Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Best Pizza Ever?

Quite possibly. Well, at least my current favorite pizza. I've made pizza many many times, so many different doughs that never quite fulfilled on their lofty promises: light, airy, crunchy, chewy yet tender, etc. etc. I think I've finally found a base recipe I can work with. It is from "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman and it was pretty much everything I look for in a pizza dough with my family in agreement.

If you make your own pizza dough regularly, I'm sure you've tried the two/three day rise in the fridge deal or whatnot. I've tried this in several different forms and never was fully satisfied with the result. Frankly, I got better results with quick rise doughs that were done in about 2-3 hours. Maybe I had been doing something wrong? Anyway, I prefer the Hamelman technique of using a biga. It's still a two day process, but so much simpler at least for me. Perhaps because I am already used to baking other breads using this method, YMMV. Now on to the nitty gritty of this post and what makes this particular topping, combined with this dough so extraordinary.

I don't know if many of you already use or consider using cauliflower as a pizza topping. I'd safely assume it's not exactly in the forefront of our minds when thinking of pizza possibilities. I have personally never seen it before, though I'm sure there are others who have done so before me. This past fall and winter, I have been on a cauliflower kick! That's probably why I decided one fateful day, to put some roasted cauliflower on a white pizza...

It was love at first bite. What makes this particular pizza work so well is the garlic paste. It is absolutely necessary IMHO. Smoosh the garlic with some salt(I use kosher) and smear that on top of the dough with some olive oil as a base. Top with some small florets(pre-roasted with some crushed red pepper) and cheese blend of your choice(I use gruyere, cheddar, and fresh mozz), herbage of choice(oregano for me, love oregano) and that is it. And it is AWESOME.

You must try this. And please leave comments!

Oh, I also made several other differently topped pizza's(like this half marg./half pepperoni and portabello mushroom) that were delicious but this cauliflower is definitely the one to make.


  1. 'I prefer the Hamelman technique of using a biga'

    Could you please explain (to this English dork!) what the Hamelman technique is and also what is a 'biga'? Not come across these terms before. An 'interesting' recipe that deserves a try!

  2. Presto: Sorry for the vagueness! A biga is just a pre ferment(such as a poolish, sourdough starter, etc.), a small dough you start earlier so it has time to develop flavor over a longer period of time than if you had just made a straight dough. I will post the complete recipe for the dough in my next post. I suggest giving it a try as I think it is worth it, flavorwise.

  3. Your pizza looks wonderful. I could eat pizza everyday, so I must try this one out. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I can just imagine that this would be excellent. Like you I have been eating cauliflower like crazy. I love it raw but would like to try it this way as well.

  5. Woa- so easy and unique. I love pizzas that aren't wetted down with a bunch of tomato sauce- never tried one with cauliflower before.

    Thanks for the recipe!


  6. Yum! Roasted cauliflower on pizza! I just made a cauliflower ragu for pasta this week, but on a pizza...I have to try this!

  7. This pizza looks amazing! I love making pizza at home with olive oil and garlic instead of pizza sauce. I love the topping/cheese combo that you used!

  8. Thanks everyone! I really hope you guys try this out and enjoy it as much as I do. It's hard to go wrong with gruyere and cheddar, isns't it?

  9. I am suprised by pizza posting that rave about their pizza when the crust pictured is clearly sub-par = flat and crunchy. Your crust looks great (a lot like mine), puffy and chewy and crispy on the bottom. Baking the crust first for 5 mins before adding toppings is a great trick. will try your recipe and your dough recipe. thanks!