These Mushroom Thyme Pizzas are such a treat and make for such a fun pizza night with the family! With simple toppings, the ingredients really shine. You can use instant yeast, simply mix the yeast into the dry ingredients and skip activating the yeast (don't modify the other ingredients).
In a large measuring cup, mix together your lukewarm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it sit for approximately 5-10 minutes, until the yeast starts to ferment and bubble. Stir in the olive oil and set aside.
Place the semolina flour and 2 cups of all purpose flour along with the salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Create a well in the center.
Pour the wet mixture into the well along and stir together with a fork or wooden spoon until it is well mixed. Transfer the dough to a well floured clean surface and sprinkle extra flour on the dough.
Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough looks smooth and stretchy, adding extra flour as you go, being careful not to add too much to keep the dough from being too stiff. The dough should feel soft and stretchy when pulled (just slightly stiffer than my bread dough if you have made that).
Place the ball of dough in a large bowl coated with olive oil, dust the top of the dough with flour, and cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm draft-free area for about 1-1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down. At this point you can either refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 2 days, covered with plastic or beeswax wrap and occasionally punched down) or divide the dough into 4-8 portions and let the dough balls sit to relax while preheating your oven (depending on how big you want your pizzas). If you have refrigerated your dough be sure to bring it to room temperature before you are ready to cook.
Once ready to cook, heat your oven to the highest heat setting (500F for most ovens) and place your pizza stone in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
Using your hands, form your pizza crusts 15-20 minutes before cooking your pizza on a flat surface dusted generously with semolina flour until it is nice and thin. It's best to do this on a pizza peel to easily transfer to the hot stone (the paddle that they use in those fancy restaurants).
Carefully transfer your formed pizza dough to the stone, add your toppings as per below and bake until the pizza is golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Cut and serve hot.
Drizzle the olive oil evenly on the prepared pizza crust, leaving a 1/2” margin along the edge. This is optional but makes for a delicious crust.
Layer with the mushrooms and finish with a thin layer of the cheeses. Remove the leaves from one sprig of thyme and spread it evenly over the pizza; garnish the pizza with additional thyme sprigs once the pizza is cooked.
*you can, should you wish, skip the semolina flour and use just all-purpose flour