Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Fancy Pants Mushroom

The monthly challenges are back at pizzamaking.com. If possible, I try to participate in their group activities since they don't come up that often. Not too long ago, there was a Margherita Madness which was fun for two main reasons. First, a lot of the people that posted pizzas included themselves in the photo so you could put a face to screen name. And second, there were people making Margherita pizzas from literally around the world.  It was pretty cool to have the phone buzz as new posts came up over the weekend.

This month the challenge is signature pizza. Here's the challenge:

You love to make pizza, right? And eat pizza? And talk about pizza? And think about pizza?  Well, think about the pizza you make that represents what you most love about this passion we share.

Bake that pizza in November and post in this thread a description and, if you are so inclined, photos, videos, haikus, operas, whatever. It would be nice if you describe why your entry is your signature pizza. What is its inspiration or history?

The Fancy Pants Mushroom is the first pizza that comes to mind when I think signature pie.  I’ve been making it for a while, I’d guess for at least 6 years with the first versions coming out of Blackstone pizza oven. I have seen variations of the crème fraiche base some time ago on the forum but haven’t seen this particular pie combination anywhere else. At least I’m not that I’m aware of so currently feels like an original idea. Back then, goofy names for pizzas were the style (I think they still kind or are) and crème fraiche is basically fancy pants sour cream so I dubbed this pizza The Fancy Pants Mushroom. I still make it fairly regularly.

There have also been some variations on the theme. Sometimes I throw on a little oregano, sometimes the cheese is fresh mozzarella but I’m not sure anyone other than me notices the little changes. I’ve tried several different commercial version of crème fraiche and tried to make it a few times myself. So far, I like the Trader Joe’s version the best. It seems to stand up to the heat and combines with the cheese to make a sauce. 

The mushrooms are cremini and sautéed in olive oil until they give up their moisture and start to get a little color. Then some minced garlic goes in and gets stirred around until fragrant.

A splash of white wine is then added and boiled off. Sometimes I add a pinch of oregano, sometimes I skip it. Any leftover mushrooms are a fantastic addition to an omelet (ask me how I know).

The dough is high gluten flour at 63% hydration, 2.1% salt and 0.25% IDY (instant dry yeast) and mixed by hand – combine, 20 minute rest, stretch/fold/little bit of kneading, slight rest, balled, light coat of oil, bagged and then cold fermented for 48-72 hours. The dough will probably last longer but after 72 hours chances are I turn the dough into bread or a Stromboli. I try to get the dough in the 55-60 degree range before stretching a pizza. Below 50 and you get too many bubbles. First the crème fraiche goes on the dough.

Then the mushrooms and cheese. Don't go cheese pizza heavy with the cheese.

Slide the pizza into the oven and bake until done. If you are insane, the oven might look like this.

When it's done baking, you'll have this:

Slice and then eat. Any leftover slices are good cold.
And since the challenge mentioned haiku, I couldn't resist.

Fancy pants mushroom
My signature pizza pie
Try a slice - YUMMY! 


  1. Beautiful pie. Love the blistering and bubbles.

    1. Thanks. It's a great hobby because even when things don't go quite right, you've still got pizza...unless I biff the launch and make a mess.