Recipe from La Buvette: Recipes And Wine Notes From Paris. Words Camille Fourmont and Kate Leahy, photographs by Marcus Nilsson.
When I met Alix Lacloche, an amazing chef in Paris, we discovered that we had a common passion for picnics. We spent a whole summer having picnics in parks or on my rooftop. One day, she made these lemon pizzettes, which I loved so much that I started requesting them for every outdoor occasion we planned together. This recipe is adapted from Alix’s very nice cookbook, Dans Ma Cuisine. What makes these pizzettes good
for picnics is their size—they are smaller than the size of your hand and hold their shape without becoming too soft in the center.
Makes 12 pizzettes
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1⅓ cups water, at room temperature
1 teaspoon honey
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
1 organic lemon, very thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed
1 tablespoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for seasoning
To proceed, make the dough the day before you plan to bake the pizzettes. To make it even easier, you can buy dough from your favourite pizza place (which is what I do nine times out of ten when I make this recipe). While the dough is coming to room temperature, prepare the toppings, which make enough for four pizzettes of each version. If you want to make only one type of topping, adjust the quantities accordingly—it’s a very forgiving recipe.
To make the dough, put the yeast in a small bowl and pour the water over it. Stir in the honey. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and begin to mix with your fingers until a shaggy dough forms. Put a kitchen towel over the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes (this will allow the flour to absorb more of the water).
Sprinkle the counter with flour. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it, pulling it, folding it, pressing it, and then repeating, for 7 to 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and a little soft.
Oil a large bowl that will fit in the refrigerator and put the dough inside. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Before proceeding to shape and bake pizzettes, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 2 hours.
Dust the counter with flour and cut the dough into twelve equal pieces. Using the palm of your hand, roll the dough into small balls and then cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough will puff up a bit while you prep the toppings.
If you have a pizza stone, place it on the bottom oven rack. (The pizza stone will give the bottom of the pizzettes a crispier crust, but you don’t need one to make this recipe.) Preheat the oven to 500°F (if your oven can get as hot as 550°F, you can bake the pizzettes at that temperature for a crispier finish. Monitor the pan as it bakes so the parchment paper doesn't burn). Have two 13-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheets ready.
For each pizzette, press the dough out with your palm or use a rolling pin on the floured countertop until the piece is a circle 4 to 5 inches wide. Put the dough onto a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing six rounds of dough (or as many as you can fit without touching) on each baking sheet. (If they don’t all fit, you can always reload one of the baking sheets and bake in three batches.)
Put 1 large or 2 small lemon slices in the center of each dough round, leaving just enough to cover the surface but leave a crust. Brush the top with more olive oil and then finish with generous pinches of oregano and salt.
Bake one pan at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating once, or until the crusts and the bottoms are getting nicely gold. If you are using a pizza stone, this may take only 8 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.