3tablespoonsgrated parmigiano-reggiano cheeseplus more for serving
2garlic clovesfinely grated with a microplane
1teaspoonextra virgin olive oilplus more for drizzling
½-¾dried red pepper flakes
¼teaspoonDiamond Crystal kosher saltor more to taste
3ouncesdrained jarred roasted red peppersthinly sliced
¼pitted kalamata olives
6ouncessoft fresh goat cheesebroken into small chunks
1garlic clovevery thinly sliced
4ouncesbaby arugula leaves
white truffle oilfor drizzling (optional)
Prepare Pizza Dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the warm water and olive oil, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough just begins to come together. It will seem shaggy and dry, don’t worry.
Scrape the dough onto a well-floured counter top and knead the dough for three minutes. It should come together quickly. Dust the dough with flour as needed (sometimes I will have to do this 2 to 3 times, depending on humidity levels) – it should be slightly tacky, but should not be sticking to your counter top. After three minutes, the dough should be smooth, elastic, and tacky. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil, and place the dough into the bowl.
Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm, dry area of your kitchen for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. If your kitchen is very cold, one great tip that I do all the time is to heat a large heatproof measuring cup of water in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. This creates a nice warm environment and I’ll immediately remove the cup and place the bowl with the dough in the microwave until it has risen.
Preheat Oven and Pizza Stone: Place the pizza steel (or stone) in top third of your oven and preheat to 550°F (290°C) for one hour. If your oven does not go that high, heat it to the maximum temperature.
As the oven is preheating, assemble the toppings. In a small bowl, stir together the pureed tomatoes, parmigiano, grated garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and salt. Season to taste, adding more salt or pepper flakes if desired.
Separate the dough into two equal-sized portions. It will deflate slightly, but that's ok. Place the dough on a large plate or floured counter top, cover gently with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Assemble the Pizza: Sprinkle the pizza peel with semolina flour. Gently stretch one ball of pizza dough into roughly a 11 to 12-inch circle (don’t worry if its not perfectly uniform). If the dough springs back or is too elastic, allow it to rest for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The edges of the dough can be slightly thicker, but make sure the center of the dough is thin (you should be able to see some light through it if you held it up). Gently transfer the dough onto the semolina dusted peel.
Using a large spoon, add roughly ⅓-½ cup of the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving a ½-inch or ¾-inch border on all sides. Use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly and thinly. Distribute half of the roasted red peppers and kalamata olives on top of pizza, and top with half of the goat cheese, distributing it in small clumps across the surface of the pizza. Distribute half of the garlic shavings across the sauce.
Gently slide the pizza from the peel onto the heated baking steel. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has caramelized slightly and the edges of the pizza are golden brown. Finish brielfy under the broiler for more color if desired. Remove the pizza from the oven, transfer to a wooden cutting board, and top with half of the fresh arugula leaves. Drizzle lightly with truffle oil if desired. Slice and serve immediately.
Tips for Success:
If you are serving two pizzas at once, do not add the arugula to the pizza and instead, place the pizza on a separate baking sheet while you prepare the second pizza. In the last few minutes of cooking, place the prepared pizza into the oven (on a rack below the pizza stone) so that it is extra hot for serving. Top both pizzas with arugula and truffle oil if using, just before serving.
If you are not serving the two pizzas at once,I recommend serving one pizza fresh out of the oven, keeping the oven hot, and preparing the second pizza after you have gone through the first one! It requires a bit more work this way and the pizza will taste great either way, but it is at its prime within minutes out of the oven!