Pizza is always going to be popular in our house, as I’m sure is true for many. While my toddler may not be open to any more than one kind, at least the rest of us are so if I make pizza, I often make a few toppings. This bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza may be a bit different from your average pizza, but it’s a delicious taste of fall. The smooth butternut squash pizza base, topped with sweet-savory bacon jam, slices of pear and gently sharp pecorino. It’s a great combination.
Pizza on the menu
Despite my resolution after I posted the beet, blue cheese and bacon pizza earlier in the year, I have a confession: we haven’t had pizza at home very often. You see, we’ve got in a bit of a habit of going out most weekends to either the local pizza restaurant or other place for dinner and my toddler invariably has pizza. I don’t mind that once a week, especially when it’s generally pretty good pizza, but I don’t really want to make it at home as well. Finally, though, he’s started going for other things when we’re not at the pizza place, so pizza at home has come back on the menu.
Our local pizza restaurant often has seasonal pizzas alongside their standard list which, this time of year, often include some with a butternut squash base. I decided on our last pizza-at-home night to make my own version with this bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza, making use of some of the delicious apple bacon jam I made recently. It’s a relatively simple but delicious combination.
How it’s made
True, you need to think ahead a little on this by roasting the squash for the base and making the dough and leaving it to rise. However those both have very limited hands-on work and it’s still not all that long. When you come to put this butternut squash pizza together, it’s all pretty quick and easy. You simply spread on the squash puree, top it with pieces of pear and dots of the bacon jam, then grate over some pecorino. Bake and enjoy.
This bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza has a lovely balance of sweet and savory flavors. It has a definite comfort factor, perfectly fitting given the fall ingredients. My husband said it was tasty but it wasn’t pizza, more of a flatbread. Maybe he’s right. But if you can put aside being a little traditionalist, this bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza is definitely worth a try.
Bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza
A delicious sweet-savory combination of fall flavors in a pizza - so good!
For the topping
- 2 1/4 lb butternut squash 1kg, peeled weight
- 2 pears
- 1 cup bacon jam see separate recipe
- 3/4 cup pecorino 15g, approx, finely grated
For the pizza base
- 2 cups white bread flour 265g
- 1 cup whole wheat flour 135g
- 1 cup all purpose flour 132g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp fast-acting dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt eg Greek-style
- 1 1/2 cups water 360ml, warm
Cut the squash into chunks and roast at 400F/200C until tender (approx 20-25min) then leave to cool slightly. Blend the cooked squash until it's a relatively smooth paste. (Note the squash can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight.)
To make the pizza dough, put the flours, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix together. Make a slight well in the middle and add the oil, yogurt and water and carefully mix together into a dough. It will be slightly wet and sticky. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, stretching the dough away from you with the back of your hand, folding the stretched part over on top of the rest of the dough, turning 90 degrees then repeating. Add a little more flour as you go, if needed. After around 5min it should stop feeling sticky. Clean out the mixing bowl, lightly oil it then form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover with cling film/plastic wrap and leave it to rest somewhere warm for about an hour, possibly more, until it doubles in size.
When ready to make the pizza, preheat oven to 425F/220C.
Knock back the pizza dough (prod with your fingers after turning it out of the bowl) and divide into 4. Keep the pieces you are not working with to one side, covered, while you work on the one pizza.
Roll out the pizza dough into a circle or rectangle, as you prefer, and as suits your baking sheet/tray. Roll it about as thin as you can, transfer to a piece of parchment paper on top of your baking sheet/tray. (Note you can pre-heat the baking sheet and then slide the parchment on to it just before you cook. This may help it cook more evenly but from things I have read but I haven't done a side by side comparison).
Spread the squash puree over the pizza dough so it is fairly even and leaves a small rim around the edge without the paste. Thinly slice the pear then lay slices evenly over the squash mixture. Add drops of the bacon jam in between then sprinkle over the cheese.
Bake for approx 15-20 minutes until the dough is browning and the cheese is just starting to brown as well.
See all the other pizza-inspired recipes being shared today:
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