Oh, you’ve not heard of it? Spreezza’s that immensely popular little dessert pizza, covered with marscarpone cheese, topped with juicy fresh fruits, drizzled with some delectable sauce or other, some even scattered with herbs. Oh, you’ve not heard of them? I guess I must have made it up.
It begins with a good pizza dough….
This No-Knead Pizza Dough is bubbly, chewy, crispy and better than you’ll find at most pizza parlors. It can be used for ALL manner of pizzas – nothing at all about it restricts it to the dessert realm – in fact I’m the one who’s taken it there. It’s a take on the now-famous No-Knead Bread of Jim Lahey (owner of Sullivan St. Bakery in NYC) who introduced it a number of years back to rave reviews. I posted the bread late last year but if you missed the post and would like to take a look, you can check it out here. This pizza dough, like the bread that inspired it, derives its wonderful complex flavor from its overnight fermentation. So the only thing you have to consider moving forward is to start it the day before you plan to enjoy it.
Now if you’ve got a hankering for a spreezza and you don’t want to wait til tomorrow, you can always begin with a store-bought dough (Trader Joe’s has a very good one), skip all this that I’m about to tell you about the dough, and move quickly to the spreezza recipe further down. But you might want to return to this dough another time, because it really is wonderful.
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(Each of the following 10 to 12″ pizzas will make about 4 portions of dessert, 2 slices per person. About the same amount would hold true if being served for brunch with accompanying eggs and/or meats and other items. For breakfast, I’d allow more per person…maybe half a Spreezza per person. You can halve the recipe easily if you like. Or make the whole thing, break it into portions, wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days to use in other ways…like a traditional pizza. Or stay tuned because I’ve got another fun idea coming up very soon! Flavor and texture of the dough will not suffer at all for the extra time spent in the fridge. If you want to wrap and chill ahead, just allow 2 to 3 hours once they come out of the fridge for unwrapped dough balls to rest before forming into pizza pies.)
No-Knead Pizza Dough
makes six 10″ to 12″ pizzas
(about 20½ hours, with only 90 minutes active time)
- 7½ cups all-purpose flour (3 lb. 1.5 oz. or 1000 grams) plus more for shaping loaves later
- 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
Half recipe of the No-Knead Pizza Dough
makes three 10″ to 12″ pizzas
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping loaves later (1 lb. 14 oz. or 850 kg.)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
Whisk flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 3 cups water (1½ cups if halving the recipe!). Stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic and allow the dough to rise at room temperature in a draft-free place until the surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size. About 18 hours time, though time will vary depending on the temperature of the room.
Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions (or 3 if halving the recipe.) Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to the center to create 4 folds. Turn seam-side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust the dough with flour; set aside on the work surface or floured baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining portions.
Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour.
To Bake the Pizza Dough
During the last hour of the dough’s resting, prepare the oven. If using a pizza stone, place a rack in the upper third of the oven, put the pizza stone on it and preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500° – 550°F (260° – 290°C.) (If using a baking sheet, no need to preheat that.)
Working with 1 dough piece at a time, dust the dough generously with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a 10″ to 12″ disk (25-30 cm.)
If using a pizza stone – Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless (or inverted rimmed) baking sheet lightly with flour. Place dough disk on the peel or prepared baking sheet, and, using back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto the hot pizza stone. Bake the pizza, rotating halfway through, until the bottom crust is crisp and the top is blistered, about 5 – 7 minutes total. If using this pizza dough for a Spreezza, brush with melted butter when you rotate the pizza.
Now, here is where this whole thing turns so fun! I’ll give guidelines for 2 versions here. I’ll share others as seasonal fruits appear. This isn’t science. This isn’t hard-and-fast measurements. This is Playing with Food!
for each 10-12″ pizza, you will want – approximately:
- Marscarpone cheese – 8 ounces
- zest of ½ lemon (about 1 Tablespoon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons (to 3 tsp.) powdered sugar
- Fresh strawberries – ½ – ¾ cup, sliced
- 2 teaspoons (to 3) powdered sugar (for strawberries)
- zest of ½ lemon added to strawberries
- Fresh raspberries – ½ cup
- Fresh blueberries – ½ cup
- lemon thyme – a couple sprigs
- blueberry balsalmic vinegar – or good quality aged balsamic vinegar
- OPTIONAL: Additional Powdered Sugar, sifted – you may want this especially if you’re serving for dessert as opposed to a brunch or breakfast
One hour before baking pizza dough, place marscarpone in a small bowl along with lemon juice, lemon zest and powdered sugar. Stir well to combine and allow to come to room temperature.
One half hour or so before baking pizza, wash and thinly slice the strawberries. Add them to a small bowl with lemon zest and powdered sugar. Allow them to sit at room temperature so that they can soften a bit and release some of their juices.
Bake Pizza as instructed above. Remove to a rack to cool to room temperature.
When pizza dough has come to room temperature, spread the marscapone mixture over the crust to within about 1 inch of the edge. Lay strawberry slices fairly evenly over top. Scatter raspberries & blueberries. Sprinkle lemon thyme leaves or small sprigs over all. (It will keep like this for at least an hour.) When ready to serve, drizzle with blueberry balsamic (or good aged balsamic) and dust with more powdered sugar if desired.
Now, many of you have come to know Spreezza’s as a scrumptious dessert, but it goes equally well to the breakfast table. It’s not overly sweet (unless of course you ask it to be) so it’s really an ideal treat for weekend breakfast or a special brunch – Easter??? You can bake the crust hours before using – or even the night before – and wrap and leave at room temperature. The next morning, heat it for just a couple minutes to refresh it, allow to cool again to room temperature before assembling. The assembly takes very little time.
Another flavorful & so-pretty combination would be strawberries, blueberries and beautiful thin slices of spring-green kiwi. No herbs on this one are necessary, though if you wanted you could replace the lemon in the above recipe with lime juice and zest, and sprinkle a bit of zest over top.
I’ll bring other Spreezza ideas to share as various fresh fruits become available.
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For a printer-friendly recipe of the pizza crust, click here.
For the Spreezza, click here.
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