Pumpkin Pie or Pizza?

by Marjan

We can make this pizza the hard way or the easy way! Three options: make your own dough or purchase ready made ones; make your own pumpkin puree or open up a can; and finally make your dough and open a can of pumpkin puree. The later is exactly what I did! I can't remember the last time I opened a can of food, but I am making an exception here.  I made pumpkin puree once and it was so much work! Now, I purchase quality organic pumpkin puree and make my life simple. After all making pizza should be as easy as eating it!

There is nothing better than homemade pizza dough baking in the oven. Tis the season for warming up the kitchen with smells and warmth of delicious fall flavors. My easy to make pizza dough, along with flavors of sweet pumpkin, manchego cheese, sage and nutmeg, makes this healthy and nutritious pizza enjoyable either for breakfast or lunch. Optional toppings include sour cream, béchamel sauce, arugula, chopped ham and eggs. Savory and sweet, I don't know whether to call this pumpkin pie or pizza? I guess these days, it's all the same.


Be creative and add toppings you crave this time of year. Hope you enjoy making and eating your pie!

2 large pizza for 6-8 people

3 hours to prepare in advance

Ingredients

Crust:
3 1/2 - 4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 envelop instant dry yeast (approximately 2 /14 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 1/2 cups of warm water (115 degrees F)
4 tablespoons quality olive oil
*cornmeal optional

Topping:
1 15 oz. can organic pumpkin puree
1 garlic clove; minced
1 teaspoon dried crushed sage
5-6 tablespoons quality organic butter
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of ground black pepper

2 round pizza pans; or one large baking sheet

1 cup manchego cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
4-8 eggs

Optional toppings:
baby arugula; chopped
ham slices or chopped bit size pieces
prosciutto
béchamel sauce
sour cream

Using a stand mixer with bread knead attachment, combine yeast, sugar and water. Stir 3-4 times and let sit for 15 minutes until bubbles form.  Meanwhile in a separate large bowl, swift 3 cups flour & salt. Turn machine on low speed and gently add flour 1 cup at a time. Add olive oil and continue to mix increasing speed to medium. If bread is sticky and not forming into a firm ball after a minute of mixing, add flour one tablespoon at a time until a slightly sticky round dough is rendered. Remove dough and knead with your hands on a clean floured surface for 2-3 minutes. Grease mixing bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil; place dough and cover plastic wrap to keep warm for one hour until dough doubles in size. I prefer keeping my dough in the oven that is slightly warm (80-90 degrees) from either the auto pilot being on or turning the oven on to 150 degrees for 5 minutes; turning the oven off, and placing covered dough in bowl to rise.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Knead on to itself three of four times into a round ball. Cover each with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

With a rolling pin, roll out dough flat on a lightly floured surface into a large circle to cover your baking tray. If using a regular baking sheet, sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom to prevent dough from sticking and creating a crispier crust. Place rolled out dough onto pizza pan tray and let rest for additional 30 minutes before applying toppings. Repeat with second dough if using two round pizza tray vs. one pan baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F with rack 1/3 from bottom position.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, add sage, garlic and nutmeg. Once fragrant (2 minutes), add pumpkin puree, sugar, salt and pepper to combine. Blend well all ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Turn heat off.

If using béchamel sauce as a topping, click here for the recipe under instructions for making lasagna; Béchamel sauce. Prepare sauce and set aside.

Once dough has rested for about 5-10 minutes, spoon 1/2 of pumpkin sauce onto dough (save the rest of the pumpkin sauce for your pizza #2). Sprinkle with 1/2 of both cheeses and carefully crack open one egg at a time on top to serve desired amount of egg per person. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

If using ham or prosciutto, toss desired amount on top and bake pizza for 10-12 minutes (until eggs are cooked to desired consistency). Once baked, remove from oven and top with arugula. Since two pizzas will be rendered, for the other one, you can spoon béchamel sauce on top of pumpkin and eggs; and bake in the oven and later top with baby arugula as well.

If using sour cream and baby arugula, once pizza is completely baked, remove from oven and top with desired amounts of arugula or spoon full of sour cream dollops on top.
Play around with any combination of toppings your heart desires! Have fun experimenting.
Enjoy!





















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