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Pizza with Onion, Prosciutto and Mozzarella (Pizza di Cipolle, Prosciutto e Mozzarella)

Pizza with Onion, Prosciutto and Mozzarella (Pizza di Cipolle, Prosciutto e Mozzarella)

Since this pizza is made without tomatoes, it's considered a pizza bianca, or "white pizza." If you like, scatter a handful of arugula leaves on top of the hot pizza as it emerges from the oven.

Ingredients:

For the pizza dough:

  • 1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh,
      thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 thin prosciutto slices

Directions:

To make the pizza dough, in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir until dissolved.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms, about 2 minutes. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape into a ball.

Place the dough in a floured bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Punch down the dough and knead briefly on a floured work surface to remove any air bubbles. Leave the ball on the floured surface and invert a bowl over it. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Place a baking stone, unglazed quarry tiles or a baking sheet on the lowest rack of an oven and preheat the oven to its hottest setting (500° or 550°F) 30 to 60 minutes before baking.

Meanwhile, in a fry pan over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.

Uncover the dough and, using your fingers, stretch and flatten it into a 12-inch round, turning the round over once or twice as you work. Dust a baker's peel or the back of a baking sheet with flour. Place the dough round on the peel and shake the peel once or twice to be sure the dough isn't sticking. If it is, lift the round and dust the peel or baking sheet with more flour.

Spread the onion on the dough. Immediately slide the pizza onto the baking stone. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and arrange the mozzarella on top. Bake until the edges are puffed and the crust is crisp and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and arrange the prosciutto slices on top. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.
Makes one 12-inch pizza; serves 2 to 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Italy, by Michele Scicolone (Time-Life Books, 1999).