A new north London restaurant from Paul Michaels, owner of Hexagon classic car dealers, The Engine Rooms combines beautiful classic cars, an impressive modern art collection and a Mediterranean-inspired all-day menu. With chef James Harrison heading up the kitchen, the restaurant has a specific focus on fish and vegetable-focussed dishes, with intentionally limited meat options. Highlights include the likes of grey mullet ceviche with confit Isle of Wight tomato dressing, cured egg yolk, samphire and pistachio, or burrata and truffle pizza.
Inspired by a pizza served at Dinner for 100 in New Cross, The Engine Rooms’ burrata and truffle pizza is based with a fairly simple dough, then topped with a rich sauce of roasted garlic and mascarpone, then crowned with wild mushrooms, a whole burrata and fresh truffle shavings to add a flourish of decadence.
On the burrata and truffle pizza, The Engine Rooms head chef James Harrison said: “This pizza is rich and very indulgent – a firm favourite with the customers at The Engine Rooms. It’s our bestselling pizza and we won’t be taking it off the menu any time soon because of its popularity.
“There is a pizza place in New Cross Gate called Dinner for 100 (the best pizza I have eaten in London, but as we know that is up for debate amongst the pizza lovers) where I had a garlic bread with cheese, but instead of using classic mozzarella they used burrata. I asked for mushrooms as an extra topping, and it was amazing. That was my inspiration – and we then elevated it at The Engine Rooms using wild forest mushrooms, roasted garlic instead of raw, and with a chive oil to cut through the richness. To top it off, we grate fresh seasonal truffle on top. It’s an absolute banger.”
- 500 g wild mushrooms
- 6 burrata
- Fresh truffle to taste
- Chives chopped, to taste
For the pizza dough
- 1 kg caputo blu flour
- 650 ml filtered cold water
- 25 g Maldon sea salt
- 4 g fresh yeast
For the roast garlic and mascarpone sauce
- 4 garlic heads
- 1 kg mascarpone
- 50 ml olive oil
- 100 ml truffle oil
- 100 g parmesan grated
- 100 ml water
To make the pizza dough
- Mix the filtered water with the yeast and store in the fridge so it’s cold. Then mix flour and salt, before adding the cold water and yeast mix. Mix until incorporated evenly – that’s around 10 minutes on a low speed if using a mixer.
- Once combined leave the dough to rest, covered, for 2-3 hours
- After the resting period, weigh and make dough balls at 270g-280g and leave to prove for another 2-3 hours. If you are not using the dough that day, it can stay in the fridge for 2-3 days. Before using it make sure to bring the dough out of the fridge for 2 hours to get up to room temperature.
To make the roast garlic and mascarpone sauce
- Cut the top section of the garlic to expose the cloves (leaving the skin on), cover in olive oil and double wrap in tin foil, cook at 160c for 40 mins until golden brown.
- Once cooked and cooled enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of the skins and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. This should make a nice spreadable sauce.
To prepare the pizzas
- For the pizza take some nice mushrooms (around 500g for six pizzas – you can get these from a good supermarket or even borough market, where you can get fresh truffle) pan fry them in butter and set aside.
- Pre heat oven to 350c or as high as possible.
- Roll out the dough. 270g should easily create a 12-inch pizza. Try not to use a rolling pin but for beginners I suggest using one. You can also roll it out on a tray as well and bake like bread.
- Once the pizza is rolled out spread your truffle and mascarpone sauce on evenly and add the mushrooms. Cook until golden brown (oven dependent, but if you can get it up to 350c it should take 4-6 minutes. Turning the pizza in the oven will help the colour evenly when cooking.).
- Once cooked, finish the pizza with chopped chives and place your burrata in the middle. Grate over fresh truffle for extra wow factor, before breaking into the burrata, making a mess and enjoy!