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Here’s a pizza experiment with mushrooms, maximizing the mushroom flavor of a predominantly mushroom pizza and obtaining a balance between the mushrooms, the tomato-less sauce, the cheeses and the dough, while using every part of the mushroom (the caps as well as the stems) to achieve this and using the oven-roasting juices of these same roasted mushrooms to create a delicious mushroom pizza sauce.

All pizzas don’t always include tomato sauce, even though its acidity and sweetness make the whole pizza experience more enjoyable because it makes everything lighter and provides an excellent contrast to the other ingredients. We’re trying something different here.

For this mushroom pizza with mushroom sauce (no tomatoes here), I use the sliced and roasted mushroom caps as one of the toppings and the roasted mushroom stems to make the sauce. The only additional ingredients used to flavor the mushroom caps and stems, for the topping and the sauce, as they are roasting, are some shallots, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper, dried herbs and bay leaves.

Here’s a little bit of technical information about whole mushrooms : a whole mushroom is composed of 75% cap and 25% stem; roasting mushrooms, depending of the temperature and length of time, will result in water loss and thus weight loss of about 30%-40% and during this time, some of that roasting juice, 2-3 tablespoons, can be recuperated, half-way through the short roasting time, to include in this pizza sauce.

If you prefer, you can use only mushroom caps for the topping as well as the sauce, but I don’t like wasting the stems, but it makes no difference in the final result, so do what is easier for you. You may also decide to make a larger quantity of the mushroom sauce on one day and freeze the extra amount in individual portions for another day and make the topping on pizza day, that’s up to you.

The mushroom sauce that replaces the tomato sauce, is composed of the roasted mushroom stems, shallots and garlic, which are later recombined with the recuperated oven-roasting juices and reduced to a purée in a food-processor, to which I add some dried oregano and thyme and fresh parsley, as well as a hint of vermouth (or port) and finally, a little bit of cream cheese and parmesan, to make it smoother and perhaps a little more olive oil.

The assembly is relatively simple : pizza dough, mushroom sauce, grated low-moisture mozzarella cheese or strained mozzarella balls, an extra light sprinkling of parmesan, the sliced roasted mushrooms, some extra sliced roasted shallots and some fresh parsley leaves. 

I prefer to leave the final ratio of the toppings to the dough up to you, since I often overdo it but we can have a talk about my abnormal pizza-making preferences.

I overload my pizzas ! A normal person would make double the number of pizzas with my quantity of toppings but I treat my pizzas like a full meal and one of my large 40 cm pizzas can heartily feed 4 people, with absolutely no need for side-dishes or accompaniments. Is it a mistake ? Probably, for a pizza aficionado or expert or purist, but I hope that the love and generosity and obsession that I put into my pizza-making, is not mistaken for ignorance, because it’s easily fixed, just make more dough balls and make more pizzas with the same amount of toppings that I use for just one pizza.

A normal person’s thin-crust pizza requires a ball of dough that weighs approximately 250 grams, that when stretched out, measures 25 cm in diameter, with a nice puffy edge of about 3 cm going all the way around. The added toppings, also if you’re normal, will usually weigh from two-thirds and maximally up to an equal weight to the dough weight. Broken down, this would imply some sauce, some cheese and whatever else that defines that pizza, so let’s say 80 grams sauce and 80 grams cheese and up to 80 grams of prepared meats or vegetables. This size of pizza feeds 1 person.

A gluttonous person’s pizza (this definitely means “me” when making a heartier and heavier pizza) will usually require a ball of dough of 325 grams, stretched out to 30 cm, with a narrower edge of 2,5 cm and the prepared toppings for my pizzas will weigh 600 grams or almost double the initial weight of the dough, composed of 100 grams of sauce + 100 grams of sliced sausage + 200 grams of pre-cooked vegetables + 200 grams of cheeses. Despite the thin and crunchy crust, the pizza slices are always approximately 3 cm high, even towards the middle, due to the large quantity of toppings, like a deep-dish pizza, yet sturdy and this version obviously feeds 2 people quite well.

Why am I telling you all of this ? Simply because if you decide to make any of my older pizza recipes (like my Montreal-style all-dressed pizza, see recipe here, or my Spanish-style chorizo pizza, see recipe here), then feel free to make double the amount of dough (thus double the number of pizzas) to make more pizzas with my abnormally large quantity of toppings. 

For this mushroom pizza recipe, which is quite rich and heavy, I’ve decided to take baby steps and simply keep the ratio of total toppings to the dough at 1:1 or almost equal weights of each. 

It’s the best I can do for now … :)

roasted mushroom pizza & its roasted mushroom sauce


12 parts x 100 grammes chacune


pizza dough (650 grams for 1 large 40 cm pizza or 2 smaller 28 cm pizzas) :

  • 375 grams (3 cups) pizza flour (high-protein and finely-milled TIPO 00 pizza flour or ½ bread flour + ½ all-purpose flour)
  • 5 grams (½ tbsp) fine wheat semolina
  • 250 ml (1 cup) warm water
  • 4 grams (1 tsp) sugar
  • 2 grams (½ tsp) dry active yeast (for a slow and long rise, or double for a faster rise)
  • 7,5 grams (1 ½ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil (for kneading, without adding extra flour)

roasted mushrooms caps & stems (for the topping and the sauce) :

