This is red bell pepper pizza is unique because of the addition of soft goat cheese (chèvre). The goat cheese melts into pools on top of the mozzarella cheese and adds a funky, but not overpowering, flavor to each bite. Red onion, red bell pepper, and fresh thyme leaves complement the richness of the cheeses.
The recipes for the dough and tomato sauce are essentially what I use for all of my pizzas. Using these two components, you can really make any kind of pizza that you want. If you want a very simple pizza, you could add mozzarella and fresh basil (for a Margherita pizza) or pepperoni.
My favorite brand for flour is King Arthur. I use their bread flour and whole-wheat flours for the dough. Their all-purpose flour also works well if you don’t have bread flour. I also like to use Red Star yeast. Finally, for the tomato sauce, I think the best flavored tomatoes are from Pomi. I have used their pureed and strained tomatoes and their tomato sauce with equal success. A good base makes a huge difference in the taste of the pizza!
For the most crispy crust, bake the pizza on a pizza stone after pre-heating the oven at maximum temperature for an hour. Note that you can prepare the dough ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can prepare the dough on the same day that you make the pizza and let it rise for about 1 hour while you wait for the oven to preheat.
You can prepare the toppings (slice vegetables, grate cheese) while you wait for the dough to rise and the oven to get really hot.
|½ cup||warm water|
|1 tsp||active dry yeast|
|1 ¼ cups||bread flour or all-purpose flour|
|¼ cup||whole-wheat flour|
|1 tsp||table salt|
|olive oil, for coating bowl|
|cornmeal, for rolling out dough|
|1/3 cup||pureed and strained tomatoes or tomato sauce|
|1 small||garlic clove, minced|
|8 ounces||whole milk mozzarella, freshly grated|
|3 ounces||goat cheese (chèvre)|
|¼||red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for 15 minutes|
|½||red bell pepper, thinly sliced|
|1 Tbs||fresh thyme leaves|
- Preheat oven to maximum temperature (550oF).
- Prepare pizza dough. Pour warm water into medium sized mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add both types of flour and salt. Mix until all water is incorporated into dough and a rough mass forms.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 7-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball.
- Coat the inside of a bowl with olive oil and add the dough ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature (in the warmest room in the house!) for 1 hour, or place bowl into refrigerator for 1-2 days.
- Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Combine minced garlic with salt and strained tomatoes or tomato sauce in a small bowl.
- Roll out pizza dough on a counter sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper on top of a pizza peel.
- Smear sauce over dough to completely coat the surface with a thin layer of sauce.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the sauce, then drop approximately 1 tsp-sized globs of goat cheese over the mozzarella so that the goat cheese globs are fairly evenly distributed over the top of the pizza.
- Evenly sprinkle the red onion and red bell pepper slices on top of everything.
- Fold over approximately ½ inch of edge of dough.
- Place pizza on pizza stone in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is browned and crispy.
- Remove pizza from oven and sprinkle thyme on top.
- Cut pizza into pie-shaped slices and serve immediately.