MAKES ONE 12" PIZZA
This American take on a much-loved Italian classic came from Errico Auricchio, of BelGioioso Cheese Inc., based in Denmark, Wisconsin.
1 7-gram packet active dry yeast
3 cups flour
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz. mushrooms, such as shiitake, sliced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
3 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cups freshly grated fontina
1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1. Dissolve yeast in 1⁄4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine flour and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to yeast, a little at a time, moistening with up to 3⁄4 cup water as you mix. Dough should be soft but not wet.
2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, 10 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel; set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, 2–3 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 500°. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms, seasoning with thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
4. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. of oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until wilted, 5 minutes. Add vinegar slowly, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cook for 2 more minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
5. To assemble pizza, stretch dough into a 12" round on a pizza pan, pinching edge to form ridge. Cover with half the fontina, all the mushrooms, and all the tomato mixture. Top with remaining fontina and parmesan. Bake until crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs.