Crispy monzerella covered pizza crust topped with fresh peppery arugala, juicy figs, smooth and creamy goat cheese, tangy dill pickled onions, crushed walnuts and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
I have been looking everywhere for figs and until now they alluded me. I was driving my son home from school and there was a box on the side of the road with a sign that read “free figs.” I grabbed a handful, not wanting to be greedy, and rushed home to put them to good use. Two days later, I was walking home from a community festival with my son around the corner from our house, and a tree branch blocked the walkway, weighted down by ripe figs. Naturally, I had to help the poor tree out and lighten its load. I grabbed another handful and went on my way. Then, the very next day, I am at my local grocery store and BAM! They have black mission figs! Since the ones I picked up from my lovely neighbors were green, I had to have black missions to round out my collection. Now that I am up to my eyeballs in figs, I have to do something with them before they go bad. So far we have done a soft blue cheese spread on toast, topped with cranberry preserves, figs and walnuts. I am thinking I need to make a balsamic and fig reduction or fig preserves!
The most difficult part about making pizza is the crust in my opinion. I have tried several combos, including crusts with sugar, oil and vinigar and didn’t like the results. The sugar and oil caused the crust to burn on the edges before the middle of the pizza and toppings were done. I did the hard work for you and have put together the perfect crust recipe. Tried and tested, you’re welcome.
Without further adue, here’s what you need:
Crust: (makes one 12″ thick crust or two 8″ thin crust pizzas)
2 cups flour (additional for dusting)
1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
4 figs halved
1 packed cup of arugula
Goat cheese (the amount you desire)
1/3 cup shredded monzerella cheese or 1 1/2 fresh buffalo monzerella balls.
Dill pickled Onions (the amount you desire)
2 tablespoons crushed walnuts (or go nuts and cover the whole pizza, it’s really up to you)
1 Cup balsamic Vinigar
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
Bring balsamic vinigar and sugar to a boil on medium heat in sauce pan, then reduce to low and simmer until it coats the back of a spoon. Use the reduction to drizzle and save the rest for later. Please don’t use the whole cup of balsamic on your pizza haha!
Making the crust will take time! Over 24 hours so get started!
Mix all your dough ingredients together in a bowl, mixing until combined.
Divide into two equal balls and place on a plate, leaving enough room for the dough to expand. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24hrs.
Next, remove from the fridge and place on a heavily floured surface. Using your fingers create the outer crust by pressing inward on the dough, leaving about a half inch crust. Next, lift the dough and place your fists on the underside edges of the dough, just inside of the molded crust and the weight of the dough will cause it to stretch. Cross one fist over another, as you rotate the dough. Stretching it evenly. Be careful with the dough and not over work it. Place pizza back down on a floured surface. You should be able to easily slide it off the counter, onto a baking sheet or pizza stone. I brushed olive oil on my pizza crust before adding the monzerella, but if you have fig jam, even better! Top your crust with cheese and let rest. Do not put olive oil on the outer half inch of the crust, you will regret it as it turns black and burns before your pizza is done!
Place a pizza stone in a hot oven. The hotter you can get it, the better. Most ovens max at 550, but some go hotter. Let your pizza stone heat to the temp of your oven at its hottest point before placing your pizza on it. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a sheet pan, but I would recommend you make an investment into one if you are serious about perfecting your pizza game! Whatever you do, do not preheat your sheet pan in you use one! The pizza will stick and burn!
Once the stone is hot, use a pizza peal or sheet pan to slide the pizza onto the hot stone and place it in the oven. Watch the pizza closely and rotate if needed for even cooking. It won’t take long at all for it to cook, maybe 10 minutes max.
Once the crust begins to brown, remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool until the cheese stops bubbling. Top with the remaining ingredients and serve.