I don't generally like pizzas. Perhaps I should qualify that, I don't generally like pizzas unless I have made them myself. Bought pizza bases are thick, doughy and rather unpleasant things and I would rather give them a miss personally. I like my pizza bases to be thin and crispy and fresh with a crunch.
Fortunately pizza bases are one of the easiest things to make in the world and my recipe is split into two with one half of the dough wrapped and in the fridge for another night. They are cheap, lovely real frugal good (depending what you put on them) and don't have to be unhealthy because they don't have to be loaded with fatty meat and cheese.
It was with great interest that I watched a River Cottage episode the other day in which Hugh made a simple pizza with no tomato on it. I admit I have never tried this, just usually knocking together a quick tomato sauce, a few veggies and a sprinkling of cheese on mine. This recipe looked like it could go either way, could be incredibly dull, or tantalizingly stupendous. It was - STUPENDOUS.
There are only 4 main ingredients for the topping: onions, spinach, pears and blue cheese.
and 3 minor ones: nutmeg, olive oil, chilli flakes.
Here is the recipe.
Basic pizza base recipe - makes 2 pizza bases, one of which does a large appetite like mine for a main meal
250g strong bread flour
5g quick yeast
up to 180ml water.
2 tbs olive oil
Form the above into a dough (you may not need more than about 150ml water to get the desired consistency, but use your noggin) and kneed for 5 - 10 minutes, it really doesn't take long to become stretchy. Leave to prove for an hour and a half approx.
Split in half and roll out one half to make as thin a pizza base as you can manage. If you are not using the other half wrap in film and store in the fridge and use in the next could of days.
Meanwhile while it was proving fry one onion, chopped into rings, until the rings are soft and golden colour and cook some spinach in a tiny amount of water and squeeze out the water after. The original recipe called for some fresh spinach, but I rarely have this in as it is pricey here, I used frozen spinach and about 2 or 3 block is enough.
Peal and chop the pear, pouring on a little olive oil and a shake of freshly grated nutmeg on it, I also added a few chilli flakes.
Get the oven on to it's hottest.
Assemble the pizza: spread the onion and the spinach on the base, arrange the pear over that and then dot with some blue cheese (I used a cheap stilton, but anything would do) here and there - don't need tons of it. another spinkling of olive oil and some ground pepper and you are good to go.
Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven, until crispy and gorgeous looking.