Archive for the ‘Morel Pizza’ Category

Amazing Mozzarella Egg and Morel Pizza

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I started this blog in the spring of 2009 at this same time of year and my first post was about the beautiful blonde morels that grow down here in Southeast Ohio.

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So now, almost six years later, I present to you another springtime morel pizza with another killer way to use the combination of mozzarella and egg yolk to mimic a luscious creamy egg. I’ve also combined a wonderful piquant cheese and pickled spring dandelion and fresh spring violets for a great crunch.

Let’s get started:

The dough: I am using is a 13 ounce sourdough my excellent baker Torrey makes at Avalanche on a daily basis. It is made with a local spelt starter and contains only a natural leaven, salt and water with no fat. The dough has a 70 percent hydration which I plan to pop in a my Matador oven at 650 degree for a phenomenal moist bounce on contact with the stone creating large, irregular waxy aveoli or cells.

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This dough will have a wonderful sour-wheat taste which is why I chose Sartori Montemore cheese to accent this crunchy crust.

Dandelion hips and capers:

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I didn’t have to go far to forage the small, spring dandelion popping up everywhere. Taking a sturdy pair of gloves, I took the “weed” by the root and pried it out of the earth then trimmed everything off except the bottom ‘Hip’ which contained the small capers and succulent stalks just poking out of it. I then trimmed and soaked them letting any dirt or bugs to release. Because it is early spring, not much of those two were present. I then trimmed the bottom, woody part of the hip where it attached to the root structure.

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Because I am treating these dandelions like small artichoke hearts, I threw out all my spastic plans for the near future and just stayed “In the moment.” trimming and soaking. For any chef who has a large amount of vegetable prep to do, this is called “prep surrender”; a state of mind much like watching after a small child. Surrendering all your time to the task at hand while you could and should be or doing something more exciting and heroic is initially very tough but after fifteen or twenty minutes, calm takes over your psyche and propels you, in a Buddhist mind-set to a zenlike state of trim, soak, wash, trim, soak, wash, trim, soak… The hips themselves blanket one or two smallish buds that I call capers like the one above. If you are very zenlike, you can cut these out and pickle them but I didn’t wanna look like Rip Van Winkle when I completed that task.

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After soaking and trimming the hips, I heated up two cups of local apple cider vinegar, one cup of water, three slivered garlic cloves, juice from half a lemon, one teaspoon each of mustard seed, salt, cumin seed, fennel seed and whole peppercorn. I then blanched the hips for 40 seconds in hot water and immediately put them into an ice bath. After the heated pickling liquid cooled off, I added the hips to a sanitized jar, poured in the cooled liquid and checked the ph level which should lie under 4.7. (Always use safety when canning.)

For my incredible mozzarella egg:

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Take four to five slim slices of a fresh mozzarella log. (Fresh mozzarella in brine will not work.) Place it on parchment in the shape of a hand. Heat the mozzarella up just until the slices meld and just until soft. Make a small indentation in the mozzarella and place an egg yolk in it. Fold the mozzarella over and cut into the shape of a fried egg. The outside of the egg will cook gently as it sits. Sometimes the mozzarella will split and you have to manipulate it while still warm. Refrigerate the egg if using later, remember the egg yolk must be kept at temperature.

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OKAY ALREADY! I have the ingredients together and am now ready for a real gangbuster of a pie!

april 2015 430iiI have planned to bake this pie fast and hot. The morels will take no time to cook. I am NOT soaking them in salted water to rid them of bugs because this has been a cold spring and I think that destroys some of the mushrooms flavor.

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I picked some great vibrant violets and have some ramps also from the 130 pounds in my walk-in. I then cut the dandelion hips and capers in half.

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First preheat the oven to 650 degrees or higher. (You home cooks can just stoke your home with a can of gasoline, it should reach temp in a few hours. haha.) Bang the dough out and place about four to five ounces of Montemore cheese on the disc then some chopped ramps and the halved morel mushrooms and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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As soon as the pizza is almost finished baking, (This took only about 10 minutes.) I placed the mozzarella egg on the pie back in the oven to warm up. This is the tricky part. The mozzarella will slide off of the yolk if you apply too much heat so just a minute or two is perfect. The yolk sets up into a thick, creamy gravy on the hot pizza.

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Now its time for the fresh violets and dandelion hips for the last toppings for a real bad ass pizza. Cut and enjoy.

The Morel Bombe!


What do you do with two huge morel mushrooms? A few weeks ago, I was confronted with this awesome dilemma but luckily I had some five-day old pizza dough lingering in cold fermentation, with Fontina cheese, local Integration Acres chevre, Parmigiano Reggiano, local ramps and a beautiful haunch of smoked red waddle ham from Arcadian Acres and some King Family Farm crispy chicken skin with just a hint of caraway, (gotta have that with any morels)!

This was gonna be….The Bombe! (Yes, the ‘e’ at the end makes it more cultured and European). Lets go and mimic a “turdunkin” with these two monsters of the mushroom world.


Here is a video of the finished product.


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Set aside a 15 ounce dough ball from the Easy Dough recipe on this blog


Two giant morel mushrooms

One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

One half cup grated Fontina cheese

One golfball size chunk of chevre

One four-ounce chunk of smoked red waddle ham cut into small dice

Five spring ramps chopped

One tablespoon Parmigiano Reggiano

Two crisp chicken skins from two roasted chickens

One teaspoon of caraway seed

Egg wash

Process of Preparation:


 First cut the stem off of each morel and rough chop them, Add to a saute pan on high heat and saute for one minute. (above, I just ran them through my conveyor pizza oven at 475 for a few minutes.)


Put the chevre, fontina, ramps, Parmigiano, caraway and diced ham in a bowl and mix until incorporated into a messy little ball of goo. Stuff the morel caps with the mixture and wrap the stuffed caps with the chicken skin.


Form a round, pizza shape with the dough. Place the two stuffed, chicken wrapped blobs side-by-side in the middle and add the rest of the cheese mix in front of the stuffed caps. Fold the top of the dough over first, then the bottom. (Note, do not use too much flour as the dough will not stick.) Turn the whole batard over and place on a parchment covered tray and form the ends in a torpedo shape. Using a sharp knife, cut a vent hole in the middle and one small vent on each end to let moisture excape.


Eggwash the batard and let proof, (hold between 70 and 80 degreese  for at least 15 minutes.) Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. It will take alot of care to pull the batard out at the right time. Internal temperature should be above 180 degrees and the outside should have a nice golden-brown color.

Pull the batard from the oven and let rest for 10 to 12 minutes before cutting.