Red Pepper and Camembert Pizza

Created by my good friend and colleague Linda Marino, owner of La Bonne Maison catering in Watertown, Massachusetts, the best caterer in the city.

The farm was loaded with peppers so this recipe popped into our heads. Rich, creamy, savory, with a touch of tang, the pizza is a real treat. The brioche adds another layer of richness and deliciousness to this distinctive dish. But, if you don't have enough time to make the brioche, you may make this with pizza dough. If you do want to tackle brioche-making, try to make it the day before you plan on serving it, or on the morning of the day you want to bake the pizza. Not only will it ease up the work, the flavor of the brioche will bloom and improve with the aging time.

Cut the pizza into small squares or diamonds for a unique, exquisite hors d'oeuvres or enjoy with a salad for lunch or dinner. You may sauté the peppers ahead of time and keep them refrigerated until needed. 

For the Brioche

1 envelope yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup milk, warmed
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened

For the Topping

6 large sweet red peppers (you may use a combination of red and orange if you have them)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Camembert or Brie cheese, well chilled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil

To make the brioche, place the yeast, sugar, and milk in a large mixing bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the flour and salt and form into a soft dough. Knead with a spoon or your fingertips and gently work in the butter. Place in a clean, buttered bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.

While the dough rises, prepare the topping. Quarter, seed, and trim the peppers and cut crosswise into strips. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the peppers. Season well with salt and pepper and sauté until softened and lightly colored, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Lower the heat to medium, if necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble the brioche, lightly grease an 11- by 17-inch or 10½- by 15½ -inch jellyroll pan. Punch down the dough and roll out to fit into the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan and fit it into the corners and along the edges with the side of your hand. Cut the cheese into thin slices and arrange over the brioche. Scatter the peppers over the cheese, sprinkle with the herb of choice, and let the brioche rise for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the brioche on the middle rack of the oven until golden and bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the brioche into small squares or rectangles and serve.

Topping Variations

Sautéed onions and cooked, crumbled bacon

Cooked, crumbled sausage with sautéed mushrooms

Sautéed greens and garlic

Recipe and Photograph Copyright Deirdre Davis 2016
Use of content requires permission.

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