Golden Finocchio Sausage White Pizza
- 3/4 cup warm water (not hot)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups bread flour
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup cornmeal, plus more for rolling
- Oil, for greasing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced fennel
- 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces bulk Italian sausage
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup halved yellow cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
For the pizza dough: Whisk the water, honey and yeast in a large mixing bowl until well combined, and then let rest 5 minutes. Mix in the bread flour, whole-wheat flour, melted butter and salt until a dough ball forms. Turn out the dough onto a work surface sprinkled with the cornmeal and knead, working in as much cornmeal as possible, until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased mixing bowl. Lightly cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm area until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
For assembling the pizza: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick round on a cornmeal-coated work surface. Transfer to a pizza stone or greased baking sheet.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Stir in the fennel, onions, salt, pepper and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and softened, 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes longer.
Mix the ricotta and lemon zest in a small bowl. Evenly spread over the pizza dough and top with the sausage mixture, followed by the mozzarella. Combine the tomatoes and vinegar in another bowl, and then sprinkle over the mozzarella.
Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle the basil on top and serve.