Fresh Goat Cheese and Sautéed Mushroom Pizza
An over-the-top take on the mushroom pizza with goat cheese, fresh basil and truffle oil. So good.
Pizza is just one of those comfort foods that makes everyone feel good. Here is a recipe for a fantastic mushroom and goat cheese pizza made on a Neapolitan dough. Cooking the mushrooms in advance and then refrigerating them helps protect them from the high heat of the pizza oven.
There are two pizza dough recipes on this website. One is for pizza made in a wood-fired oven and the other is for pizza made in a conventional oven. Both require overnight fermentation so plan accordingly. The difference between the two is the amount of water in the dough. Because a wood-fired oven cooks a pizza at 900˚F in 90 seconds, it needs less water in the dough. If you use the conventional oven dough with more water in a wood-fired oven, it will make a huge mess. The bottom of the dough will not dry out enough by the time the top has cooked and it will tear when you try to remove it from the oven.
Both pizza dough recipes are from the 24-48 Hour Pizza Dough recipe in the book “The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home” by Ken Forkish. It’s an outstanding book. If you love pizza, this is a must own.
This is a true Neopolitan pizza dough from Naples. I have tried every dough recipe in the book and like this one the best, it’s easy and hard to mess up. Form the dough into a disc by first gently pressing with your finger tips from the inside out. Then, hold it vertically and gently stretch the rim while letting gravity work and expand the pizza dough.
The pizza sauce is simple and fantastic. It is made from whole canned San Marzano tomatoes and a little sea salt, that’s it. If you have extra, doctor it up and make pasta sauce.
Most of my pizzas are made with a blend of four cheeses. This pizza is made with 50% low-fat mozzarella, 25% asiago and 25% fontina. Then a bit of parmesan or pecorino romano is added at the end. Mozzarella is, of course, on practically every pizza made. The asiago adds a little bit of a nutty flavor and the fontina is just creamy and good.
Cooking the mushrooms in advance and refrigerating them does two things. First, mushrooms have a lot of water. Better to have that evaporate by cooking them in advance rather than on the pizza. Second, by adding cold mushrooms to the pizza before cooking, they are far less likely to burn. The pizza oven is hot and mushrooms are delicate. Slice the mushrooms and sauté them in a little olive oil until soft. Add one clove of diced garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the mushrooms and garlic and place in a metal or glass bowl and refrigerate for an hour. The mushrooms will be cold and a little wet and that will help them not burn in the pizza oven.
Love at 900˚F
A wood-fired oven will cook a pizza in 90 seconds. With the coals pushed to the back of the oven, the part of the floor closest to the burning logs will be about to 950˚F. The area 20″ from the logs may be only 750˚F. Place the pizza about 6″ from the logs. Then, using a small metallic pizza peal, rotate the pizza ¼ turn every 20 seconds. This will cook FAST, there is NO time to go get a beer. After a full rotation check the bottom and the edge of the pizza. If there is an area on the edge that needs a little more heat, put it back in with that area closest to the fire 10 seconds at a time until done. The bottom of the crust should show some small dark areas particularly near the edge.
If using a conventional oven, place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven and set the oven to its highest setting, probably 500˚F. Let it warm up for about 30 minutes. Thick pizza stones (about ½″ thick) seem to hold heat better and cook more evenly. Place the pizza in the center of the stone and cook for 6 – 10 minutes, depending on your oven. There is no need to turn a pizza cooked in a conventional oven.
Remove the pizza from the oven and let it setup for a few minutes before slicing. Then, cut, serve and enjoy.
Try These Recipes
- Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
- Wood-Fired Oven Pan Pizza
- Margherita Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella
- Wood-Fired Oven Pepperoni Pizza
- Chicken Calzone with Spinach and Artichoke Hearts
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza
- Pizza stone or Pizza oven
- 3 balls pizza dough (See pizza dough recipe.)
- 28 oz tomatoes (whole) San Marzano
- 1.5 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (split)
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoon goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan or Pecorino Romano grated
- ½ cup freshly grated low-fat mozzarella
- 8 basil leaves (julienned)
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil
- See separate recipe for making the pizza dough. NOTE: There are TWO pizza dough recipes on this site. One for a wood-fired oven and one for a conventional oven. If you are baking this on a pizza stone in a conventional oven, then pre-bake the pizza dough, after it has been shaped, for two to three minutes.
- Add the San Marzano tomatoes and juices to a blender with fine sea salt. Pulse several times until the tomatoes break up and form a purée.
- Form the dough into a 12" round pizza (see pizza dough recipe). Brush the prepared pizza dough a good olive oil making sure to cover the crust. Spread a scant ¼ of the sauce on top of the olive oil to within ¾" of the edge. Sprinkle the Parmesan or Pecorino Romano on top of the sauce. Spread the mozzarella cheese on top. Liberally apply the mushrooms on top of the cheese.
- Bake for 90 seconds or so in a 900 degree wood-fired pizza oven, turning every 20 seconds (a bit longer on a pizza stone in a convention oven). Remove when the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown. Let the pizza rest a few minutes to setup.