Shiitake Mushroom Pizzas

At a local farmers market a couple of weekends ago, I decided to buy two mushroom starter kits.  It's been 11 days, and my shiitake mushrooms have exploded.  I take no credit for this other than that I can follow the simple directions that came with the kit.  Nonetheless, I can't help but be amazed every time I try to grow something and it actually grows.  Magic.
Perhaps I should have harvested the mushrooms sooner as they should not be flattened at the edges as they are.  But the last couple of days of growth were amazing and they turned from regular to giant.  
So, here I am with my giant shiitakes.  Pizza seemed right.  

This makes four 12-inch pizza crusts

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast 
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups luke warm water

In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt together
Add water to the flour and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70°.  This timing is preferable, but I've also made the dough in as short as 6 hours and it's been fine.  

Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured work surface. You will need plenty of flour on your hands to work the dough as it will be very sticky.  Fold the dough over on itself once or twice,  and divide it into 4 equal pieces shaping each into a ball.  Cover with a clean towel and let rise for another 2 hours.

Stretch, toss or roll your dough into a round, about 12 inches.  I've baked mine on a super hot pizza stone, on metal mesh wired pizza pans, or on the grill.  I usually par bake the dough at 450 for a minute or two just until the dough is set.  I find this makes the dough easier to dress and achieve the right cooked consistency.  Once you have the dough ready...

For 2 of the pizzas:
2 1/2 Cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 Shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp sugar
Thinly sliced roasted red peppers (I used Whole Foods 365 Organic from a jar)
Mixture of grated Asiago, Fontina, Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Saute the shallots with the sugar in a little olive oil, until just caramelized, then add the shiitake mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are just softened.  Salt and pepper to taste.   
Sprinkle pizza dough with cheeses, then top with shiitake and shallots and some roasted red pepper slices, and finish with another light sprinkling of cheese.  Bake at 450 until cheese is melted and bubbling.  
Finish with a drizzle of white truffle oil and good balsamic vinegar.
For the other 2 pizzas:
2 1/2 Cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 Julienned Celery root
1 tsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
3 Scallions, thinly sliced on a slight diagonal
Hoisin Sauce
Mixture of grated Jarlsberg and Just Jack cheeses

Saute the celery root in a little oil until softened, then toss in shiitake mushrooms, sherry vinegar and soy and continue to cook until mushrooms are just softened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Brush dough with hoisin sauce, sprinkle with cheese and then the mushroom and celery root mixture.  Finish with another light sprinkling of cheese, then the scallions.
Bake at 450 until cheese is melted and bubbling.
Shiitake mushroom heaven!


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