Every Saturday was Pizza Night growing up. It was one of the first things I learned how to cook. It teaches you almost every skill you need in the kitchen. Working with dough, cutting meat or veggies for toppings, shredding cheese. assembling and baking.
I also learned that pizza is a phenomenal way to use up leftovers from the week or try something new in the kitchen in a fun and creative way!
Lately I’ve been on a mushroom kick. I’ve always loved mushrooms, but in the last month or so I’ve been eating them almost daily. My latest favourite way to enjoy mushrooms is to pan roast them with onions and glaze them with rhubarb jelly. Any fruit jelly would do, but a local farmer, Sparrows Nest Organics, makes an incredible rhubarb jelly that still maintains a lot of the rhubarb’s inherent tartness. These glazed mushrooms are amazing on a crostini, in a grilled cheese sandwich. Or on a pizza.
While on their own, these pizzas could be the star of the pizza on their own as a vegetarian option, but I happened to have some Garlic Sage Braised Chicken leftover in my fridge so it made its way on this pizza.
Because of the sweetness I wanted a complimentary cheese or two to go with the mushrooms, so I went with a spicy Red Hot Chilli Pepper Jack cheese from the western Canadian cheesemakers Bothwell Cheese and their latest “mushroomy” cheese Smoked Chanterelle Mushroom Extra Old Cheddar. That’s an obviously dangerously delicious cheese in my mushroom mad state!! It’s a seasonal cheese with the fine local foragers of Untamed Feast, so I have to enjoy it while I can!!
Any spicy cheese and savoury, mushroomy or truffle-infused cheese would also work beautifully, but do try to find this extraordinarily special Smoked Chanterelle Extra Aged Cheddar! It’s worth the effort!!
- 1 cup einkorn wheat flour, or a whole wheat all purpose flour
- 1 cup red fife wheat flour, or a whole wheat bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅞ cup warm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- Pinch sugar
- 100g/4 oz fresh white mushrooms, quartered
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp oil + 1 tsp butter
- 1 Tbsp rhubarb jelly or any fruit jelly (I prefer a tart fruit jelly like rhubarb or sour cherry because the sugar in the jelly is sweet enough and I like a flavour contrast)
- ⅓ cup pizza sauce (homemade or good quality store bought. Go see an Italian grocer or your favourite pizza place and ask for some. The worst they can say is no. Then they're not your favourite anymore 😉 )
- Prepared Glazed Mushrooms
- 100g leftover shredded, cooked chicken
- 150g/6 oz cheese (I used a blend of Red Hot Chilli Pepper Jack cheese and Smoked Chanterelle Extra Old Cheddar, but like I said above, find great, locally made cheese near you!!)
- Preheat oven to 220C/450F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours. Make a well in the centre. Sprinkle the salt around the perimeter. Add the warm water to the well in the centre. Stir in the yeast and sugar to the water. Allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for 10 minutes.
- Start to bring in flour from the outer edges into the bloomed yeast, stirring gradually with a fork until a paste forms. Keep drawing in flour gradually until a sticky dough forms. Tip this dough on to a floured counter to knead for another few minutes until the dough is only slightly sticky. Return to a floured bowl, cover and allow to rise for an hour.
- For the mushrooms, place a large pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and butter. When the butter melts and starts to sizzle, add the mushrooms in a single layer. Allow them to brown on each side for 3-5 minutes per side. Add the onions and sauté for a further 3-5 minutes until the onions soften and become lightly golden. Add the jelly and stir and swirl the pan until it melts and coats everything. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
- To assemble the pizza, invert a large baking sheet so the bottom is facing up. Drizzle that surface with a teaspoon or so of oil. Spread it out evenly with the palm of your hand to get an evenly oiled surface.
- Divide the risen dough in two. Stretch each dough portion into a rough circle about 1cm (1/2") thick. Divide the pizza sauce over the two prepared pizzas. Add the spicy cheese to the bottom of each pizza. Scatter evenly with chicken and Glazed Mushrooms. Top with a light scattering of cheddar. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Switch the oven to broil/grill and broil for a further 3-4 minutes until the top is deeply golden. Makes 2-25cm/10" pizzas.