Pear Fennel Pizza
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 3/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup tepid water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 large fennel stalks
- 2 ripe pears
- Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil or more as needed
Pizza Dough: In a large mixing bowl add the water, yeast and olive oil. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Add the flour and salt, mix into a homogenous ball. Cover the mixture with a damp towel and let stand for 20 minutes. Place on a floured tray and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for 4 hours or more.
Toppings: Remove the fennel's fronds (reserve for later use as an herb) and stalks. Halve the bulb and remove the core from each half. Thinly slice. Add just enough olive oil to a large skillet to lightly coat the the pan. Warm the pan over a medium-high heat and add the sliced fennel. Stir occasionally until the slices are mostly golden brown. Wash and dry the pear. Slice thinly.
Baking: Heat the baking sheet on your oven's highest temperature for 30 minutes. Line the backside of a sheetpan with a layer of parchment paper. Tap the dough center to deflate it then flatten it by pressing it down with your fingers. Grab it along the edges and turn it like you would a steering wheel. Grab the very edge so it is not paper thin in the middle nor very thick at the edge. Give the dough a final stretch with the back of your hands to correct the shape. Set the unbaked crust on the parchment paper. Top with a thin layer of olive oil. Quickly, open the oven, pull the rack out partway, and slide the pizza with the parchment onto the already hot pan or pizza-stone in the oven. Push it back and close the door. After 5 minutes, quickly add the pear slices and Gorgonzola. Bake it for another 2 minutes. Top with caramelized fennel and enjoy!
Variations: Instead of pear, try Granny Smith apples. Dice the apples and pan fry it with the fennel and a 1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar.
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