MAKES: FIVE 8-INCH PIES (6 APPETIZER SERVINGS PER PIZZA)
HANDS ON: 35 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 10 HRS 40 MINS
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved, and cored
1 cup ricotta cheese
- In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and yeast. Add the water and stir until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let rest 8 to 24 hours at room temperature. (Dough will rise and have a bubbly surface.) Transfer dough to refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Lightly rub your hands and work surface with olive oil. Turn dough out onto surface, and lightly dust with additional flour. Fold dough on itself a few times, adding more flour, if necessary, until easy to handle. Cut into five equal pieces.
- Sprinkle dough pieces with additional flour. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap; let rise 1 hour.
- Place a pizza stone or baking sheet on bottom rack of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, zest and thinly slice lemons. In a 12-inch skillet heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add lemon slices, half at a time, in a single layer in skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Remove to paper towels to drain and cool slightly. Reserve oil in pan. Using a mandoline slicer or a food processor fitted with a thin slicing blade, thinly slice fennel bulbs. (You should get about 3 cups.) Place fennel slices in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil reserved in pan; sprinkle lightly with salt. Toss to combine.
- Turn dough pieces onto a floured work surface. Sprinkle with flour and knead a few times until no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Form each dough piece into an 8-inch round by pressing from center toward edges in a clockwise motion. If dough is too elastic springing back rather than stretching let it rest a few minutes before shaping. Prick the surface with fork tines.
- Place one round on a pizza peel or a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush with additional oil. Carefully slide one round at a time onto the hot pizza stone in oven.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is puffed around edges and browned. Repeat with remaining dough rounds.
- Spread some ricotta over each baked crust. Divide lemon zest, lemon slices, and fennel evenly among crusts.
From the Test Kitchen
SPICY TOPPERS (NOTE-NOT FINISHED TESTING):
In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil over medium heat. Add 1 pound peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp and 1 teaspoon hot chili powder. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until opaque. Stir in 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro. In a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste, and 1 tablespoon water. In a medium bowl toss together 4 cups shredded napa cabbage, 1/2 cup matchstick carrots, 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, and 1/4 tsp salt. Spread baked crusts with peanut butter mixture, top with cabbage and shrimp mixture and garnish with additional cilantro and sliced serrano chile peppers.
SALTY TOPPERS (NOTE-NOT FINISHED TESTING):
Top baked crusts with fresh mozzarella slices, sliced tomatoes, sliced or halved pitted olives. Bake for 2 minutes more or until cheese melts. Top with basil leaves and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil.
SWEET TOPPERS (NOTE-NOT FINISHED TESTING):
Coat bacon slices in brown sugar. Arrange in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat onion slices with brown sugar. Arrange on the baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp and brown and onions are caramelized, turning once. Spread baked crusts with barbecue sauce, top with shredded cheddar cheese, onion slices, and the crumbled bacon. Bake for 2 minutes more or until cheese melts.
BLAND TOPPERS (NOTE-NOT FINISHED TESTING):
In a 12-inch skillet heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 medium red potatoes, sliced. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned and tender, turning occasionally. Spread crusts with alfredo sauce and top with potatoes. Top with panko bread crumbs and sliced pitted olives. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes or until panko is toasted. Top with fresh thyme.
Nutrition Facts (Lemon-Fennel Pizza)
Per serving: 113 kcal , 4 g fat (1 g sat. fat , 0 g polyunsaturated fat , 2 g monounsaturated fat ), 4 mg chol. , 132 mg sodium , 16 g carb. , 1 g fiber , 1 g sugar , 3 g pro.