I’m always on a quest for the best pizza crust recipe. Both Taylor and I love the thin and crispy kind, so at least we are in agreement of what the “best” will be. This pizza crust, adapted from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, (a book I should probably own), is the best we’ve made so far. Perfect would be the crust recipe they use at City House, one of Nashville’s most delicious restaurants and the gold standard for gourmet pizza (at least in my book). How I wish I could sneak in and steal their recipe for pizza crust, which tastes almost like a combination of puff pastry and pizza crust. This recipe is pretty darn close, which I attribute to the addition of olive oil for that rich and almost buttery taste.
I also realized that it is much easier to make two smaller thin crust pizzas than one larger one, especially when you don’t have a pizza peel (another item on the wishlist). Smaller pizzas are easier to stretch out thinner, and easier to move from pan/peel to pizza stone and back again.
Ever since we got our first bundle of garlic scapes, I’ve been thinking pizza would be a perfect way to use them. And with another bundle arriving this week, we had too many not to give it a try. We paired the scapes with a soft and creamy goat’s milk brie, and while the baked cheese stuck to the roof of your mouth like glue, it gave the pizza a rich and earthy flavor that played perfectly with the light garlic flavor of the scapes. While I racked my brain trying to think of additional toppings we could add to the mix, I think with pizza, less is truly more. Adding anything else to this pizza, whether it be sauce or meat or some other veggie, would have muddled the subtlety of the flavors. Simplicity is a beautiful thing.
Brie and Garlic Scape Pizza
Makes 4 personal-size pizzas. Dough recipe from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, via 101 Cookbooks.
2 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
7/8 cup (7 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting
8 oz. soft brie cheese
8-10 garlic scapes, thinly sliced on the bias (about 2 cups)
freshly cracked black pepper
Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the oil and the cold water and stir on low speed until the flour is all absorbed. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.
Transfer the dough to floured work surface. Prepare a baking dish by lining it with lightly oiled parchment paper. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle flour over the dough. Gently round each piece into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, lightly dip your hands in flour. Transfer the dough balls to the prepared dish, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight (or up to 3 days). At this point the dough can also be frozen; simply wrap each ball indvidually in plastic wrap and place inside a zippered freezer bag. Transfer to the refrigerator the day before you plan on baking them.
Remove dough from refrigerator and rest at room temperature for 2 hours. On a lightly floured work surface, gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter.
At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, 500 to 550 degrees F. If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.
Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce, and continue to stretch/toss until the dough is approximately 7″ across and uniformly thin. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again.
Lay the stretched dough on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly brush with olive oil, and poke it a few times with a fork so it doesn’t bubble.
Spread 2oz of brie cheese on each crust. You can also use slices if your brie is too firm to spread. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 of garlic scapes. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Gently slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Bake (two at a time) until the bottoms are lightly golden and the cheese is bubbly and just barely browned. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Repeat with remaining pizzas. Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
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I cameAcross this today! Awesome recipe. I would like to make this tonight, but the recipe calls for an overnight fridge session. Is the fridge required or my I make it straight away?
This particular crust recipe does, but feel free to swap in your favorite pizza crust recipe instead. :)
AMAZING! My whole life I was looking for THE perfectly thin pizza dough, tried tons of recipes and never was really satisfied – but NOW I finally found what I was looking for! It is crispy, thin, and absolutely delicious! I did not try the brie on it though, but just for the pizza dough thumbs up! (even if I think the entire recipe is great!)
This recipe looks fantastic…I want it for dinner now! I am actually hosting a garlic scapes linky party at 2sisters2cities.com as part of our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. I would love if you submitted this recipe!
I am also pizza lover and most of the time I am looking a great pizza dough, I prepare thin crust too the same reason you said, for me it is much crispy much better. I lilke to try this =)
Last week we got garlic scapes in our CSA, and I had to freeze some because I didn’t have time to make something with them. I hadn’t thought of pizza, but this is a great idea. A soft cheese like brie sounds like a great pairing! I’m going to try this dough recipe at some point, because we’re always on the lookout for new pizza dough recipes to try.
