Griddled pizzettas with mushrooms, pancetta and stracchino

  • For the dough
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 125ml warm water
  • 210g plain flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl and grill
  • For the topping
  • 30ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch crushed red pepper, optional
  • 250g pancetta, cut into 1.25cm dice
  • 750g assorted mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini, oyster or whatever you like, cleaned and sliced
  • 500g stracchino (or another mild creamy cheese, such as ricotta or fromage blanc) room temperature
  • 100g grated Parmesan
  • 20g chives, finely sliced
  • Aged balsamic for drizzling, optional
For the dough:
1) Combine the dry yeast, sugar and warm, not hot, tap water in a small bowl. Stir to combine and leave to sit for about 15 minutes. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and if it is too cold the yeast will not activate. When ready the yeast will look bubbly on top and smell very yeasty.

2) Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the olive oil and the yeast mixture. Using a fork, gradually stir the flour into the liquids until combined. Turn the dough out onto a smooth clean work surface and use your hands to knead the dough to a smooth homogeneous consistency.

3) Lightly coat the mixing bowl with olive oil, and return the kneaded dough to the bowl. Cover with cling film and put in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For the topping:
1) Preheat the oven to 210C/Gas 7. Add the olive oil, garlic, red pepper and pancetta to a large saute pan over a medium heat. Cook the pancetta slowly until it gets brown and crispy. Once the garlic has become golden brown remove it and discard.

2) Turn the heat up to high and add all the mushrooms. Season with salt and saute until the mushrooms are soft and wilted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

3) Portion the prepared dough into golf ball-size pieces. Dust a work surface with flour and roll each piece of dough into a rectangle (or whatever shape you like, I like irregular shapes). If not using the dough right away, wrap each piece individually in cling film and reserve until ready to use.

4) Preheat the griddle and brush with oil. Carefully arrange each piece of dough on the griddle and cook on both sides until the dough is stiff and crisp and has marks on both sides.

5) Spread each piece with stracchino, top with the pancetta/mushroom mixture, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Put the pizza in the preheated oven until the cheese has melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with chives and drizzle with the aged balsamic, if desired.
Mamma mia, what pizza!

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