Figs are here! Whooo Hoo!
Okay wait… side tangent for a second. Ever since August began, people won’t shut up about how “Summer is almost over!” and “Here comes Fall!” And I want to smack them. Summer ends on September 21, you guys! We have a whole month left! To say I’m a little irritated with the thought of Summer ending would be and understatement. Well, I was. That is until I opened my first can of pumpkin two days ago and then immediately wanted the crunchy leaves, cozy sweaters, and fireside snuggling. What can I say? I’m easily swayed 😛
Back to figs, and more specifically, this pizza. It’s incredible. The figs get all soft and sweet and squishy, and taste perfect with the salty-sweet prosciutto. I like using Prosciutto di San Daniele for this application as opposed to Prosciutto di Parma for it’s slightly sweeter flavor profile, but you can use whatever you can find.
The trick is to put the prosciutto on the pizza right after it comes out of the oven. That way it warms and melds in with the cheese, but you’re not actually cooking it (which can damage the flavor profile we’re going for here, guys!).
I used fresh mozzarella because I love how stretchy it gets (plus I like the flavor better than the pre-shredded stuff in a bag for this particular pizza). I also topped everything off with a drizzle a really good quality balsamic vinegar—you know, the kind that’s all thick and sticky. If you can’t get your hand on a good one, you can totally fake it by reducing 1/3 or 1/2 cup of cheap balsamic with a tablespoon of port wine and a tablespoon of granulated sugar.
I think this pizza would also be totally awesome topped with a handful or two of baby arugula tossed in some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper right before serving, but I didn’t have any on hand :/
Oh, and by the way, this recipe will make enough dough for two large pizzas. You can either make both right away, or store one dough ball in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer up to a month (just let to thaw in the fridge for 24 hours prior to using).
Yield: 2 pizza doughs, toppings for 1 pizza
for the dough:
- 1 and 1/2 cups warm water (not hot)
- 2 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups bread flour
for the toppings:
- 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8-10 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced into 1/4" to 1/2" rounds
- 5-6 figs sliced into 1/4" slices
- salt and freshly-ground pepper
- 10 very thin slices Prosciutto di San Daniele
- 2-3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar (the syrupy kind)
for the dough:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until the yeast gets nice and foamy.
- Add in the flour and turn the mixer on low until there's no loose flour to fly all over your kitchen. Increase the speed to high and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball on the hook.
- Rub a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough ball into the bowl and turn it around to coat it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise, about an hour, until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and divide into two balls. Now you can either refrigerate your dough to use in a couple days, or freeze it for a month.
for the pizza:
- Place your pizza stone in the oven. Preheat your ben to 500 degrees. Once it reaches temperature, keep it on for 30 minute before putting the pizza inside.
- Pat a dough ball out on a well-floured surface into about an 8-inch round. Then, stretch it over your knuckles trying to keep it round, until it's about 14 inches in diameter. (This is kinda hard and I had a few holes, but if you just fold little pieces of dough over them, they're pretty simple to patch up. Alternately you can just keep pressing your dough out.) Form a little crust if you wanna.
- Spread enough olive oil over the surface of the dough to form a very thin coating. Lay the slices of mozzarella down, not quite touching each other. Place the fig slices in between the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Slide the pizza onto your pizza stone in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the dough is cooked and golden, the cheese is melted, and the figs are nice and juicy. As soon as you remove the pizza from the oven, top it with the slices of prosciutto. Right before serving, drizzle with the balsamic.