I’ve already made this twice and today I added sauteed morel mushrooms. I’d love to send the pix I took but can’t attach. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored with this recipe.
Oh wow, yum. Okay, where can I get garlic scapes in Chicago? Whole foods? I’m dying to try this, but I’ve never bought them. Help!
This looks and sounds devine! I could add garlic to almost everything.- And I struggle to get thin dough too! My husband makes our pizzas and he likes his dough thick and crusty- but I want the thin and crispy kind. I’ll have to sneak in and make this version sometime soon!
Nice use of garlic scapes! Thanks for the great dough recipe. I think that another secret of the great texture of City House’s pizza crust is that they must use a relatively loose dough. Adding too much flour while shaping the dough makes it tough. Can’t wait to try your version!
Forgot to mention on the phone how much I love YOUR blog! Your dough looks just perfect and this pizza is gorgeous and sounds amazing!
Mmm, your pizza looks lovely. I love brie on pizza, it makes it feel special. I’m a big fan of brie and arugula pizza, but I think I’m going to have to give the garlic scape a try. Great photos!
Oh wow! I was just trying to decide what to make with my leftover flatbread dough and this just might have to be it. It looks amazing and I can only imagine how awesome the flavors are!
Yum! My favorite pizza crusts are thin and crispy too and I love brie and have never had these garlic things but if they taste garlicky I will love them as well! Great post!
Finally, a tasty-looking recipe to use garlic scapes (I just impulse bought them at my local farmer’s market)
I too like the City Crust pizza. My very favorite crust is Marcella Hazan’s from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. It’s fool proof and has the right chewy, crispy, not a cracker bread and not doughy when you roll it thin. My other trick to use a spray bottle of water and spray the walls of the oven to create some steam which brings that chewy crispy texture.
The idea of goat’s brie and garlic scapes is wonderful. I can see those flavors together.
I totally agree that less is more when it comes to pizza. When I went to Italy, it was amazing how flavorful the pizzas were, even with so little on top.
Those garlic scrapes are just beautiful atop that pizza crust…It makes me wish that I wasn’t eating leftover pizza for breakfast, and had some fresh instead! Thanks for sharing!
Please do not make this again without inviting me over. YUM. :)
We experimented with grilling pizza last summer and we’ve almost got it down. Care to come out to our place and give it a try?
Wow ~ this sounds awesome! Thin and crispy is the way to go :)
I just saw this in my google reader and printed it out to have ASAP! This looks fabulous girl! YUM!
I love love bried, I never would have thought adding it to pizza and let me tell you I add almost everything to pizzas!! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!!
Sounds yummy but deadly!
I love homemade pizza, and make it all the time. I’ve yet to try it with brie…these look amazing!! Garlic scapes have been popping up all over on food blogs lately, and I’d never heard of one…had to google it! YUM…can’t wait to get my hands on some and pizza seems the perfect project for them. Thanks for sharing!!
I spend a fair portion of my life looking for the perfect pizza dough as well! I’ve never tried brie on pizza but since it’s one of my favorite cheeses, I’m definitely going to give it a go!
Thank you for this! I’ve being trying to think of how to use all of the garlic scapes we got with our CSA. This looks so yummy!
This is one of those blog posts that makes me want to lick the screen. This looks amazing. I really want to try it!
Your website truly amazes me and provides me with many hours of entertainment! I’m a college student who loves the joys of cooking from scratch and gardening, two past-times that I believe are greatly under-appreciated in the hustle and bustle of today’s society. Being a college student I don’t have much space to cook or garden, but I try! Your recipes are wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing and wish me luck on my cooking and gardening journey! Keep up the good work!
Wow, this looks great. The dough looks like beautiful, bubbly perfection.