On weekends, I am pretty much into homemade pizza, which my family doesn’t mind at all. Now that my daughters are (almost) grown up, we are way past Pizza Margherita and am I able to experiment with the toppings. This recipe of mine is also featured in ZO Zondag (So Sunday), a book full of Sunday inspiration (see sidebar). This topping with butternut squash is still among our favorites, and since it’s Sunday, rainy and windy, we are having it again tonight!
This is my all-time favorite dough recipe. It makes 4 thin crusted crispy pizzas. I preferably let it rise for a night in the fridge, but if I crave for pizza and just can’t wait, I let it rise for an hour or so. If you are seriously into pizza-baking, do buy a pizza or baking stone; the average oven simply is not hot enough.
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH
Action time: 30 minutes + 1-2 hours or a night rising time
500 g / 4 cups / 1 lb 2 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
9 g/ 2½ tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
about 250 ml / 1 cup warm water
fine semolina flour, for dusting
Extra: plastic wrap, pizza or baking stone and pizza peel
1. In a bowl, whisk flour, yeast, and salt. Add the olive oil and water and knead until a soft and elastic dough has formed, about 10 minutes by hand (or 5-7 minutes if you use a kitchen stand mixer with dough hook). If the dough is too dry add a little extra water.
2. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1-2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead the dough and divide it into 4 equally sized balls. Brush the dough balls lightly with some olive oil and let them rest under a piece of plastic wrap on a warm place for about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place the pizza stone on a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven at its highest setting (about 250C / 500F). Dust the work surface with semolina and roll out one dough ball. Dust the pizza peel with semolina flour (this helps to keep the dough from sticking) and lay the dough on the peel. Top with the butternut squash topping below and let it slide onto the pizza stone.
5. Bake the pizza for about 5-8 minutes, depending of the heat of your oven. When the pizza is done, slide the peel under it and place pizza on a cutting board. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
PIZZA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH, POMEGRANATE & FETA
Butternut squash makes for an excellent pizza topping. Roast the squash in advance.
Action Time: 35 minutes (plus the time it needs to make the dough)
½ large butternut squash, seeds removed
olive oil, for brushing
1 can of tomatoes (400 g / 14 oz)
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 portion of basic pizza dough (see recipe above)
150 g-200 g / 5.5 oz-7 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 rosemary sprig, needles roughly chopped
a handful of pomegranate seeds
2 large handfuls of arugula
crushed red pepper flakes or freshly ground black pepper
Extra: baking sheet covered with parchment paper, hand blender
1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Cut the squash into thin slices (approx. 7 mm / ¼ inch thick), there is no need to peel the squash first. Brush both sides with some olive oil and lay the slices next to each other on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes in the oven until soft. Remove from the oven (and turn up the oven temperature if you’re going to make the pizzas immediately).
2. Puree the tomatoes roughly with a hand blender. Mix the tomato puree with the garlic, some salt and pepper.
3. Prepare and bake the pizzas individualy (see step 4 for basic pizza dough). Smear the tomato sauce on top of the pizzas. Top with squash and feta cheese (save about half of the feta for garnish). Sprinkle over the rosemary. Bake the pizzas for 5-8 minutes in the hot oven.
4. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and the rest of the feta. Garnish with arugula, sprinkle over some crushed red pepper or grind over some black pepper. Brush the pizza crust with some olive oil and sprinkle some olive oil over the pizzas.