Thursday, July 26, 2012

Caramelized Onion, Gorgonzola, and Pear Pizza

Caramelized Onion, Gorgonzola, and Pear Pizza
Makes 2 – 10 to 12-inch pizzas
                                                                                  Prep time: 3 hours
                                                                                  Pizza cook time: 12 minutes


authentic pizza dough:

2½ cups Bread Flour, plus additional for work surface
1 cup Warm (105° F) Water
1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
¼ cup Honey
¼ cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil
4 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt


2 pounds onions, sliced
½ stick butter
2 or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 large pears, sliced length-wise, core section removed
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Balsamic Vinegar
2 ounces of Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


authentic pizza dough:

1.  In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the water and honey stir to combine and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.  If the yeast doesn't "proof" (get "foamy") pour it out and start again it is important to have a live yeast mixture.
2.  Meanwhile place the flour and the salt into a sifter and sift it into the medium bowl  of a stand mixer.  Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil and the "proofed" yeast mixture.  Turn the mixer, fitted with dough hooks,  to knead  and turn it on.  Continue kneading (mixing) until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hooks (scrap the sides of the bowl to move flour into the path of the hooks as needed).
3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky (add flour gradually as needed to reach the slightly tacky state), 3 to 5 minutes.
4.  Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap cloth and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5.  After the dough  has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a 12-inch log.  Divide the log in half and form each half into equally sized dough balls.  Lightly oil a 2 large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place each dough ball into its own bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover each bowl with plastic and set in a warm, draft-free place until the nearly double in size again, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


1.  In a large sauté pan melt the butter and add the olive oil so the butter doesn’t burn.  When the oil and butter mixture is hot add the sliced onions, and sprinkle with the sugar.  Sauté the onion slice until they begin to brown.  
2.  Stir in 4 tablespoons of the Balsamic vinegar and continue sautéing until the onions are caramelized.
3.  Slice each half pear in half and slice the resulting quarters length-wise into thin slices of pear.  Gently toss the pear slices with the lemon juice so they don't turn brown. 

Constructing and baking the pizzas:

1.  Place an appropriately sized pizza stone on the middle shelf of your oven and preheat the oven to 450° F.
2.  Place one of the dough balls on a lightly floured work surface and flatten it into a thick disk then,  with your fingertips and palms and  working from the center of the disk out to the edges, press it into a thin disk of dough approximately 10 to 12-inch round and about 1/8 inch thick (if necessary use a rolling pin to achieve the 1/8-inch thickness [don’t worry if the pizza isn’t perfectly round . . . that’s called “rustica” and it’s the way “real” Italian pizza looks in Italy]).  If you're really brave you can try the spin and toss method of forming the pie (this dough is perfect for it) just remember to use your knuckles when spinning and tossing . . . fingertips can cause holes).  Sprinkle flour over the surface of this thin disk (this will become the bottom of the pie when you place the pizza base on the peel  in the next instruction).
3.  Distribute some corn meal over the surface of a pizza peel (this will act as “ball bearings” and allow the dough rounds to move easily over the surface of the peel) and transfer the formed pizza base onto the peel insuring that the lightly floured side is on the bottom.  Evenly spread ½ of the caramelized onions over the pizza, evenly arrange ½ the pear slices on the pie,  evenly crumble ½ the Gorgonzola over the pie and finally evenly distribute ½ the shredded mozzarella.
4.  Gently shake the peel to insure the pizza moves freely (if it doesn’t gently lift the edges of the pizza and distribute additional corn meal until it does), using the peel slide the pizza onto the stone and bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 12 minute in a 450°F oven. Remove from the oven, slice into 8 wedge shaped slices and serve.
5.  Repeat with the remaining dough and remaining  ½ toppings and cheeses. 


Somkhe said...

I just had to read the title to know this is definitely a "must do". Hubby will love it.

calou said...

I hope he does, it was my tribute to my grandfather, I used to enjoy sitting with him snacking on blue cheese and pear slices.

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