Umami Pizza

Umami: : a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (as glutamate and aspartate).
Mushrooms fall under this category.

If you want me to like you just include the words “mushroom” and “caramelized onions” and you’ll win my heart.
1) because I love these things
2) because they remind me of my best friend who loves mushrooms (hi Brooke)

Ingredients for dough:

3/4 cup warm water
1 packet of quick rising yeast
1 3/4 cups flour (plus more for sprinkling around your kitchen/on your dough ball)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tsp olive oil
2 tsp baking powder

Make the dough first, because it has to rise for about an hour and a half. Combine 1/4 of a cup of the warm water, 1 Tbs flour and the yeast packet in a measuring cup.

Let it stand for 5 minutes until the top becomes creamy and bubbly. If the top doesn’t become creamy, throw it out and start over. That means the yeast didn’t activate.

While that’s sitting, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Add your yeast concoction to the mixing bowl along with the remaining 1/2 cup warm water and olive oil. Using a spatula, stir until well combined.

Remove from mixing bowl and transfer to a floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes until elastic and smooth.

Using the same mixing bowl, transfer the kneaded dough back into the bowl. Generously flour top of dough and loosely cover with saran wrap. Place in a warm area to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

…and through the magic of the internet it is INSTANTLY risen!

Now you can start prepping your toppings! Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large onion, sliced very thinly length wise
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (any kind will do, I used a combination of crimini and white mushrooms)
8 oz grated swiss cheese (about half of a normal sized block)
1/2 cup grated parmesean (because what would one of my recipes be without parm?!)
2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves

In a large skillet heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add thin slices of onion.

Sautee for about 12 minutes, until browned (but not burnt)

Close, but no cigar. Keep cookin’!
Transfer fully caramelized onions into a bowl.

(that’s what color they should be once your done sauteeing them)

Using the same skillet, add 2 more Tbs of olive oil over medium high heat. Add your sliced mushrooms.

Cook until they become “juicy” (about 8 minutes).

Now to construct the pizza.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Carefully remove the risen dough from the bowl.
Hold the dough at the top, letting gravity stretch the dough towards your flat surface.
In a “steering wheel” type of motion, work your hands around the outside perimeter of the dough, shaping it into a 14 inch circle.
Lay on the floured surface and push the pizza into your desired shape.
Using a mixture of flour and cornmeal (about a Tbs of each), lightly sprinkle onto a cookie sheet. Transfer dough to said cookie sheet.

I own a pizza stone. I heated my oven to it’s highest setting (550*) and put my pizza stone in there for an hour. My plan was to construct the pizza on the flour/cornmealed cookie sheet and then transfer it to the heated pizza stone by placing the cookie sheet at the back of the pizza stone that was already in the oven, and sort of “shaking” it off the cookie sheet. Wrong. The pizza dough got stuck to the cookie sheet and I ended up cooking it on the cookie sheet. The bottom of my pizza ended up being kind of doughy.
If you own a pizza stone, construct your pizza on a cornmealed/floured piece of parchment paper. It will slide off of the parchment paper. Just set the parchment paper over the pizza stone, grab a corner of the parchment paper and kind of shake the pizza onto the pizza stone. I hope that makes sense….that was kind of hard to explain.
Sort of like this….but without a motorcycle.

If you DON’T have a pizza stone, just cook it on the cookie sheet. It was still really delicious. It just would have taken it up a few notches if the bottom was crispy.
Sprinkle your swiss cheese over the dough.

Next, evenly distribute the caramelized onions and cooked mushrooms.
Top with parmesean cheese.

Bake this puppy at the highest setting that your oven will go on the lowest rack of your oven for about 10 minutes
When the pizza starts to brown, quickly open your oven door and sprinkle thyme over top of pizza.
Once pizza starts looking delicious and browned, take out of oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

Slice it up and serve. I ate mine with a salad of just lettuce and some leftover bruschetta from New Years Eve.

Yum, yum, yum. This recipe sounds way more complicated than it was. It was actually pretty easy and really delicious. Do it!


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