A friend and I came up with the idea for this pizza in the middle of winter, and waited until a July afternoon to prepare it. We brushed a homemade pizza crust with olive oil, sliced some peaches, and spooned on creamy burrata, an Italian cheese made from buffalo milk mozzarella filled with curd and cream. As a garnish, we added fresh mint and reduced balsamic vinegar. Oven-roasted peaches are delicious: sweet, tangy, and softened just the right amount. The mint and balsamic vinegar complement them perfectly. This pizza screams “summer picnic,” so we packed some slices in a basket along with cold beverages and homemade garlic knots, and ate in a park at sunset.
Peach Burrata Pizza
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups flour
2 peaches, sliced
1 container burrata cheese
A few sprigs of fresh mint
Around a cup of balsamic vinegar, reduced
A pinch of salt and pepper
Prepare the dough: Pour warm water into a large bowl. Add sugar and yeast, and stir gently to dissolve. Set aside in a warm place for about 15 minutes, until fluffy and bubbly. Add olive oil, flour, and then salt (a tip I learned in culinary school: salt kills yeast, so it’s important that the salt not come into contact with the yeast directly; mix the salt into the flour before stirring all the ingredients together.) Stir ingredients together until a shaggy dough forms. Adding a little flour as needed, knead the dough until it is elastic. It should spring back when you poke it with your finger. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for at least two hours (if the dough starts to rise out of the bowl, gently push it down.)
Optional, but for best results: Place the dough in the fridge for another hour or two. Or prepare dough the day before you plan on baking the pizza, and let it sit in the fridge overnight in a covered bowl or in a gallon-sized plastic ziploc bag. A resting period in the fridge slows down yeast fermentation, allowing for a very long rising time, which gives the dough more flavor and makes the dough very light and fluffy.
Prepare toppings: Pour balsamic vinegar into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thick, around 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Slice peaches, and pluck mint leaves from stems; set aside.
Assemble and bake: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. To prepare one large, thick pizza, stretch and shape dough so it fits on a pizza stone or lightly floured baking sheet. For thin crust pizza, divide the dough in half, and form two smaller pies; bake one at a time, or at the same time on two separate stones or sheets. Using a pastry brush, coat surface of pizza dough with olive oil. Spoon globs of burrata onto the crust. Arrange peach slices in gaps between burrata. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Top with mint leaves, reserving some fresh leaves for later. Bake for around 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Smaller, thinner pizzas may need less time, so check the oven frequently. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with reserved mint leaves. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
We made an extra batch of pizza dough and prepared a salsa verde pie (right.) See recipe here.