Yes, you can fit bread baking into your routine! We're showing you how extraordinary bread is achievable on just about any weeknight — especially with the help of an overnight rise in the fridge or quick genius tips to take pizza from good to great. This is Extraordinary Bread: Weeknights.
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Vinaigrette: Great on salads, possibly even better on pizza. (Though, to be fair, what isn’t better on pizza?)
That’s all according to King Arthur baker Martin Philip. He was recently tasked with coming up with some creative, simple weeknight-friendly topping ideas for our Artisan No-Knead Pizza Crust and ended up delivering a bright, zingy pie that called for a drizzle of vinaigrette right on top.
“This was inspired by pizzas I ate in Italy that were served garnished with greens like arugula after the bake,” recalls Martin. “I thought, well if greens are good … why not a vinaigrette?”
Adding vinaigrette is a great way to incorporate an additional flavor dimension to your pizza, leveling up a standard weeknight meal from good to whoa. Plus, its acidic tanginess is a nice tactic to cut through the richness of bubbling cheese or otherwise heavy toppings you’ve included, like meat, BBQ sauce, or starchy roasted vegetables.
But what’s really important about this technique is not just the what (add vinaigrette to your pizza!), but the when (immediately after the bake). By adding the vinaigrette while the pizza is still piping hot from the oven, you allow the aromatic flavors to come alive in the heat, adding more complexity and a bigger punch of flavor.
“I remember very clearly the face full of basil perfume that hit me the first time I applied vinaigrette to a hot pizza,” says Martin. “Applying a vinaigrette while the pie is hot helps to bloom fresh herbs or other raw ingredients, like fresh garlic for example.”
To make the most of this technique, Martin likes to also add a handful of fresh greens to his pizza after the vinaigrette is applied. This helps sop up some of the dressing, preventing the pizza from being too messy an eating experience.
Start topping your weeknight pizzas with vinaigrette
This technique can be used with your favorite vinaigrette drizzled on just about any type of pizza. Martin likes to use the following version on a veggie artisan pizza. (You can find specifics on his "Veg Vinaigrette Pizza" toppings at the bottom of our Artisan No-Knead Pizza Crust recipe page):
To make a simple (but delicious) vinaigrette, add the following to a small blender and puree until smooth:
1/2 cup loose fresh herbs*
1/2 cup mild oil (like olive, safflower, or canola oil)
1/4 cup vinegar (rice or white balsamic are nice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 small garlic clove
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons honey
*For the herbs, half basil, half mint is nice — Martin notes that dill is very good, too.
While this tangy dressing is a good starting point, in the end, “the baker gets to make all the rules here,” says Martin. “When thinking about what to use to top your pizza, I suggest looking to flavor pairings — what complements or accentuates what is already happening on the pie?” From there, you can come up with anything that suits your fancy. There are no limitations here — as long as you add the vinaigrette while the pizza is still hot, of course.
Cover photo by Rick Holbrook.