Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fungi Pizza

Pizza is a staple food in Toronto. There are pizza joints in this town that have line-ups out the door from before noon til after last call when the pub crawls come spilling out along Bloor and College street. But even though there’s a lot of great places to get a slice around the city, truth be told, the best pizza I’ve ever had has always been at home. This is probably a bit of a deception, my first summer job was tossing dough at a pizza stand at Ontario place, and I spent a summer working at a chain of family run trattorias that a lot of people think is the best spot for a pie in town, so maybe I’ve got a jump on the dish, either way as long as you can get your oven over five-fifty you should be able to make some thin-crusted magic in 7 minutes. The trick is to make a good homemade dough and throw it to the cieling, the rest is all just icing on the cake.

Pizza al la fungi

1 tblsp dry yeast, dissolved until frothy in
1 1/2C of warm water with a tsp squirt of honey
3 1/2 flour
1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup basil, pasted
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup pecorino, micrograted
2 tbsp walnuts, ground

1/2C sun dried tomato, thinly sliced
1C oyster or other mushrooms, roughly chopped
2C baby spinach, chopped
1/3C chevre

Preheat oven to 550. Start by making your dough in a large mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients until it forms a ball, then kneed dough on a floured surface for ten minutes or until you work up a sweat. Cover and let rise for an hour. Beat it down, then let it rise again for a half hour or until doubled. Now, with floured hands stretch out the dough by spinning it between your pinched fingers, give it a few good tosses and flips (you can youtube this kind of thing if my description leaves you totally clueless, I apologize). Next, roll it out and put it on a baking sheet lightly dusted with cornmeal. Sporadically poke it’s surface with a fork to avoid getting big unsightly, untasty bulbs in your pie.

In a mortar (or food processor), paste all the ingredients of your pesto. Apply the pesto liberally to your dough (Note: If you don’t have enough oil in your pesto it will make you dough soggy and no good for eatin). Your pie is now ready for toppings. Add everything you’ve got prepped to approximately equal sizes, so that they’ll have similar cooking times. Top with healthy scoops of the goat’s cheese, or grate anything else you’d like.

We devour these things before they even get a chance to cool with our favorite dirty little secret, Saroli Fine Food’s hot peppers in oil, which is pretty much like foodie crack.


  1. Years ago - bloody hell I was 15 so 22 years ago - we came to Toronto to Visit my mums family and we had some of the best pizza I have ever eaten (I now live in Rome and visit naples alot so stakes are high)... so I believe you.
    I am rubbish when it come to Pizza at home, several failed attempts. I am starting to really trust you both though - the tomato clafoutis was a big success as was the salty pear tart - so may give pizza another whirl alla salty pear - with honey!!! intruiged.
    I really like your pictures by the way.

  2. I've never had bad luck with homemade pizza, it's always good! This recipe looks great!

  3. Rachel: the honey is key. It makes the dough crispy.