Artichoke Heart, Olive, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Artichoke Heart, Olive, and Goat Cheese Pizza

When you have a good foundation, you can build just about anything. Like cupcakes. Once you have your fail-safe vanilla/chocolate cupcake base, you can experiment with flavors to your heart’s content.

Same is true for pizza. I’m in love with this crust. It’s crisp, flavorful, and complex. It could practically pass as focaccia, delicious without any toppings at all. Granted, it requires most of the day as far as planning ahead, but the results are well worth it.

This time, we topped the crust with some artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and as always, goat cheese.

Quite the tasty treat! And while it doesn’t quite satisfy Taylor’s constant craving for greasy pepperoni pizza, it sure hit the spot for me. I’d never been one for red sauce pizzas, so for me, this is the pizza of my dreams.

Artichoke Heart, Olive, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Makes 2-4 servings (depending on how hungry you are and how big you roll it).

Ingredients:

Crust:
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (from 1 envelope)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (about) unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Topping:
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
3 slices oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2-1/2 ounces soft goat cheese, sliced or crumbled
10 kalamata olives, pitted and halved (about 1/4 cup)

Directions:

For crust:
Pour 3/4 cup water into large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over; stir to blend. Let stand 10 minutes to dissolve yeast. Add oil, salt, and herbs, then 1 1/2 cups flour. Stir until well blended (dough will be sticky). Turn dough out onto generously floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding just enough flour to prevent dough from sticking, about 5 minutes (dough will be soft). Shape dough into ball; place in large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel. Let dough rise at cool room temperature until almost doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down; form into ball. Return to bowl; cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Punch down dough. Form into ball; place on floured work surface. Cover with kitchen towel; let rest 30 minutes. Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet.

Mix olive oil, rosemary, and garlic in small bowl, and set aside.

Bake crust for 5-7 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven and brush 2 tablespoons garlic oil evenly over crust. Sprinkle with artichoke hearts, olives, sundried tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle pizza evenly with remaining garlic oil.

Bake pizza until crust is crisp and cheese begins to brown, 15-18 minutes. Transfer pizza to board. Cut into wedges and serve warm.