Mushroom Pizza

As promised, here is follow-up on the mushroom pizza.

Solano Mushroom Farms, organic mushrooms

At the Davis Farmers’ Market, I stopped by the Solano Mushroom Farm table and picked up some gorgeous organic mushrooms. I chose a combination of (from top left): maitake, shiitake, royal trumpet, and oyster mushrooms. The shiitake and royal trumpet mushrooms provide a nice, meaty texture, and the maitake and oysters a lighter, more delicate texture. They all provide great nutrition and flavor.

Another stop on my way yesterday was the Davis Co-op ( This is my go-to store for bulk foods. They have a great selection of flours, grains, and different rices that I like to keep on hand.

I made a variation of the Piadine dough I’ve been using for pizza.

Whole Wheat Rye Piadine Dough

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup cool water
1/4 cup Rye
3/4 cup Whole Wheat
2 1/2 cup White Bread Flour
1/2 Guisto’s High Protein Whole Wheat
2 tablespoons Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

I got a little distracted and wasn’t paying attention. I added all of the flour at once, rather than leaving some of it out until the end. Ooops … my dough was a quite a bit tighter than I usually make it, but I decided to go with it. I did add about another tablespoon of olive oil while it was mixing. This isn’t my usual method, but this is what I did for this batch:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water to dissolve.
  2. Combine the flours.
  3. Add the flour to the water and mix on low, using the hook attachment.
  4. Add the olive oil and continue to mix on low.
  5. Realize that the dough was way too dry, and add about 1 more tablespoon of oil.
  6. Mix on low until all ingredients are well combined (this took about 8-9 minutes).
  7. Sprinkle the salt on the dough, then turn the mixer on high and mix about 3 minutes.
  8. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured board, shape into a round, allow it to set a moment, then cut in half and shape each half into a ball.

The initial shaping ...

Getting ready for the second rounding ...

This is enough dough for two large pizzas. Round the dough into two balls, place each in an oiled bowl large enough to allow the dough to double in size. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. The dough is best left to rise in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (overnight is better), or if you need it sooner, you can let it rise at room temperature. It would be ready in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on room temperature, the temperature of the water, and so on. Allowing the dough to rise in the refrigerator will allow more flavor and a better texture to develop. You’ll want to take the dough out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to shape and cook it.

So, I’d had a busy morning already … Davis Farmers’ Market, a stop at Davis Wheelworks (, Davis Food Co-op (, and making the dough. Now it’s time for a ride.

We rode to Winters and back. I had a new saddle for my Colnago, a Terry Butterfly. The ride was going great! I rode a lot stronger than I thought I was going to be able to – I haven’t been getting much cycling in since I hurt my knee in November. It felt GREAT to be out there. It was a beautiful day, I had wonderful company, and am loving my new bike! We made our usual stop in Winters, at Steady Eddies, shared a Coke and an oat cake, playfully gave a stranger a bad time about where he parked his bike, then headed back Putah Creek Road. Then a funny thing happened. Within minutes after my cycling partner took off on a sprint, something started to feel funny. Somehow my saddle position had changed and I was riding way too far back. I stopped and discovered that my saddle had come loose. Oh, dear. I had no idea how to fix this, and no tools. So I waited. I knew he would come back … eventually. So I waited. Then I called … and called … and called … and then my phone wouldn’t work … stupid Verizon. In the time I waited, about 5 cyclists rode past. I am happy to say that all but one asked if I needed help. The last one to stop was the first one to have the tools to fix my saddle. Just as he was fixing it, my cycling partner rode back up and recognized this cyclist as the stranger we chatted with at Steady Eddies. You just have to love the kindness of strangers!

So, we got home, got cleaned up, and I went to find the perfect wine for the pizza. I went to Nugget and got there minutes after the Wine Guy left for the day. A back up wine guy made a few suggestions. I ultimately decided on an Aquinas 2010 Napa Valley Pinot Noir. This did go nicely with the pizza, but I think an earthier pinot would have been nice, too.

Let the sauteed mushrooms cool a bit

I sliced the mushrooms and sauteed them for about 3 minutes in a bit of organic extra virgin olive oil. I added a touch of fresh thyme towards the end of the saute. You’ll want to let these cool before placing them on the pizza dough. You are going to want to preheat your oven to at least 450 to 500 degrees. It depends on your oven how long this will take, but just be sure that the oven and pizza stone are well preheated before baking your pizza. If you’re making a thin crust pizza, you’ll want to place the stone towards the top of the oven. If you’re making a thicker crust, you’ll want to be towards the middle. If you place the rack too close to the bottom of the oven, you may cook the bottom but not the top of the pizza. There is a huge amount of variation in home ovens, so this may take some practice to get it just right.

There are lots of techniques for shaping pizza dough. I always do this by hand, not with a rolling pin, because I want to keep some bubbles in the dough. I like to keep an edge all the way around, and you can’t really do that using a rolling pin, either. I don’t pull in the dough, but rather gently stretch is, using my fists on the underside of the dough. Just after high school, I worked in a couple of pizza restaurants and learned how the professionals do it. You will want to work quickly or the dough will stick to the peel. You’ll want to flour the peel and I like to sprinkle some polenta on it, also. That will help prevent sticking and the polenta adds a nice crunch to the finished pizza.

The shaped pizza dough.

Top with Quattro Formaggio

Add sauteed mushrooms.

Add smoked mozzarella & freshly ground black pepper.


Slide the pizza from the peel onto the preheated baking stone. One of the tricks I learned was to gently shake the peel side to side a bit before sliding the pizza off onto the stone. This will let you know if the dough has stuck to the peel. The more quickly you can work once the shaped dough has been placed on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.

Slide the prepared pizza from the peel onto the preheated baking stone. Bake about 8 minutes, then check the pizza and rotate it front to back to ensure even cooking.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is well melted. I like the cheese to get just a bit browned.

The finished pizza.

I usually slide the pizza onto a cooling rack for a moment before cutting it. This just helps it to set up and keeps the crust a little crispier. This pizza had no sauce, so there was little risk of it getting soggy. We didn’t want to wait long to cut this one.

Serve with some mixed greens and tomatoes lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.

We will definitely make this again!







One Response to “Mushroom Pizza”

  1. Cycling Foodie » Blog Archive » Turkey Fennel Herb Sausage Says:

    […] If you’re going to put this on pizza, here is a great pizza dough recipe! […]

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