Tangy-sweet and savoy Fig Prosciutto Pizza with homemade pizza crust. A family favorite great for the oven or grill!
Last summer my family tried to go gluten-free, just to see if we would feel any different. After buying all the alternate flours and binders, blending popular baking mixes, bagging, storing, and baking, I was exhausted… And a little let down, if I’m being honest.
It was amazing how much we actually missed the texture and flavor of wheat.
Yes, wheat has it’s own flavor, a mellow, earthy tone that is truly distinct. Maybe we are overly addicted to it in the USA. Maybe it is a “cheap” grain with less nutritional value, but none-the-less I like it. A lot.
After much experimentation with ingredients and contemplation, I made a decision. Since no one in my family had celiacs disease, autism, IBS, wheat allergies, or any other condition said to be effected by wheat consumption, we were going back, in moderation.
I do buy organic wheat flour to eliminate gmos and pesticides, but I don’t think I will ever give up wheat completely.
Oh, the warm yeasty smell of wheat dough filling my house as it rises and bakes. There is just nothing quite as comforting as that aroma. Let’s not overlook the matter of the yeast, lending it’s own appealing flavor.
I simply like the idea of yeast…it’s a living organism, lying in wait to activate and infiltrate whatever it is added to. It is discreetly infectious.
Our lives are this way. Surely we have all witnessed gossip or a bad attitude work it’s dark magic through a crowd. Yet I like to think of yeast’s qualities in a positive light, causing action, expansion, elevation, and enlightenment.
I often try to self-evaluate with this in mind. We are always effecting others in some way, whether we mean to or not.
Does my life’s message and my attitude promote positive motivation and inspiration in those around me? Or do I breed negativity, contempt, and apathy? There are times when this can be a hard question to ask yourself.
Back to the baking… Yeast is the best ingredient to add when trying to produce a light, airy bread product. It is a single-celled fungus that converts sugar and starch into carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles lift the bread and create the pores throughout it.
You shouldn’t eat raw yeast, since it will continue to grow in your digestive system and steal nutrients from your body. But once deactivated in the oven (or through pasteurization), yeast is a healthy food product. Some yeasts are even sold as nutritional supplements.
Today I’m using my beloved wheat flour and yeast to make an amazing bubbly crust for Fig Prosciutto Pizza.
Pizza dough is essentially a white bread dough with added olive oil. The oil produces a richer flavor, and denser crust with more pull when you bite it.
How you handle the dough makes a difference in texture as well. The more you knead your dough, the more “pull” you will create. This is essential for pizza crust.
The toppings for this Fig Prosciutto Pizza are a savory sweet blend of fig preserves, sliced prosciutto, fresh arugula, pine nuts, and cheeses.
They offer a salty bite with a touch of sweetness that makes this Fig Prosciutto Pizza a winner as both dinner or as an appetizer at a cocktail party.
You are going to love this!
Fig Prosciutto Pizza
For dough: Place 1/2 cup of warm water in your electric mixing bowl. Add the yeast and allow it to swell for 5 minutes. It should look foamy. Then add 1 1/4 cups of room-temperature water, plus the oil and salt. Using a bread hook, mix on low, adding the flour a little at a time. “Knead” in the mixer for 2-3 minutes until well combined but tacky. Oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to cover the dough in oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.
When the dough is more than double the original size, punch it down and place it on a floured work surface. Divide into two equal pieces. Use your hands to turn the edges of the dough under to create a perfectly round, smooth mounds. Either roll from the middle out, or hand-stretch the dough to a large 18-inch circle. Be careful not to tear the dough.
- Place both pizza crusts on pieces of parchment paper and liberally oil the pizza crusts. Allow the crusts to rest. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, and place two round pizza stones or two flat cookie sheets on the middle two racks to preheat.
- Spread half the fig preserves over each pizza crust. Top each crust with sliced prosciutto, fresh arugula, crumbled goat cheese, shredded mozzarella, fresh thyme, and pine nuts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is bubbly. Cut and serve!
NOTE: Sometime I bake my pizza right on the grill. Just set a pizza stone over the grates and preheat until the grill is very hot. If the grill reaches 600-800 degrees, it will only need 3-4 minutes to bake.