A light and crispy pizza dough with just a few simple and delicious toppings: Pesto Herb Oil, Fontina & Parmesan Cheese, and Microgreens. Sliced into 2 inch squares it makes a perfect bite for an appetizer, or cut into larger slices a lovely meal in itself. If you don’t have the microgreens on hand you can easily sub in Radichio or Rocket greens.
I use a baking steel for my pizzas, and in the past have used baking tiles. I find the steel to be superior and I use it for just about everything I bake that needs a quick hot temp for a crispy bottom or crust: pizzas, pie crusts, roasted veggies like cauliflower steaks, even griddling sandwiches on the stovetop or outdoor grill.
The steel I use can be found here Baking Steel (I’m not a paid sponsor, but tell the folks over there I said hello! They’re nice people).
I’ve written the recipe and instructions below for people who are new to building and baking pizza. I’m definitely breaking some pizza baking rules here – probably angering the pizza gods – but I want the end result to be reliable for new pizza makers. If you’re an experienced pizza maker, then skip the parchment and crank up that oven to bake this beauty at a higher temp.
Fontina Pizza Squares with Pesto Herb Oil and Microgreens
- Baking Steel or cookie sheet to preheat in the oven. You'll bake your pizza on this.
- Parchment Paper: This is optional but it's easiest to use parchment for the first 1/2 of baking, then slide it out and finish baking. It prevents sticking on your steel or cookie sheet.
- Pizza peel or a thin cutting board, or spare cookie sheet. Something that will allow you to slide your pizza into the oven.
- 1/3 batch Master Recipe Pizza Dough or purchased (about a softball sized piece of pizza dough)
- 4 tbsp Pesto Herb Oil + a bit extra to finish after the pizza is baked
- 1 cup Fontina Cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese grated, shredded, or pearled
- 1 cup Microgreens see note
- cornmeal or flour for sprinkling on the parchment to prevent sticking
- Heat oven to 450F. If you have a Pizza Steel, let it heat in oven. Or, you can use a cookie sheet in a pinch. While it heats, prep and build your pizza.
- Lightly flour clean counter and dimple out prepared pizza dough into the shape of your choice ("rustic" is my go-to shape), don't force it larger at this point, let it rest 5 minutes and dimple out again, and repeat allowing resting periods in between manipulating it into a roughly 12" pizza shape.
- Thinking ahead: once your pizza is assembled & ready to bake, you'll need to slide it in the oven and onto the hot baking steel or cookie sheet. I have a pizza peel to help with this but using another cookie sheet or upside down baking sheet will do, or you could use a thin cutting board or cutting mat. Basically any surface that will hold the weight of the built pizza (something that won't melt if it briefly touches the hot stone).It is definitely easiest to build your pizza on the pizza peel rather than the countertop, otherwise, you'll have to transfer it twice. I also do an extra step of using a piece of parchment paper for the first 1/2 of baking. I'll put the parchment on the peel, then dust it with cornmeal (or flour), transfer the dough to that, build it, then slide parchment/pizza onto the hot stone. I'll bake until the pizza starts to puff and look part way cooked around the edges, then I'll reach in and carefully slide out the parchment. It will slide out easily without sticking to the parchment because you used the cornmeal (or flour). The pie will then finish baking directly on the steel for a crispy bottom.
- With your parchment on the peel, lightly sprinkle with cornmeal and transfer over your dough circle, rearranging the shape if needed.
- Sprinkle 1/2 of the Fontina over the dough, then drizzle on or spoon on the Pesto Herb Oil. Resist the temptation to smother it. Sprinkle the remaining Fontina and about 1/2 of the Parmesan. You'll use the rest of the Parmesan after it's out of the oven.
- Slide it in the oven onto the hot baking steel. Turn on the oven light to monitor the baking. Check it at the 5 minute mark and watch for some puffing and browning on the edges. When it looks part way cooked, open the door and quickly slide out the parchment paper. I do this carefully but quickly so the cornmeal doesn't sprinkle all over the oven and the floor, and also to get the oven door closed. Finish baking. It's hard to provide a time, it could be another 5-8 minutes. It just depends on the thickness of your dough. The dough will appear set up, the edges quite crispy and the top golden brown. If you think the dough may still be raw in the middle, but the top is getting to just the right color, then tent it with some foil to prevent over-browning. Remove, sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan and a bit more Pesto Herb Oil, slice and serve.