Summertime, and the living is easy…
It’s early June and strawberries are becoming plentiful in the fields, the sun is high in the sky and it’s the perfect day to take an hour for a picnic lunch under a tree if you can. Today we made a special pizza on focaccia bread that’s quick and easy to make and that holds nicely in the fridge if you might like to make it Sunday night so you can have a special lunch the next day.
What you’ll need to make the summer picnic pizza:
200 grams of bread flour
50 grams of semolina flour
7 grams of dry instant yeast
5 grams of sea salt
3/4 cup of warm water
1/4 cup of olive oil
Freshly picked strawberries
2 cloves of garlic diced
Brianna’s Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing (if desired)
3 Spanish onions diced
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
1 small package of favorite goat cheese
1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 wee squirt of balsamic glaze
Now, let’s get cooking!
Blend together your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. We used our Kitchen-aid mixer to blend everything nicely.
Mix your yeast in with the warm water with a pinch of flour, then wait for it to get bubbly (this is called ‘blooming the yeast’) to make sure it’s alive. If it’s alive, you can chuckle evilly to yourself and then add it into the dry ingredients with the quarter cup of olive oil.
Turn your mixer on low and then work your way slowly up into a higher gear. Mix for 5 minutes or until well combined. The dough should look very smooth and will be a little wet, focaccia is a nice wet dough.
Remove the dough and put it into a well-oiled large bowl. Cover it with a towel or cloth for about an hour and let it rise until it’s doubled in size and is nice and puffy.
Now it’s the perfect time to start the caramelized onion sauce while the bread is ‘proofing’. Dice up three Spanish onions and put into a sauce pan with 3 cloves of crushed garlic on the medium heat setting. Add salt and pepper and olive oil (or butter). Now add just enough water to the pan to cover your onions and garlic.
Cover your sauce pan and cook it for about half an hour. Once you’ve had a cup of tea and watered the plants, take the cover off and continue to cook the mixture until the water is completely evaporated. Cook the mixture until it’s saucy and looks spreadable for your pizza, add a 1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard and 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup, a dash of balsamic glaze and then set aside.
Now you’ll want to preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Take out your pizza dough and put it on a cookie sheet. Make sure the sheet is well oiled with olive oil or any oil of your choice, and then also season it with salt. With your hands, make lots of little dimples into the dough with your fingers and slowly work it out towards the edges of the pan. It probably won’t reach the whole way but that’s okay!
Now you can let the dough have a rest again while the oven is pre-heating. Once it’s up to temperature, put the crust in for 12-15 minutes until it’s crisp on the bottom and lightly browned.
And now we can begin topping our summer pizza!
Spoon your caramelized onion and garlic sauce out evenly over the focaccia.
Slice your mozzarella ball into thinnish slices and put them in a circular fashion all over your pizza. Next comes the goat cheese! We took a spoon and just dabbed it onto the focaccia, spreading it a tiny bit but just letting it spread out evenly over the pizza. Now we can add a little more sea salt if you like for taste, and we’re going to crank the oven up to ‘Broil’ or it’s highest setting.
Put your focaccia with the sauce and cheese into the oven for about 5 minutes, but be sure to carefully watch it during this time to make sure it doesn’t burn. You just really want the cheese to melt and spread out over the pizza and to get nice and bubbly and a little brown on top.
Pull your pizza out and let it rest on a countertop while you slice up the strawberries and dress the arugula. We took the fresh arugula and put it in a bowl, covered it lightly with Brianna’s Strawberry Vinaigrette dressing and a little balsamic glaze, mixed it thoroughly, and then spread it out over the pizza. Next we took the sliced strawberries and added them on top.
Finally we shaved a little extra cheese over the top of the pizza to add an extra hint of flavor! We used a sharp cheddar and grated it very fine with a hand-grater, but you could use any cheese that’s your favorite or even just a little extra chevre or mozzarella.
Et voila! We did it!! Now it’s just time to cut the pizza and enjoy it with someone sweet! The flavors are a wonderful combination of savory and sweet, and it has a very mild and refreshing taste with the chewy focaccia, little bites of sea salt and mozzarella, and then the cool arugula and strawberries from the fridge.
Thank you so much for following along as we tried out this recipe! We would love for you to make it as well; please feel free to tag us (@fromthelighthouse) so that we can see your creations!