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Wild Mushroom and Crescenza Pizza: Do a Little Dance

Wild Mushroom and Crescenza Pizza recipe

There’s nothing more weekend-y to me than a homemade pizza. We make a fair amount of it in our house. We pour ourselves a glass or two of wine, throw on a record and let the setting sun stream through our dining room and into the kitchen. Sometimes we bump into each other in the kitchen and do a little dance (in the silliest way). We make two pizzas and eat them both even though it’s entirely too much food for two people. Pizza is one of those things you don’t think about making from scratch until you make it and think to yourself: why haven’t I been making pizza from scratch for years? I promised to tell you about the pizza we made last week- topped with a generous amount of wild mushrooms and creamy crescenza cheese so, here it is, ladies and gents. Oh, is it here.

Crescenza is a beautiful, creamy Italian fresh cheese that melts in the gooeyiest (is that even a word?) of fashions when left at room temperature. Sliced and placed on top of a hot pizza, straight from the oven, it is pure heaven. I’ve gone through several breakthrough moments with pizza over the last few years. These include: breakthrough crust (Pizzeria Mozza’s recipe as featured in Saveur), breakthrough tomato sauce (inspired by Heidi Swanson), breakthrough meat topping (spicy coppa crisps up like no other) and breakthrough cheese (creamy burrata and crescenza).

There are a lot of reasons this pizza just works: the mushrooms and the crescenza are both delicate enough to not overpower each other. The tiniest addition of the red pepper flakes adds the gentlest heat. The parsley plays off of the earthiness of the mushrooms. The Parmesan adds a robust saltiness. The olive oil gives the pizza a fruity flavor. And the crust? Don’t even get me started on the crust. Fluffy and airy, it is the perfect canvas for the toppings. It’s Sunday night, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the next weekend. Don’t you agree?

Wild Mushroom and Crescenza Pizza
*makes 2 10 inch pies

For the Pizza Dough (from this recipe):

extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon of active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of flour

For the topping:

2 cups of wild mushrooms (we used Hedgehog), roughly chopped
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 pound of crescenza cheese, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese, to taste

1. Prepare the pizza dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, yeast, sugar, salt and 1 cup of warm water (115 degrees F). Let the mixture sit for about 10-12 minutes (until it’s foamy).
2. Add the flour and mix on slow speed. Switch to a dough hook and knead the dough for about 6-8 minutes (until smooth).
3. Divide the dough into two balls. Place them on a floured baking sheet and cover with a sheet of lightly oiled plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest for 2-3 hours (until it is nearly tripled in size).
4. Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven and heat your oven to 500 degrees F.
5. Place one ball of dough on a floured sheet of parchment paper. Use your fingers to stretch it out to a 10 inch diameter. Work from the center and be careful not to rip it. The center should be relatively thin–leave a 1 inch border of slightly thicker, puffier crust.
6. Cover the dough with a towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
7. Brush the dough all over with olive oil.
8. Evenly top with the half of the mushrooms, leaving a 1 inch border topping-free. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of parsley. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. Give the pizza another nice drizzle of olive oil.
9. Transfer the pizza (on top of the parchment paper) to the pizza stone and bake for about 10 – 14 minutes (until the crust is puffy and nicely browned). While the pizza is cooking, prep the second pizza (repeating steps 5-8).
10. Carefully transfer the pizza from the oven to a cutting board and top with slices of crezcenza. Sprinkle with a bit more fresh parsley, season with some more salt and pepper (to taste), drizzle with olive oil and top with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
11. Place the second pizza on the pizza stone and bake for 10-14 minutes. Repeat step 9 and serve both pizzas at the same time.

Musical Pairings: The Revolving Birds – The Revolving Birds + Wild Mushroom and Crescenza Pizza

Head to the Turntable for today’s pairing: The Revolving Birds – The Revolving Birds.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • What a beautiful pizza! I need to get a pizza stone asap and start making myself some pizza. I’ve tried a few recipes, but nothing comes close to the crust you get on a pizza stone. I’ve never heard of Crescenza cheese, but now I must search it out. I like to say gooeyist, so there, it must be a word 🙂

  • @Nicole – this is my absolute go-to crust. It’s so easy to prepare, too. I felt like I had an epiphany the first time I tried it. A great little Sonoma farm makes Crescenza – Bellweather Farms. Maybe they distribute to your hood?? xx

  • Ken Meta

    I believe a good job has been done here. Always remember that when the ingredients are fresh you can’t go wrong – Ken.

  • I’m glad you liked the post, Ken! You are so very right about the ingredients.

  • This looks amazing. I have never tried crescenza cheese, but as a lover of all things cheese, I think it’s time I hear of it!!

  • Wow, that crust looks absolutely amazing. It looks soooo crispy and fluffy. I guess the use of a pizza stones makes a big difference in getting the dough to crisp up. I have to get me one of those too!

    Oh, and that cheese? It does look like pure heaven.

    Great. Now I want pizza. And it’s only 6 in the morning!

  • @Sonia – I don’t know if it’s the pizza stone or the recipe (since I got the stone I only ever make pizza on it) but they’re relatively cheap and one is always sitting inside of my oven. You can make a lot of other stuff on it, too!

  • Elizabeth Howes

    Looking good, once again! I’m a huge fan of the marriage between crescenza + wild mushrooms, so this will definitely be made in my house soon.

  • @Beth: I’m pretty new to crescenza, actually, but I have been loving it! It spreads like butter – incredible. I hope you enjoy this in your home!

  • Oh but this pizza looks divine. Weekends are definitely pizza time in my kitchen too. It’s one of the most fun, relaxing things to cook, especially with a couple glasses of wine. 🙂 I am definitely saving this recipe and trying it soon.

  • @Allison: Enjoy!

  • I never thought to use wild mushrooms for pizza. This is a great idea and also a tasty one (judging from your pictures:).

  • @Nina- Matt is the inspiration for that one. He loves mushrooms…and their earthy taste and texture complement a chewy crust perfectly.

  • What if you don’t have that type of cheese?

  • @Michelle: you can sub in another kind of creamy cheese. Burrata would be good!

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  • Kate Ramos

    What a perfect combination, mushrooms are my favorite pizza topping because their textures meld so well together, thanks for sharing!

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