This has got to be one of my favourites pizza recipes to date, because the crust and toppings are pure magic! Made with a homemade dough and topped with roasted pumpkin, fennel, fresh endive, pine nuts and sage. This pizza pulls out all the stops taking it from everyday to gourmet! It is certainly award winning in my books. Honestly, I can’t think of a time that I ate a pizza so magnificent, let alone pulled it out of my own oven.
Last week I had my very talented blogger friend, Odile JP, come to visit me in Lille, and we baked this glorious pizza together. All we bloggers want to do when we get together is cook good food! And this pizza recipe was top of the list. We were looking to create a pizza that was rich and hearty for the cooler months, and this Pumpkin, Fennel and Endive Pizza proved just that. I am totally in love with the flavour combos in this recipe, which so perfectly bring out our favourite winter flavours. Typically, I like to do a tomato base for my pizza, but with these toppings all you need is a little olive oil to brush. It was divine. The oil offered such a crisp and savoury crunch to the outside of the pizza dough, while keeping a chewy and light interior. And with the pumpkin, fennel, endive and sage on top, there was no need to add any additional flavours to the mix.
As for the dough. We used Bo’s Ultimate Pizza Dough recipe from her blog, Bo’s Kitchen. Bo is one of our favourite food bloggers, who makes the most delicious and beautifully styled recipes. I’ve been dying to make her pizza dough recipe for ages because it looks so thick and bubbly! Every time I see it in her stories I’m lost for words. I know people love thin crust pizzas, but I’m a fan of the thick dough, especially especially e-s-p-e-c-i-a-l-l-y when it’s homemade. When it’s homemade there is nothing more heavenly than biting into a crisp thick dough with big pockets of air inside. It’s a gift from the gods.
As you can see I’m a big believer that a good pizza is always determined by it’s bread! The most memorable pizzas are a harmonious match of crisp and tender, chewy and bright. Bo’s homemade dough is just that. Actually, her recipe is a lot like my own pizza dough recipe: a few simple ingredients of flour, water, salt and a bit of yeast. The magical ingredient, responsible for making this dough so tasty, is TIME! Yep, that’s all that’s needed to turn your dough from good to an act of grace. Bo recommends 6 hours for her dough to rise, (shorter than my recipe, which I leave for 18 hours!). And although you might be thinking that this is all too much effort, let me emphasize that the juice is worth the squeeze! (or, to keep on the pizza theme: the dough is worth the…knead?). If I can give any advice it’s that this pizza dough is worth the extra time and effort. That’s because the extra time gives the yeast an opportunity to activate with the flour, and really begin to ferment to give a deep flavour and slightly sour taste. It will blow you away just how tasty your pizza dough can be. Plus, the best things in life are always worth waiting for. Amiright?
The toppings of course are the hook line and sinker, making for an unforgettable experience in every bite. The roasted pumpkin offers a little sweetness, the roasted fennel deep and perfumey, the endive crunchy and tart, and the sage bright and earthy. The ingredients are deliciously warm, hearty, and complementary. They offer a perfect deep flavour profile that we so desperately crave during the cold winter months.
You can see now why Odile and I were so enamoured by this vegan pizza recipe. Because from beginning to end the ingredients are a knockout. Go ahead and give it a try for yourself. Turn your pizza night gourmet with this gorgeous Pumpkin, Fennel and Endive Pizza. As the saying goes, you don’t need a silver spoon to eat good food. 😉
Happy Friday everyone!
Vegan Pizza w/ Pumpkin, Fennel and Endive
For the pizza crust (makes 3 pizzas)
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tsp sea salt finely ground
- 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cooking pumpkin small, or hubbard squash
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 endive
- 10-12 sage leaves to sprinkle
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare Pizza dough (makes 3 pizzas)
- Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add 1.5 cups water while stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir until well incorporated.
- Knead dough with hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Add more flour if needed until it's no longer sticky to the touch, or alternatively more water if it's too dry. It should be plush and dough-like. (I added 1/2 cup more flour).
- Transfer dough to a large clean bowl. Cover with bees wrap and let dough rise at room temperature, in a draft-free area, until its surface is covered with tiny bubbles and the dough has doubled in size, approx. 6-10 hours. (I like to leave mine overnight).
- Transfer dough to a floured work surface and gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into three equal portions and mold portions gently into a ball. Dust dough balls with more flour, and cover with bees wrap until ready to use. Bring dough back to room temperate before baking.
- Preheat oven to 240C/475F. Place dough balls on three rimmed baking sheet. Flatten dough with hands, until it covers most of the sheet (you can make it round, or a rectangle). You want the it to be thin. (If dough springs back, let it rest a few minutes, then try again).
- Cook the pumpkin and fennel: preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds. Cut pumpkin and fennel into thin slices and paint each side with olive oil. Place on a lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Cook pumpkin and fennel for 20 minutes, or until veg is golden and crispy. Then, remove from oven and place to the side.
- Preheat oven to 475F/240C. Paint pizza dough with oil to cover and season with salt and pepper. Decorate with your roasted pumpkin and fennel and cook until crust is crisp and puffed, approx. 8-10 mins. Remove from oven and decorate with fresh endive, sage leaves, pine nuts, more sea salt and pepper.
- Cook remaining two pizzas in the same way and serve.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – DAIRY-FREE – SOY-FREE