Brussels sprouts and bacon, pizza recipe.
Earlier this fall, I taught a pizza-making class in my town, during which 15 people discovered the magic of the Baking Steel, most especially its ability to create a blistered and bubbled crust. We made eight different pizzas that evening, and much to my surprise, one of the favorites was one I had never made before: sautéed broccoli rabe with crème fraîche and parmesan. The recipe, from Dana Cowin's recently released Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen, comes from pizza master Nancy Silverton, who offers a few great tips in the preface to the recipe: 1. "Work the dough into shape slowly," tapping your fingers "as if on piano keys." and 2. "Edit your toppings," noting that the worst pizzas out there are those labeled "the works," the ones weighed down with too many toppings.
Wise words. What does this have to do with Brussels sprouts and bacon pizza? Well, since discovering the beauty of tangy crème fraîche on pizza, I have been using it a lot, especially with greens — sautéed kale and chard in particular — and recently I've been loving it with quickly blanched Brussels sprout leaves. A little bacon, a natural match to the sweet sprouts, of course is optional but adds a nice flavor, its fat somehow permeating the whole pie. And a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano completes the combination. The key, as Silverton says, is to go light — a little of everything goes a long way.
By Alexandra Stafford aka AlexandraCooks
Brussels Sprouts Pizza with Bacon and Crème Fraiche Yield = 1 pizza Note: Recipe can be multiplied as needed
1 round favorite pizza dough (Lahey recipe below) 4 strips bacon a handful of Brussels sprouts, leaves separated to yield about a cup (see notes* below) 2 to 3 tablespoons crème fraiche grated Parmigiano Reggiano
*Tips on removing Brussels sprout leaves: Chop the ends off of each sprout cutting higher than you might normally. Pick leaves off of the stem ends, then discard the stem. Using a paring knife, core the sprout the way you would when removing the white part of the strawberry around the stem. Discard the core. With your fingers, gently pull the sprout in half removing the leaves as you go.
1. Allow pizza dough to rest at room temperature one hour before you plan on baking. Dust dough with flour and place on a floured work surface.
2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cook the bacon so that it's halfway cooked, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool briefly, then chop into smallish pieces.
3. Place Baking Steel in oven and preheat it to its hottest setting, 550°F. Gently shape dough into a 10"-12" disk handling it as minimally as possible. Arrange dough disk on parchment-lined baking peel.
4. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt. Blanch the Brussels sprout leaves for 1 minute. Drain and dry off a bit.
5. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of crème fraiche over the surface of the dough. Scatter Brussels sprout leaves and bacon over top. Sprinkle Parmigiano Reggiano overtop.
6. Bake pizza until top is blistered, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Slice and serve.
7 1/2 cups all-purpose or tipo 00 flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough 4 teaspoons fine sea salt (I use Diamond kosher) 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
2. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
3. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with a light dusting of flour for about an hour or two before shaping. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead.