I turned 30. I turned 30. Oh hey, I turned 30 this week.
I also got carded at the grocery store when I tried to buy a six pack of beer the other day. Did I freak out about the monumental birthday (or the need to pull out my ID)? Nah. If there’s one thing that I am extremely exceptional at, it’s the ability to not freak out. (Unless that is the appropriate response… which generally it isn’t.)
The truth is, I don’t feel any older. Sure, there are subtle differences. I catch myself noticing the next day if I drank too much bourbon. I find myself realizing that I am the age my mom was when she was pregnant with my older sister. My 20’s were fun. I went to, and finished, college. I did a good amount of traveling (which I also hope continues to increase as my age does). I got married. I have two step-kids (one of whom will be finishing his last year of elementary school this fall, and the other finishing his last year of high school!). I’ve rediscovered the art of relishing in and loving small pleasures in life. I feel like as the years continue to increase, things really do just get better.
For instance, in my late teens and early twenties, I would probably have felt guilty for how frequently I ate pizza. Now that I have hit 30, I feel like I can eat all the pizza I want, within reason. (And within consideration of my future-workout, hah!) When we were in the hospital with Silas a few weeks ago, I made the mistake of binge-watching Food Network when everyone else was asleep. One episode was on the supposed best pizzas ever. (I don’t suggest watching shows like this in the wee hours of the morning after you’ve been dining on hospital food…) One pizza that immediately stuck out was an oyster mushroom and smoked mozzarella pie from a pizza joint in Minneapolis. I knew I had to make my own version. So I did… and here it is:
Sourdough Pizza with Oyster Mushrooms, Garlic, Smoked Mozzarella and Rosemary
Makes one large pizza.
For the pizza dough:
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/4-1/2 cup more)
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
For the pizza toppings:
1 cup sliced fresh oyster mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 cups smoked mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup prepared pesto sauce
Prepare the dough: in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to submerge the yeast. Allow the mixture to sit and proof for 3-5 minutes, until frothy. Add in the sourdough starter, salt, and half of the flour. Use the dough hook to mix the ingredients until they just come together (2-ish minutes). Turn the mixer off and allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.
Once rested, add the remaining flour and vital wheat gluten to the mixture. Use the dough hook to work the dough into a semi-sticky ball. Continue kneading for about 6-8 minutes. By touch, the dough will probably seem really sticky. But lightly dust some flour on it and voila! the stickiness goes away. Lightly coat the bowl with olive oil, turning the dough in it once, to coat. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled (about 1 – 1½ hours).
Prepare the pizza: preheat your oven and a large pizza stone at 550 degrees F (if your oven only goes up to 500, that’s okay) for at least 20 minutes.
Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Place the dough on your preheated pizza stone, working quickly. Start at the center of the dough, working outwards, using your fingertips to press the dough to about a 1/4-inch thick, gently stretching the dough until it reaches the diameter you want (I got a 16-inch pizza). You can create a lip, or raised crust, if you want (I prefer not). Prick with a fork about 8 times all over the dough then bake for about 5 minutes, until cooked, but not long enough to brown the crust.
Spread the prepared pesto on the crust, leaving about a half-inch around the outside. Arrange the mushrooms evenly over the pizza, then sprinkle on the garlic, rosemary, mozzarella, and feta cheese.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the top of the pizza is bubbly and golden brown. Let the pizza rest for 3-4 minutes before cutting into slices. Eat while warm!