When it comes to pizza, I'm not too picky about my sauces. Tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, buffalo sauce, heck, even just a drizzle of olive oil. I don't prefer one over the others. The only thing a pizza needs to make me happy is cheese. I can go completely sauceless, but there's no point in pizza if it's not loaded, over the top, with cheese.
Most people are fine with your standard old mozzarella. And I'm not going to lie, that makes me pretty happy too. Especially fresh mozzarella, soft and creamy. But mozzarella is just a gateway cheese when it comes to pizza. Quiet and unassuming, but you can do better. WE can do better.
Our favorite pizza place makes their own ricotta. It's the highlight of their pizzas in my book. (Are you getting that I love creamy salty cheese on my pizza?) Ricotta on pizza is a nice transition from mozzarella. Not too big of a step. It's safe. Trust me.
Once you take that next step, it's not too far from some of the more...flavorful cheeses. This four cheese pizza features two of them. Taleggio and Gorgonzola. Taleggio is a little milder, a soft cheese like brie, without as much of the sweetness. Gorgonzola can be a deal breaker. I know in my family Thatboy isn't a fan of blues. Thatkid and I love them though. And pairing the gorgozola with these milder cheeses tones it down a bit.
Four Cheese Pizza (From Cooking Light)
1 cup warm water
10 oz bread flour
1 pkg dry yeast
7 tsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cornmeal
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/3 cup ricotta
3 Tbsp gorgonzola cheese
1 oz taleggio cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano chese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and spoons; Add to warm water. Mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.
- Combine 1/4 cup warm water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.
- Add yeast mixture, 4 tsp oil, and salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms.
- Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.
- Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Sprinkle cornmeal on a lightly floured baking sheet without raised edges. Press dough into a 12 inch circle on prepared pan. Crimp edges to form a 1/2 inch border. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.
- Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet on bottom rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 550, while keeping a pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats.)
- Remove plastic wrap from dough. Combine 1 Tbsp oil and garlic. Gently brush garlic mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
- Spread ricotta over dough.
- Arrange gorgonzola and taleggio over ricotta.
- Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone or heavy baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cut into 5 wedges.
- Sprinkle with chives and pepper.