from The Millennium Cookbook by Eric Tucker and John Westerdahl

This is yet another 4-part recipe; you can pick and choose which parts you want to make if you aren’t up for the entire challenge…  use flatbread or pre-made pizza dough for the crusts, use a different sauce or toppings. Glorious pizza, how versatile you are.

Millennium Pizza Dough
1/2 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 c warm water (105 to 115F) (the recipe says 1/4 c, but that was too dry. I added a cup, assuming that they missed the 1… and it turned out well! Phew!)
1/4 tsp Sucanat or unrefined sugar
1 1/2 tbsp polenta
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp flaxseeds (optional)
2 c unbleached all-purpose flour (or bread flour) (I used 1 1/2 c whole wheat all-purpose flour, and 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour. I think this made it denser.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, water, and Sucanat. Let set for 10 to 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Whisk in the polenta, salt, garlic, basil, and flaxseeds. Gradually whisk in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is too thick to whisk. Switch to a wooden spoon and continue to add flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary. Put the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn it to coat the top, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down. Turn it out on a floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and form each into a ball. If not using immediately, wrap them in plastic wrap and store on a baking sheet (I used a plate, and it turned out just fine. Who has room for a baking sheet in their fridge?)

On a floured work surface, roll each ball of dough out to a 10-inch round. Preheat oven to 450F, with a baking stone inside if you have one. Dust a baker’s peel or a baking sheet with polenta or flour.

Spread 3 tbsp sauce over each pizza, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Evenly distribute the toppings over the pizza.

To bake: If using a baking stone, use a baking sheet or peel to transfer 2 of the pizzas directly onto the preheated stone and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the bottom is crisp and light brown and the toppings are bubbling and browning. Otherwise, put the pizzas on 2 baking sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice and serve immediately. Makes enough dough for 4 individual pizzas.

Garlic-Herb Aioli
12.3 ounces silken tofu
1/4 c Millennium Braised Garlic
2 tbsp light miso
1/2 c fresh lemon juice
1 tsp minced lemon zest
1 tbsp capers, drained
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon (optional)
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp water

In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients, adding more water as necessary to thin to the consistency of mayonnaise. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 2 cups.

Caramelized Garlic and (Smoked Portobello) Mushroom Pizzas
16 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
2 tsp extra virgin oil
1/2 c vegetable stock
1 tsp Sucanat or sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp tamari soy sauce
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
Millennium Pizza dough
3/4 c Garlic-Herb aioli
2 portobello mushrooms, smoked and thinly sliced, or 6 cremini mushrooms (I chose the latter)
2 tbsp pine nuts (if you dare)
Red pepper flakes to taste

In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, oil, Sucanat, vinegar, tamari, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to reduce until brown and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Prepare your dough according to the recipe… after spreading the aioli on them, top with the mushrooms, 4 cloves of caramelized garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pine nuts. Bake according to dough recipe. Makes four 10-inch pizzas.

One thing that’s so great about recipes from The Millennium Cookbook is that they don’t rely on fat, sugar, or salt for tastiness (though I love all three, don’t get me wrong). So I find that I’m using ingredients in new ways. I loved the caramelized garlic on top of the pizza; it was probably my favorite part. Yes, you read that right. 16 garlic cloves! On top of the garlic in the sauce and even the pizza crust! Heaven. I must say I was really upset when I realized the error in the pizza dough recipe. I checked a few other recipes to see what their water to flour ratios were like, and figured that they must have mistakenly left out the 1 in front of the 1/4… but I also went out and bought some pre-made pizza dough from the deli section at our grocery store just to be sure, since we were expecting company that night. Other than that, the pizzas were pretty easy to assemble, but I’m glad I started earlier in the day. The aioli was fun to make, and I used all of the “optional” ingredients. It was pretty lemony. Unfortunately, I made these pizzas on the day that our Pine Mouth was peaking, so everything tasted off and bitter. The pizza, since it was so savory and had that lemon flavor, didn’t suffer TOO much as a result, but nonetheless, I was sad about it. Mike ate 5 pieces (or 1 1/4 whole pizzas), and our guests had seconds. Speaking of our guests, they brought that magnificent salad you see on my plate, keeping the pizza company. It had fennel and grapefruit in it! Thanks Mike and Mo, it was delicious!