas I’ve made I use a base sauce of olive oil and crushed garlic, you can use as much garlic as you want. Generally I use about 4-5 cloves to a 1/2cup of olive oil. Crush and let sit for at least 20-30 minutes, longer is probably better.

hot soppressata pizza with fennel www.alldayieat.com

So more about the tools I use to make pizza… The pizza peel makes such a big difference getting the pizza on/off my pizza steel. All you do is slide it on or off while baking it. It makes it so much easier and is something you should not make pizza without! All pizza parlors use a peel!! Prior to having this, I’ve burned myself messing around with plates and spatulas and it’s just not worth the hassle to not have one.

The pizza steel is another key tool to have in the kitchen as this is what enables you to get a crispy crust and well baked dough, that stands up very well to any commercial pizza oven and is so much more effective than pizza stones I have used in the past. The dimensions are 14 x 14 which is big enough to make one pizza for two people. The only downside is its very heavy, maybe 15 pounds or so, so you have more risk breaking a toe than the steel itself… you need to be careful with it!

I generally prebake/preheat the steel for 45 minutes at 500 degrees. Once its preheated, your pizzas will bake within 10-12 minutes start to finish.

One tip I have is for the crust, to avoid a soggy crust I first bake the crust brushed with olive oil for a few minutes. I watch to let it puff up, and start to turn light brown. Usually this takes 2-3 minutes max. At that point, I will remove it from the oven and add all the different toppings. Haven’t had a soggy crust since and the dough always comes out nice and crispy!

So here are the pizzas that I made most recently using those tools-

Kale+Ricotta Pizza Recipe – 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 round of pizza dough= one 12″ pie
  • 1 bunch medium Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, chopped or torn2
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic olive oil for dough (1 Tbsp crushed garlic to 3 Tbsp olive oil)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated 
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat pizza stone/steel; on my oven I set the temp at 500 F
  2. Toss kale with oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with pepper. Massage dressing into kale and let sit at least 15 minutes to soften
  3. Roll out dough and brush with garlic olive oil
  4. Bake briefly, I usually check under the dough and look for light browning to determine when to take out and add toppings. Usually this prebake takes about 2-3 minutes. NOTE: if you bake the crust a little before adding toppings, you will never get a soggy crust!!
  5. Once dough has risen, top with mozzarella, ricotta, kale, red pepper and Parmesan.
  6. Return to oven and bake until crust turns golden brown and crisp on bottom and top

Soppressata+Fennel Recipe– 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 round of pizza dough= one 12″ pie
  • Garlic olive oil for brushing (1 Tbsp crushed garlic to 3 Tbsp olive oil)
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 1 cup NY Style tomato pizza sauce
  • 2-4 ounces thinly sliced hot soppressata
  • ½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2–3 fresh red chiles, thinly sliced (Fresno adds a nice contrast)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

  1. Preheat pizza stone/steel; on my oven I set the temp at 500 F
  2. Roll out dough and brush with garlic olive oil
  3. Take sliced fennel and briefly sautee in a pan with some pepper and olive oil for 3-5 minutes. NOTE: the first time I made this, I put the raw fennel on top of the pizza and because the oven was so hot, the pizza was done before the fennel was fully cooked.
  4. Bake dough briefly, I usually check under the dough and look for light browning to determine when to take out and add toppings. Usually this prebake takes about 2-3 minutes. NOTE: if you bake the crust a little before adding toppings, you will never get a soggy crust!!
  5. Once dough has risen, remove from oven and top with tomato sauce, mozzarella, soppressata, sauteed fennel, chiles, and Pecorino.
  6. Return to oven and bake until crust turns golden brown and crisp on bottom and top

If you liked this post, please share or leave a comment. Thanks for reading!

If you’re interested in how I’ve made some of my other pizzas, take a look at these links!

Pizza night 2 : Margherita Pizza and Arugula Pizza with Mozzarella,Parmegiano Reggiano, and Prosciutto

http://www.alldayieat.com/tag/pizza/

Recipes adapted from bon appetit x  bon appetit

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