Strawberry & Goat Cheese Pizza
If you've never tried throwing some strawberries on a pizza before, get ready for a whole other level of pizza love! Strawberries are so often used in dessert recipes but we absolutely love using them in savoury preparations, like we did in this pizza recipe!
The combo of our sweet Ontario strawberries from Tigchelaar Berry Farms, creamy local goat cheese from Celebrity, peppery arugula from the New Farm and sweet balsamic reduction made with our Niagara Vinegar Baco Noir vinegar is a home run and is so easy to throw together.
So wonderfully light and refreshing, this pizza recipe is the perfect mix of sweet and savoury. You can use our from-scratch pizza dough recipe listed here that was made with our K2 Milling "Loftus" flour, or use your favourite pre-made dough or pre-made crust to recreate this recipe at home.
For the Pizza Dough (Skip This If You're Using Your Own Pre-Made Dough)
- 600g K2 Milling "Loftus" Bread Flour (if you want to stick with local!) or 00 flour if you prefer. This is about 3 1/3 cups but if you have a scale, I definitely recommend weighing your flour!
- 8g instant or active dry yeast (about 2 tsp).
- 7 grams kosher salt (about 1 tsp)
- 338g warm water (about 1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons)
- 13g olive oil (1 tbsp). Check out our Canadian Olive Oil by Salt Spring Island!
Sift together the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer and stir to combine.
Add the water and olive oil to your flour mixture and stir until a raggy dough forms and let it sit for 3 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Using the palm of your hand, knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, and then reforming the dough into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes and then let rest for 8 minutes.
Knead for another 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy, smooth, and not tacky or sticky. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. If the dough feels too dry and rips easily, add 1 tbsp of water to the dough and continue to knead.
If you prefer to use a mixer, attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes. Let rest for 8 minutes and knead for another 8.
I find making pizza a very tactile experience and it's easier to assess the needs of the dough when kneading by hand. Plus, as a bonus, you get a little arm workout ahead of your pizza feast!
After the kneading is finished, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. I use a scale to weigh by dough into 4 equal portions.
Using floured hands, gently shape each half into a ball by folding the dough under itself. Set each pizza ball on a floured surface and dab the dough with a bit of olive oil to keep it moist.
Cover the pizza balls with a damp towel and allow them to rise until doubled in size (this takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature in your home).
The dough can be used immediately. However for the best flavor and texture, transfer the dough to separate greased, sealed containers, large enough for the dough to double in size again and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This allows the dough to ferment and the gluten to break down to produce the airy edges characteristic of a Neapolitan style pizza. This dough was only in the fridge just under 24 hours so I wish I had left it longer to get a fluffier crust BUT, still delicious and full of flavour.
If you do refrigerate the dough, take the dough out of the container the day that you want to bake the pizzas 30-45 minutes prior to baking. To remove the dough, lightly flour your surface and flip over the container. Leave the dough ot naturally fall onto the flour surface. Cover the dough with a damp towel while it comes to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to as high as it can go (most ovens max out at around 550F). I highly recommend cooking pizza on a pizza stone! If you have a pizza stone, place the stone in your oven to allow to preheat with the oven! If you don't have a pizza stone, using a pizza pan will work as well, it might just take longer to cook and your crust may not get as crisp.
Now it's time to stretch the dough. Using your finger tips, gently press the dough ball into it into a circle by pressing and flipping several times.
Once your circle is about 8 inches around, pick up the dough and gently drape it over the knuckles on both of your hands. Slowly rotate it around, allowing gravity to stretch it into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Do not overwork or fold the dough as this is the secret to an airy crust!
If your dough is resisting the stretching, put it down on your floured surface and let it rest for 5 minutes and then try again. You will find the dough is easier to work with.
Once stretched, place your dough on a piece of parchment paper on top of a pizza paddle or a cutting board (if using a pizza stone). If you are using a pizza pan, simply grease your pan and lightly dust with flour. Then place your dough on the pan.
For the Ontario Strawberry & Goat Cheese Pizza
- 1 quart Tigchelaar Berry Farms Ontario strawberries
- 1 x chub Celebrity goat cheese
- 1 x red onion or August's Harvest shallots
- 1 x clam New Farm organic arugula
- 1/2 cup Baco Noir balsamic vinegar
- 1 x clam Cookstown Greens pea shoots
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Drizzle some olive oil over your pizza crust base and spread it around using your fingers so that the entire crust is covered.
Next, start by washing and slicing your strawberries and red onions. Arrange them on your pizza, feel free to make a design with it using your strawberries as we did!
Next, take some of your goat cheese and crumble it up and sprinkle chunks around your pizza crust overtop of the strawberries.
Using your paddle, transfer your pizza onto your pizza stone in your preheated oven and set your timer for 8 minutes.
While your pizza is cooking, place your balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and place it on the stove on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook then reduce heat to medium-low heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar thickens and is reduced to about 1/4 the original volume. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Once done, remove your reduction from the heat and set aside.
Once your pizza is done cooking, remove it from the oven using your paddle and let it cool for 1-2 minutes. Drizzle with your balsamic reduction and top with some arugula and pea shoots.