Look at how fabulous the interior of the crust looks ... who needs toppings with a crust that gorgeous?  You may notice the crust isn’t as golden as other recipes - and that’s caused mostly by the 450 degree oven temperature (instead of 500 degrees) as well as the length of cooking time is slightly shorter.


Ingredients:


  1. - 6 ounces 50/50 All-Purpose Flour & Cake Flour Pizza Dough

  2. - 2 ounces Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese, crumbled

  3. - 1 ounce cream cheese, softened

  4. - 2 ounces prosciutto, torn into pieces

  5. - 1 pear, sliced - no need to peel

  6. - .5 ounce pine nuts

  7. - olive oil for drizzling - 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon

  8. - garlic powder, to taste

  9. - Sandwich Sprinkle Seasoning*, to taste  (www.penzeys.com)

  10. - Parsley, chopped for garnishing


  1. *Sandwich Sprinkle Seasoning is a blend of salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.


Directions:


Prepare The Oven and Your Ingredients + Preheat The Oven:


Position a rack with baking stone in the lower third of your oven.  Preheat to 450 degrees.  Have all your ingredients, except the pear (to prevent premature browning) measured out in advance. 


As with other pizza recipes:


Take the measured amount of dough out of your bucket and with lightly floured hands, quickly form it into a ball by stretching the edges around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter-turn as you go and form the ball.  This should take 20 - 30 seconds.  The bottom of the ball will appear as a collection of loose ends, but it will flatten out.  Place the dough ball on a floured work surface.


Forming The Crust:


To form the dough ball into a crust-like shape - flour your hands and/or the dough a bit more and begin pressing and patting the dough into a disk-like shape.  If the dough is really springing back on you, cover it with some plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 - 20 minutes.  While shaping the dough into a crust, if you’re doing this on a floured work surface (instead of using your hands with the help of gravity), lift the crust/dough up occasionally to be sure it isn’t sticking to your surface.  You can use a dough scraper to help release the dough so you are able to flour the surface underneath.  I like to have my dough about 1/8 inch thick (and often closer to 1/16 inch) - and I was able to get about a 10 inch crust out of the 6 ounces of dough.  Trust me, you’ll quickly find a quick and simple method that works for you once you’ve had some real-life practice - have fun!


Transferring The Crust to The Pizza Peel:


Transfer the rolled out pizza crust to the prepared pizza peel.  I have had good success using plain yellow cornmeal to dust the surface of my pizza peel to prevent the dough from sticking to the peel and to help it glide almost effortlessly on to the stone.  You could also use flour, instead of cornmeal, on your pizza peel if desired.  Once the crust is on the peel, quickly begin topping the pizza. 


NOTE:  The longer the dough sits on the peel, the more chance it will begin sticking - and this means you could potentially have a mess when you go to transfer it from the peel to the baking stone.  This is why it’s important that your ingredients are measured out in advance.  It’s also important to measure the ingredients so that the pizza isn’t too heavy.  The more toppings (i.e., weight), the more chances the crust won’t properly cook in the middle and that it will also stick to the peel. 


Topping Your Pizza:


To top this particular pizza - I started with a drizzle of olive oil over the entire surface of the  crust, and then sprinkle with garlic powder and Sandwich Sprinkle Seasoning.  Next, I used a bristled pastry brush to combine the seasonings with the olive oil (I think you get more control with the bristles versus the silicone ones). 


Then I dotted the top of the crust with the gorgonzola and cream cheese.  FYI - I buy our cheese at the warehouse store, it’s significantly cheaper!   OK - then - do a quick practice check to be sure your pizza glides along the peel and isn’t sticking anywhere before you place it into the oven.  If it is - use your dough scraper to release and place more cornmeal underneath.


Transferring Your Pizza Into The Oven:


And then it’s time to place the pizza on the preheated baking stone.  How I get it off the peel is to open the oven door (obviously) - and place my peel (with the pizza on it) close to the back 1/3 of the baking stone.  And then with a quick firm pushing motion, jerk the peel forward and the back half of the pizza will slide off the peel and onto the stone ... Once a part of the pizza has reached the stone, gently pull the peel back towards you and the rest of the pizza will slide off and on to the stone.  And then while the pizza is in the oven - you can rinse off your pizza peel so it’s clean when you pull the pizza out from the oven.


Baking Your Pizza:


Because this pizza is baked in two stages, the first baking time is only 3 - 4 minutes, basically until the cheeses have started to seriously melt.  One you’ve reached that point, pull the pizza from the oven (back on to the pizza peel) with long-handled grill-type tongs.  At this point you don’t really have to concern yourself with the crust sticking the peel because it’s essentially been par-baked!


So, quickly slice your pear and place it, the prosciutto and pine nuts over the partially baked crust with melted cheese.  Place the pizza back into the oven (it will slide of the peel very easily) ... and bake until the pears are soft, the crust has begun to turn golden and the pine nuts smell slightly toasted - just a couple more minutes, if you want it to go a little longer - just watch watch it.  The lower baking temperature prevents it from quickly over-cooking.


Time To Eat!:


And then, remove the pizza from the oven, give it a minute or two to set and then ... time to eat!  This is one fun and scrumptious way to economically repurpose your leftovers!The more you practice making homemade pizza - seriously trust me that the more confident you’ll become!  And for more Pizza ideas - click HERE for the Pizza, Breadstick & Sandwich Recipe Index.