So it should come as no surprise that I love homemade pizza. What’s not to love? It’s easy, it tastes good, and it tends to impress anyone who doesn’t make homemade pizza themselves. And while I love the ‘classic’ pizza combination of red sauce, mozzarella and Italian sausage, when I’m in the mood for something special, nothing beats a smoked salmon and brie pizza.

There’s nothing too labor intensive about this recipe. The only thing you need to make ahead is the pizza dough – and really, any recipe for pizza dough will work. Heck, if you’re not in the mood to wait the hour and a half to make homemade pizza dough you can check with your local grocery store to see if the bakery sells uncooked pizza dough. It’s an easy time saver that I have been known to use.

The cut-up brie is easy enough to prep. When I make this recipe I always throw the brie in the freezer for 15 minutes before I cut the rind off. The sub-zero temperature firms up the cheese and makes it much easier to cut into small pieces. I don’t have any trick to make the salmon easier to cut up – in fact, depending on the smoked salmon you use it may be easier to tear into little pieces rather than cutting it. As with everything in this easy recipe, use what works best for you.

The rest of the process is pretty self explanatory. Because the brie and smoked salmon are rather delicate – at least at high temperatures – you need to blind bake the pizza crust without any toppings. Once the crust is almost brown, you pull it from the oven and quickly scatter the cheese, salmon and onions over the top. Another few minutes in the oven melts everything together. What comes out is a wonderful combination of a pizza and a Sunday morning lox bagel. I would advise anyone making this to cut the pizza slices small, since the dish can be very rich. But even in a small slice the wonderfulness of homemade pizza makes it all worthwhile – and you never know who it might impress.

Smoked Salmon and Brie Pizza

Adapted from New Pizza by James McNair

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough

Vegetable or olive oil for brushing crust and drizzling over toppings

1 pound of brie cheese, rind discarded and cut into small pieces

12 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon cut into small pieces

1/2 cup minced sweet onion ( I used green onions)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees (My oven smokes at that temperature – so I used 450 and it turned out fine). Brush pizza screen or pan with oil. Stretch out the pizza dough and place on the screen or pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then brush with oil.

Put the crust in the oven and bake until the crust just begins to brown (around 5-7 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and top the crust with the cheese, followed by the salmon and onion. Drizzle evenly with oil. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden (around 5-7 minutes longer).

Remove the pizza from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.