Technically, it’s spring, but considering I’m currently wearing leggings under fleece pajama pants, wrapped in a blanket burrito with a space heater pointed at my feet, I think a pumpkin recipe is totally justifiable.
I quickly threw this dish together last night after my 6-7 pm yoga class and we were enjoying freshly baked flatbread and the most recent episode of Walking Dead before 8. Made-from-scratch flatbread may not seem like a weeknight meal type of endeavor, but it’s totally do-able, thanks to Deb from Smitten Kitchen, who created the most delicious, fuss-free dough recipe, perfect for weeknight pizzas and flatbreads.
I shared my passion for knead-free doughs last summer with my post on grilled pizza. Traditional pizza dough recipes were not designed with a normal person’s schedule in mind. Clearly, there is no concept of the 9-5 in Italy. For years, I’ve exclusively used Jim Leahy’s no knead dough recipe, but even that had an odd 18 hour rise, which means making it at midnight or letting it go a few extra hours. Enter Deb. She figured out how to adapt his recipe to, well, a normal person’s schedule, adjusting the amount of yeast for an overnight, all-day or quick rise. My hero.
I like to use spelt flour to make whole grain doughs. Spelt is an ancient type of wheat. It produces a softer, less dense dough compared to regular whole wheat flour. I use it almost exclusively over regular whole wheat flour, unless I’m looking for a wheaty flavor, which I sometimes like in cookies or pancakes. I purchase it in bulk from the local health food store, but if you can’t find it, you could order it online. Avoid spelt if you have celiac disease, as spelt does contain gluten. However, many people with gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies can tolerate it, because the gluten in spelt is slightly different than gluten in regular wheat. Also, I find many people on a low FODMAPS diet for IBS can tolerate spelt without digestive issues.
- 3 cups spelt flour, plus additional for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoons sea or kosher salt
- 1¼ cup water
- Small handful of cornmeal
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing/drizzling
- 1 14-ounce can pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary, divided
- 1 pear, halved lengthwise, cored and sliced ¼-inch thick
- ⅔ cup crumbled gorgonzola
- Handful of microgreens or arugula
- Truffle oil, for garnish (optional)
- In the morning, mix the flour, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl. Slowly add the water while stirring until it comes together into a dough. Add another tablespoon or two of water if it feels too dry. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot to rise about 12 hours, until doubled in size. If you don't have a warm spot in your house because your thermostat is set to 65 degrees after two months of $400 (!!!!) electric bills, turn the oven to 200 degrees, turn it off when it hits 200 and place the dough inside. After 12 hours, the dough should be loose, stretchy and sticky.
- About 30 minutes before baking the pizza, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and cook, slowly cooking and stirring every so often. After 20 minutes, the onions should be caramelized - jammy, caramel colored and slightly sweet. Season lightly with salt and set aside in a small bowl. You could also caramelize the onions the night before.
- Preheat oven to 550 degrees (or the highest it will go).
- Take your largest rimmed baking sheet, spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle evently with cornmeal then spelt flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto the baking sheet. Press evenly across the baking sheet, starting with the outside of the dough and working in (this will keep it from getting too thin in the middle), then moving to the outside.
- Brush dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of rosemary. Take spoonfuls of the pumpkin and drop evenly across the dough. Spread evenly with a spatula, leaving room on the outside for a crust. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper across the top. Scatter caramelized onions across the pizza, then pear, then gorgonzola. Finish with the other teaspoon of rosemary and a little salt and black pepper.
- Place in the oven and bake 15 minutes until the crust is golden and crisp. If making 2 pizzas, it should take only 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and garnish with microgreens and truffle oil.