Spago's Smoked Salmon Pizza


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Wolfgang PuckWedges of that pizza, washed down with Champagne, will be the first things many stars eat when they head into the Governors Ball following the Oscars ceremony. And you can enjoy it before they do if, helped by the recipe I share here, you make the pizza as part of your own awards-watching party. You can make the dough a day ahead of time. On Sunday morning, pop out to buy the best smoked salmon you can find. If you have a local market with a frequent turnover of quality product, have it thinly sliced to order and layered with waxed paper; otherwise, look for a good vacuum-packed brand to get the finest flavor. Click here for Wolfgang Puck's full introduction.

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  • Pizza Dough:
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 C. warm water, 105 to 115 degrees
  • 3 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dill Cream:
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 1 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • Pinch white pepper
  • Pizza Topping:
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 Tbs. caviar

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Up to a day or at least two hours ahead, make the Pizza Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 C. of the warm water. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and remaining water; mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the side of the bowl and clusters around the hook, about 5 minutes. (The dough can also be made in a food processor with the stainless-steel blade. Briefly pulse together the flour and salt. Add the dissolved yeast and other ingredients and process until the dough begins to form a ball.)

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface and knead until smooth and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp towel, and leave to rise at warm room temperature for 30 minutes.

Make the Dill Cream: In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Divide the dough into 4 equal balls. On a smooth, clean surface, lightly work each ball by pulling down all around its sides and tucking underneath. Repeat 4 or 5 times per ball. Roll the ball under your palm until the dough feels smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Put the balls on a tray, cover with a damp towel, and let them rest for about 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

To make the pizzas, place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

To prepare each pizza, dip a dough ball into flour, shake off the excess, and place on a clean, lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough by pressing down on the center, spreading it into an 8-inch circle with a slightly thicker rim. (Alternatively, use a small rolling pin.) Lightly brush the inner circle with some olive oil and spread a quarter of the onions on top.

Slide a pizza paddle or rimless baking sheet under the pizza and slide it onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 6-8 minutes.

With the paddle, carefully remove the pizza and transfer to a cutting board. With the back of a spoon, spread some Dill Cream over the inner circle. Arrange salmon slices to cover the entire pizza, slightly overlapping the rim. Sprinkle with chives.

Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut the pizza into 4 or 6 wedges. Spoon some caviar in the center of each slice. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 8-inch pizzas

(Chef Wolfgang Puck’s TV series, “Wolfgang Puck’s Cooking Class,” airs Sundays on the Food Network. Also, his latest cookbook, “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy,” is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.)


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