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In the 1980s, Alice Waters took pizza to a new level. Her “California-style” pies were topped with seasonal ingredients such as radicchio, wild mushrooms, tapenade, pesto, and fresh herbs. This pizza is garnished with fried rosemary. You can find “OO” flour in the baking aisle of well-stocked grocery stores.
Makes 1 pizza
For the dough:
- ¾ cup lukewarm water, divided
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup rye flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more as needed
- 1 cup bread flour
- ¾ cup “OO” flour
For the topping:
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed
- Rice bran oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced sweet pepper
- Red wine vinegar
- 1 cup grated whole-milk mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
- Chile flakes
Make the dough sponge by mixing together ¼ cup of water, the yeast, and the rye flour. Let it rise 20-30 minutes, then add another ½ cup of lukewarm water, the olive oil, salt, and both the bread and “OO” flours. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board. It will be soft and a little sticky. Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won’t stick. Add more flour to the board as you knead but no more than is absolutely necessary. A soft moist dough makes a light and very crispy crust. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough.
Rub a bowl with olive oil; put the dough in the bowl and oil the surface of the dough to prevent a crust from forming. Cover the bowl with a towel and put it in a warm place, approximately 90 to 110° F. An oven heated just by its pilot light is a good spot. Let the dough rise to double its size, for about 2 hours, then punch it down. Let it rise about 40 minutes more, then shape the pizza.
Meanwhile, fry the rosemary leaves: In a shallow pan, heat a half inch of rice bran oil to medium high. Test a rosemary leaf or two. If the oil sizzles, add the remaining leaves. Fry for about 10-15 seconds, watching carefully so they don’t burn. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Preheat the oven to 500° F. Season the sweet peppers with a pinch of salt and a few drops of red wine vinegar. Top the dough with the mozzarella, rinsed capers, red onions, a pinch of chile flakes, and sweet peppers. Bake the pizza until the crust is nicely browned. Remove and garnish the pizza with a sprinkle of the fried rosemary leaves.
Reprinted by permission of Alice Waters from Six Classic Recipes from the Chez Panisse Café.
Alice Waters is a chef, author, and food activist, and founder of the renowned Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, CA. She is the author of numerous books, including We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto (2021). Learn more about her work and the Edible Schoolyard Project at edibleschoolyard.org.
Published in the Journal of Health and Healing™
Winter 2022 – 23 | Volume 46, Number 4
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