My Lemon Anise/Fennel Homemade Pizza Recipe (Video)

I go through phases of loving pizza and being in the mood of other foods for a while. I actually do this with most of my favorite foods. Too much of a good thing sometimes becomes not such a good thing. Like listening to a new song on the radio that touches you, and then hearing it on repeat for days, by the time you've heard it 30 times you're sometimes not as into it as you were when you first heard it. My favorite slice is a mushroom and roasted garlic slice. There's a pizzeria not too far from my home that makes the perfect one, no canned mushrooms for this girl! Otherwise, I tend to stick to your typical NY slice, slathered with sauce and piled with gooey melted cheese. I once had a specialty flatbread s'mores desert style pizza with chocolate and marshmallows and tiny sprinkles of graham cracker crumbs though and it was incredible. The fact that I thought lemon-fennel pizza with ricotta cheese was a good idea is surprising and totally out of character in fact. It ended up really working though. One thing I'd say for next time, I'd cut the lemons into smaller bits and leave less of the peel intact. Anyways, I documented the process of getting this pizza ready from start to finish as I like to do with cool recipes like this one, go watch this weeks video here or read until the end of the post where it will be inserted as always! 

Keep in mind your variation options as well- anise bulb is extremely similar to fennel with it's sweet and tart slightly licorice-like flavors so either one will definitely work. Also, using juice in the dough recipe really sweetens the crust up a bit later and gives it dimension, I like to use Apple & Eve berry juice for this but apple or light grape would be fine too. You can also switch out your citrus- something like grapefruit, lime or even orange would work great too. Lastly, change up your cheese if you like- farmers cheese, crumbled goat cheese, crumbled haloumi cheese or even just good old mozzarella or cheddar would be just fine. 

Lemon Anise/Fennel Homemade Pizza

Yields: 2 Large Pies of Pizza 


4 Cups White Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Lukewarm Water
1/2 Teaspoon Active Fresh Yeast
1 Cup Apple/Berry Juice
1 Large Bulb Anise/Fennel
1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Additional Salt & Pepper 
2 Fresh Lemons
1 Teaspoon Honey
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese 


1. Pour 4 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. 

2. Combine yeast and lukewarm water, stir and let it sit for 15 minutes. 

3. Add apple or berry juice to flour mixture in bowl. Then add the yeast mixture. 

4. Stir with a whisk until too hard to manage and then add a little sprinkle of flour and mix and kneed a couple of minutes with your hands. Once done, cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel and put in a warm spot. Leave the 8-10 hours before working with it again.

5. In the meantime, start preparing the anise. Cut off any roots or leafy bits and remove the outer layer of the bulb. Then cut the bulb in half and begin slicing it up from the outside end inwards. Once you have about a half a cup of sliced anise, place it in a medium sized bowl and add the apple cider vinegar as well as a about a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Place it in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours like that, it mellows the strong flavors of the anise. 

6. Then work on the lemons. Slice 2 washed lemons in to thin slices and then cut each slice in half. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with honey and a generous amount of olive oil. Bake on 425 for 10 minutes until slightly caramelized then flip each piece over and place back in the oven to bake for another 5 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before attempting to move them at all. 

7. After about 8 hours at least, remove your dough from the bowl to a floured surface. If the dough is very sticky (it most likely will be), then need in some flour until it's workable. Slice the piece of dough in half, separate on a tray, cover and let sit for another hour before shaping. 

8. Preheat oven to 500. 

9. Take one of the two pieces of pizza dough as this recipe makes two pizzas. (Prepare one at a time or freeze one to use at another time even if you like.  I prepared one like this and one as a classic pizza.) Roll the dough out using a rolling pin or your fingers pressing down from the center outwards and then flipping the dough and doing that again until thin but even all the way across. Then, grease a round pizza pan or stone and press the dough onto it, spreading it so that it fits the shape nicely. 

10. Place the dough in the oven for 15 minutes on the middle rack and allow to bake until it has a nice crispy outer edge/crust and the dough at the center is cooked through but still soft. Allow it to cool a minute or so and then spread with ricotta cheese. Remove anise from apple cider vinegar and spread the slices over top of the ricotta. Add the lemon slices. Put the pizza back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes still on 500 and allow to bake a bit more. 

11. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a moment and then slice into 8 even slices with a pizza cutter. Serve warm. 

I really hope you will give my Lemon Anise/Fennel Homemade Pizza a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! Criticisms and advice are welcome too! And feel free to tag me on Instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

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