Author Notes: Ricotta is traditionally made from whey so this recipe yields cheese infinitely creamier than what one finds in the grocery store. Additionally, I use the leftover whey from the cheese making process in the pizza’s crust. If you simply want to make the crust, you may substitute water (or beer!) for the whey. If using tap water, be sure to remove any chlorine, either by filtering or boiling and then allowing to cool to room temperature. Chlorine will kill your yeast, preventing your dough from rising. Alternatively, if you are making the cheese and not the crust, protein-rich whey makes an excellent addition to smoothies and soups. You can also freeze it for later use.
cups goat's milk (cow's milk will work as well)
cup fresh lemon juice
teaspoons (6 grams) instant yeast
cups (340 grams) room temperature whey
tablespoons (25 grams) hazelnut (walnut or olive) oil
cups (250 grams) whole wheat bread (or all purpose) flour
cups (220 grams) bread (or all purpose) flour
teaspoons (13 grams) sea salt
tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
tablespoons olive oil plus more for greasing
cup cup walnut halves
handful whole sage leaves
shallots, peeled and sliced
- Add goat’s milk and salt to non-reactive pot and place over medium heat. Heat milk slowly and watch pot carefully. Patience, grasshopper. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching.
- Once goat’s milk is *almost* boiling (the milk will foam but that is not what we are looking for, think gentle rippling waves), remove pot from heat. Add lemon juice and stir once. Milk should split almost immediately after adding the juice. Do not touch the pot for 5 minutes.
- Line a sieve with doubled up cheesecloth or coffee filters and place over a bowl to collect the whey. Ladle the curds into the sieve and let drain for 45 minutes to one hour. A longer strain time will yield a firmer ricotta. Reserve whey.
- Add yeast, whey, hazelnut oil, whole wheat flour, 1 ? cup (200 grams) of bread flour and salt to bowl of standing mixer (or regular bowl if kneading by hand). Stir together until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Move to standing mixer and mix with dough hook for 10 minutes. Slowly adding remaining bread flour (you may not use all of it) until dough forms a ball. If mixing by hand, knead for 10 minutes on well floured clean surface. Add more flour as necessary, until dough starts to hold shape.
- Wipe bowl clean and grease with olive oil. Shape dough into ball and place in bowl. Flip dough around to grease the entire surface. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm spot or 4-6 hours in the fridge.
- Toast walnuts in a dry pan over low-medium heat. Remove once fragrant and speckled with brown spots. Chop and set aside.
- Wipe pan and return to low-medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once olive oil is hot, add sliced shallots, sautée and season with a pinch of salt. Once shallots start to turn color, add honey and stir. Sautée until well caramelized, remove from heat and set aside.
- After dough has doubled in size, return to lightly floured surface and knead while incorporating chopped walnuts and rosemary. Knead until walnuts and rosemary are evenly distributed. Cover dough with a moist towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with olive oil. Flatten dough onto baking sheet by pressing down and spreading with flat hands and gently pulling. If dough refuses to spread, allow gluten to relax for 5 minutes and finish shaping. Cover with moist towel and allow to rest 30 minutes.
- Make dimples in dough with fingertips. Spread shallots atop dough, leaving an inch perimeter. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- While pizza is in the oven, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot add sage leaves. Remove once crispy and drain on a paper towel.
- Remove pizza from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Top with dollops of ricotta and place sage leaves atop ricotta mounds. Slice and serve!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Fresh Herbs