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Prosciutto, Mushroom and Truffle Cheese Pizza | Sortachef

Prosciutto, Mushroom and Truffle Cheese Pizza

In a shop just off a sunny piazza in Colle Val D’Elsa some years ago, I watched the proprietor take down a bottle. He shook it just a little and held it up. Shriveled black balls the size of fat acorns, backlit by the sun, moved in golden liquid at the bottom. ‘Truffles,’ he said in a hushed voice. ‘With my finest oil.’ He looked at the bottle beneficently, like a proud father. 

Handling it like a precious thing, he carefully eased the cork. An aroma escaped that was earth-tinged and high on the palate, one which made my nostrils flare. Mushroom but not mushroom. Sweet but not sweet. Magic – yes magic – to the nose. Its fragrance crept into the farthest reaches of my brain to lodge there. Once you have smelled truffle, you’ll never forget it. 

Now if you happen to own a podere near an oak grove in Tuscany, as that wine seller did, you could take your truffle-hunting pig or dog out on an autumn’s morning and root for you own bounty, shaving the truffles with a special tool directly onto your pizzas. But fortunately for us there are other ways to get the essence of truffle onto your pizzas: truffle infused olive oil, truffle infused salt, and truffle infused cheese. At Chez Bullhog, we use a combination of the three; we find the truffle infused cheese is best. 

Meanwhile, after you’ve tasted, smelled and absorbed the fragrance of truffles, one thing holds true: you never forget your first encounter! 

Prosciutto, mushroom and truffle cheese pizza

Truffle Pizza

Ingredients for each 14” pizza

 

13.5 ounces pizza dough (see recipe below)

1 tablespoon good olive oil to coat dough blank

7 ounces crushed San Marzano tomatoes or pizza sauce

3 ounces paper-thin prosciutto

3 thinly sliced crimini mushrooms, lightly sautéed

4 ounces truffle infused cheese

(Use Italian truffle cheese from Trader Joes, truffle infused pecorino from Pacific Food Importers or similar truffle infused cheeses from Whole Foods)

½  teaspoon dried oregano to top before baking

Note: If baking in a conventional oven on quarry tiles, your pizzas will need to be 12” diameter, so use 11 ounces of dough and reduce the other ingredients by 15%.

 

Make the dough: Mix 1 1/3 cup (8 ounces) Caputo flour, 1 1/3 cup (8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon dry yeast together in a large bowl. Add 10 ounces water at 100º and blend together. Let sit 20-30 minutes and then knead for 5-10 minutes to make a soft dough. Let rise for at least 4 hours at room temperature before forming. (Makes 27 ounces of dough, enough for 2 – 14 inch pizzas.) 

Assemble ingredients: Lightly sauté the sliced mushrooms in a little olive oil and butter until barely translucent. Shred or slice the prosciutto into 1” x 2” pieces. Thinly slice the cheese. Have sauce or crushed tomatoes handy. 

Truffles for sale in Rome

Truffles for sale in Rome

For baking in a woodfired oven: The fire should be 2 hours old, built at the center of your oven. In the last 30 minutes, move the fire side to side to heat the bottom tiles. Add 6 well-seasoned sticks about 1½” in diameter 10 minutes before firing the first pizza. When you are ready to bake, spread your mature fire into a horseshoe shape at the back of the oven, using the 6 sticks to maintain the fire. Add 4 more sticks at this point and brush the ashes from the center of the oven floor. The side walls of your oven should be turning white if your oven is up to temperature. If the flame goes out, put a wad of newspaper on a poker, light it, and ignite the fire around the horseshoe.

For baking in a conventional oven with quarry tiles: Put the quarry tiles in a 3×2 pattern on the center rack of your oven and preheat for 30 minutes at 450º. 

Make the pizza: Form the dough, using 13.5 ounces for a 14” pizza or 11 ounces for a 12” to be baked on quarry tiles. Put the pizza blank onto a wooden peel sprinkled with a little flour or semolina and make sure it can ‘slip’ on the peel. Swirl on some olive oil, and then 6 or 7 ounces of crushed tomatoes or sauce. Distribute the prosciutto and the mushrooms, dot with the cheese and top with the oregano. Before baking, make sure again that the pizza can ‘slip’ before proceeding. For more information on this, see ‘Pizza Time Pizza with long rise dough.’ 

Bake: In the woodfired oven this pizza will take 4 or 5 minutes, and needs to be turned after 2 minutes. In a conventional oven, it will take 8 or 9 minutes, and needs to be turned after 4 minutes. Turn with a metal peel or 2 metal spatulas, remove when done to a round metal pan and let sit 5 minutes before slicing. Can also be kept warm at 150º for up to 30 minutes before serving.

Raw 400w

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At Woodfiredkitchen.com, Sortachef takes you on adventures in the kitchen and beyond, with tales to suit. Many of his offerings are woodfired - a flaming good recipe for pizza, bread, or something different. All recipes are original and tasty. Enjoy!
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