  • 400 grams (6 cups) whole mushrooms (separated into 300 grams caps and 100 grams stems and then thickly sliced)
  • 100 grams (¾ cup) shallots, peeled and whole 
  • 20 grams (2 tbsp) garlic, thin slices
  • 7,5 ml (1 ½ tsp) white vinegar
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • 7,5 grams (1 ½ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground black pepper
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried oregano leaves
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried thyme leaves
  • 1 gram (2 whole) bay leaves
  • *note : if you prefer, you can keep the mushrooms whole, without separating the stems from the caps, slice them and use ¼ of those mushrooms for the sauce and the other ¾ of the mushrooms for the toppings or you can also only use caps for both the topping and the sauce …

mushroom sauce (200 grams) :

  • 60 grams roasted mushroom stalks
  • 48 grams roasted shallots
  • 12 grams roasted garlic slices
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) roasting juices
  • 7,5 ml (½ tbsp) white vermouth (or white port)
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) fresh parsley leaves
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried oregano leaves
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried thyme leaves
  • 2,5 grams (½ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 1,0 gram (¼ tsp) ground black pepper
  • 30 grams (2 tbsp) cream cheese (or 1 tbsp cream cheese + 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, for a drier sauce)
  • optional : 7,5 ml (½ tbsp) olive oil

assembly :

  • 650 grams (1 large or 2 small) pizza dough balls
  • 200 grams (¾ cup) mushroom sauce
  • 180 grams (1 ½ cups) roasted mushrooms slices
  • 20 grams (¼ cup) thinly sliced roasted shallots
  • 200 grams (2 cups) grated mozzarella cheese (low-moisture block or balls or a combination of both)
  • optional : 10 grams (2 tbsp) grated parmesan cheese
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


pizza dough (for more detailed instructions & images, see recipe here) :

  • place the yeast, sugar and 1 tbsp of flour into a small bowl, add the warm water, whisk well and let sit for 15-20 minutes until frothy
  • combine the flour, semolina and salt in one large bowl and set aside
  • add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until loosely combined, then use a flexible dough scraper and press it down and turn it over, inside the bowl until a loose ball forms, cover and let sit for 15  minutes before kneading
  • use part of the olive oil to brush your work surface and oil your hands, then place the dough on the work surface and use your hands to knead the dough for 3-5 minutes and when it gets sticky, use the dough scraper to scrape the work surface and your hands and use some more olive oil to continue kneading, then set aside inside the bowl and let rest for another 15 minutes
  • use the remaining olive oil, to brush your work surface as well as your hands and knead the dough again for 3-5 minutes again until smooth and elastic and compact
  • use a flat container with a lid, lay 2 crisscrossed sheets of baking paper inside, sprinkle the inside generously with flour, sprinkle flour on your ball of dough too, place the ball of dough inside, close the lid and set aside in the refrigerator for a slow rise overnight (if using only 2 grams of yeast)
  • when almost doubled in size, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit covered at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, the dough is ready to be shaped when you poke it with a floured finger and it springs back very slowly
  • *note : of using 4 grams of yeast, the dough should be ready in 6 in the refrigerator and if using 8 grams of yeast, the dough should be ready in 3 hours at refrigerator temperature or 1 ½ hours at room temperature …
  • *note : if your dough rises too quickly or over-rises and collapses, then sprinkle it with more flour and knead it again and let it sit covered at room temperature for several hours in the refrigerator or 1 hour at room temperature until doubled in size again, yet compact …

roasted mushrooms :

  • rinse or brush off the mushrooms, separate the caps from the stems, slice the mushroom caps thickly (5 mm thick) and slice the stems in half lengthwise and set aside
  • peel the shallots and keep them whole and peel the garlic, slice thickly (2 mm) and set aside everything
  • preheat the oven to 200°C
  • combine the olive oil with the vinegar, salt and spices and whisk until well combined and pour over the bowl with all the sliced mushrooms, garlic and shallots and mix until they are all well coated 
  • lay a large sheet of baking paper inside your large roasting dish and transfer the coated vegetables inside with 2 bay leaves
  • bake in the oven, on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes, then remove from the oven, recuperate 2-3 tbsp (almost all) of the flavored and dark roasting juices and reserve in a small cup and place the baking dish back in the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes until drier, then remove and let cool down
  • once cooled, separate the mushrooms caps from the mushroom stems, sliced garlic and shallots (remove 1/3 or 20 grams of the shallots for the topping) and reserve in 2 bowls

mushroom pizza sauce :

  • use a food processor to combine the roasted mushroom stalks, garlic slices, almost all of the shallots, the roasting juices, vermouth, dried and fresh herbs, spices and cheeses and pulse until very smooth and set aside
  • *note : if you decide to make a larger quantity of mushroom sauce, then heat it up and store it in small and hot sterilized jars, let it cool down and store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze smaller portions in the freezer …

assembly & baking :

  • preheat the oven to its maximum (mine reaches 230°C) for at least 15 minutes and remove the rack so the pizza can be baked directly on the floor of the oven on a large metal pizza plate
  • sprinkle fine cornmeal or fine wheat semolina on your work surface or pizza plate and stretch out the dough to one large 40 cm pizza or 2 smaller 28 cm pizzas (if using 2 dough balls) and leave a thick edge of 2-3 cm all the way around
  • spread the mushroom sauce on top, add some of the grated low-moisture mozzarella and parmesan cheeses on the bottom and then some of the sliced mushrooms and repeat, alternating with grated cheese and then the sliced mushrooms again, sprinkle with some sliced roasted shallots (or fresh if you forgot to reserve some) and add the torn mozzarella (if using balls) on top and finally sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves 
  • bake directly on the floor of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the cheeses are slightly bubbly and the crust is sturdy, then remove from the oven, wait 5 minutes before slicing and serve.