Author Notes: For this savory flatbread-cum-pizza, I based my crust on the pizza recipe in Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking with Julia. I added a little bread flour and milk (thanks to boulangere's advice), and increased the liquids to tenderize the dough. Of course, you can use any pizza-dough recipe you like, as long as you make enough for two pies. I liked her idea of using onions as a sweet and savory addition to the sage-walnut-goat cheese base I'd envisioned, but I emphasized shallots. I added a little tartness with my new main squeeze, Meyer lemon, along with a bit of the zest, but this is also good without these additions.
Thanks to hardlikearmour, Pierino, boulangere, sfmiller, susan g, and hrosdail for their help in working out the kinks in my pizza crust. - creamtea
Food52 Review: Love this recipe! The dough is easy to make and roll out. The topping is outrageously good. This makes a great meal or a very elegant appetizer when cut into smaller slices. I made 3 rather than 2 pizzas since I made mine on a pizza stone that couldn’t accommodate the larger pie. I just picked a meyer lemon from my windowsill plant and simply cut small slices to lay on top rather than zest and juice it. When I took the pizza out of the oven, I scattered another finely sliced sage leaf over the top. I plan on making this again very soon. - Helen's All Night Diner
Makes two 11 x 17 pizzas
Pizza Dough (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)-makes enough for 2 pies
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1-3/4 cup warm water (80º F.)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided (you may need less)
- 1/2 cup bread flour, divided
- 1-3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Combine yeast, water and milk in a large bowl. Whisk to combine, then set aside for about 5 minutes
- Whisk in the olive oil, then 1/4 cup of the bread flour and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. Cover with plastic wrap, then set aside to rise in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours. (I sometimes warm the oven very briefly on low, then switch it off and put on the pilot light before putting in the yeast- flour mixture to rise). At the end of this time, a bubbly soft sponge of about twice the volume of the original mixture will have formed
- With a rubber spatula, stir and fold the sponge to deflate. Gradually add the salt, the last 1/4 cup of bread flour, and some of the remaining all-purpose flour, stirring with a wooden spoon and adding just enough until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl forms itself into a cohesive mass. You probably will not need all of the flour. The dough should be soft. Put the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, turn on mixer to low speed. Gradually increase speed to medium high and beat about 5 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic. Turn it out onto a lightly floured board, add a little extra flour if necessary to create a workable dough, and knead for several turns--less than a minute.
- Oil a large bowl with a thin film of olive oil, form the dough into a smooth ball, and turn it into the bowl. Turn it over to oil the other side, then cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise for about another 1-1/2 hours. After this second rise, you should have a bubbly dough. After deflating and dividing (see step 5 below), you can wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest overnight in the refrigerator for improved texture.
For the glazed onion-shallot mixture (makes more than enough for two pies)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and sliced thinly crosswise
- 4 large or 6 small shallots, halved and sliced thinly lengthwise
- 3 fat cloves of garlic, crushed with the flat side of a knife and coarsely chopped
- 10-12 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped (3 - 4 tablespoons, loosely packed)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly-ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon zest from a Meyer lemon (removed with a zester) (optional)
- juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon (optional)
- cornmeal for sprinkling the pan
- about 3 ounces soft, fresh goat cheese from a log, crumbled
- 1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted in a rimmed baking sheet in a 375º oven for 8-10 minutes, cooled and coarsely broken
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees
- In a large heavy saute pan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add onions, garlic and shallots and saute, tossing and stirring, until they turn golden. Add the salt and pepper. When the onions and shallots are very tender and well browned, add the sage leaves and saute until wilted. Add the Meyer lemon juice and zest, if using and saute another minute.
- Remove from flame and allow to cool to room temperature. (Makes enough for two pies with some left over).
- Grease two rimmed, 11 x 17 inch baking sheets with a bit of olive oil and sift some cornmeal over; a mesh tea strainer works well for this
- When the dough is ready, deflate gently and divide in half. Form each half into a dome or disc. Keep one disc covered while you form the other to fit the measurements of the pan. Flatten the disc as much as possible, then stretch it into shape, keeping the edges a little thicker than the interior. If a thin spot or two forms, that is okay. You can aim for a large disc or fit the dough into the rectangle of the pan. Don't worry if the shape is not perfect. Just call it rustic.
- Brush the edges of the dough with a little olive oil. Spread the shallot mixture lightly over the dough, leaving a 1" margin all around. Scatter some of the walnuts and the cheese. Keep the topping light. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and repeat with the other half of the dough. Remove the covering. Bake the pizzas in the bottom third of the oven, about 5-10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking, until edges are golden. You may need to turn down to 400 or 450º, watching carefully to make sure the walnuts do not burn--not too much anyway. There will be some burnt onion edges.
- Remove from the oven, cut into squares, and serve hot.