Pizza is a great vehicle for olives. You can use as many or as few olives as you want, and plus, it's PIZZA! You get the crunch of the crust, and all the cheesy goodness, too. The pizza dough recipe is adapted from The Silver Spoon, one of my favorite cookbooks. —mrslarkin
two or more
2 1/2 cups
all-purpose flour (about 11.25 oz., or 319 grams; I use King Arthur All-Purpose Unbleached)
1 1/2 teaspoons
active dry yeast (not rapid rise), or 3 grams fresh yeast (about a dime-size ball)
or 227 grams lukewarm water
Pizza dough, about 10 ounces
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (you may need a little more or a little less, depending on the size of your pizza)
These instructions are for a stand mixer, but you can do it all by hand, if you so choose. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour and salt together.
Dissolve yeast into warm water. Stir in the oil. With mixer on low speed, pour the liquid into the flour until dough comes together.
Scrape off the paddle and switch to the dough hook. Knead for 5 or so minutes.
Scrape mixer bowl and hook, and gather dough into a ball. Place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, lay a dish towel over it and place in a warm spot, like in the microwave. Sometimes, before putting the dough in, I heat a mug-full of water, to get the microwave nice and warm.
Let rise for 1 hour. Punch dough down, and let rise for another hour.
This step is totally optional, but worth it if you have all day. Punch dough down again and let rise for 2 - 3 more hours. Alternatively, you can stash the dough in the fridge overnight after the first rise. Bring refrigerated dough to room temperature about an hour before forming pizzas.
Place a pizza stone on bottom-most rack in oven. Preheat oven to BROIL HIGH at least a half hour before you will bake the pizza.
Cut dough from above pizza dough recipe into two equal pieces, about 10 ounces each, weighing it with a kitchen scale if you have one. Place the second piece of dough in a freezer bag and freeze, or make a second pizza of your choosing.
Flatten dough very slightly, and fold in top, bottom, left side, right side, towards center. Turn over, and gently form into a round. Place on lightly floured parchment-lined sheet pan, sprinkle with flour and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest 10 minutes.
Lightly oil (just a dab to keep the paper in place) a 12" pizza pan. Line with a piece of parchment paper, and lightly dust paper with flour. Place dough on paper. Dust dough lightly with flour and press down with your fingertips as you turn the pie and spread the dough evenly in all directions until you have a nice thin layer, about 1/4" thick. It probably won't cover the entire pan; that’s okay. If dough is not cooperating, it helps to let the dough rest for a few minutes.
Alternatively, flour your fists very well, and the ball of dough. Stretch dough over your fists and move your fists along the outside edge of the dough, stretching it out. Lay the dough on parchment-lined pizza pan. Tug edges slightly to form a rough circle.
Spread ricotta onto pizza dough with a small offset spatula if you have one, leaving about a ½ inch border. Sprinkle the lemon zest over. Scatter the olives over the ricotta. Next, shower your red onion slices over the top. Then, spoon little nuggets of goat cheese over. Strip the thyme leaves off of the sprig and sprinkle over the pizza. Lastly, just a touch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and your pizza is ready to bake!
Place pan directly on pizza stone. Or, if you've got a pizza peel, pull the parchment and pizza onto the peel, then slide parchment and pizza directly onto pizza stone. TURN HEAT TO 550 DEGREES F. Bake for 5 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned and crisp, and bottom of pizza has some nicely browned spots as well. Use a long-handled metal spatula or metal tongs, or the pizza peel, to lift up the pizza and take a peek underneath. The parchment will turn black, but it won't catch fire, so don't worry.
Remove from oven. Add a touch more salt, a drizzle of oil, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if desired. Cut into pieces with kitchen shears and enjoy!