Guest Author - Kathy L. Brown
Everyone seems to love pizza; sometimes a little too much! To avoid over indulging, make an attractive salad the center of the meal, and serve this delicious pizza as the side dish.
Savory Apple Pizza Recipe
Oven: 400 degrees F
Prep time: 90 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
For the crust:
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
For the pizza:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ cup sweet onion (such as Vidalia), sliced
1 ½ cups apples (such as Jonathan or Gala, very thinly sliced
¼ pound mild, lean fresh pork sausage (I used applewurst. See what your butcher has to offer.)
¾ cup sharp cheddar, shredded
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh figs, sliced
If using a pizza peel and stone, 2 Tablespoons corn meal.
If using a pizza pan or baking sheet, oil or cooking spray for pan.
Step One: Prepare the dough. It will need about an hour to rise. I always make dough in the food processor. If you prefer to make it by hand, proceed with your usual method.
Test the warm water, either with a cooking thermometer or on your wrist—it should feel warm, but not hot. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and mix. Allow it to “proof”--the yeast will grow and divide and soon the water will become cloudy and the surface frothy. This takes around 5 minutes.
Put the flours and salt in the food processor and stir with the metal blade with a few quick on/off turns. Add about half the yeast/water mixture and stir with a few more quick on/off turns. Repeat with the rest of the yeast/water mixture. Leave the food processor running and add the oil. The dough should quickly form a ball. Allow the machine to knead the dough for about a minute. Check the dough for adequate kneading. It should be smooth and bounce back when pressed gently with your fingers. Pinch off a small bit and spread it thin enough for light to pass through. It should not tear or break.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and oil the surface. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled, which takes about an hour.
Step Two: While the dough is rising, sauté the sausage until thoroughly cooked, and remove from pan to drain on paper towels. Then sauté the onions in a small amount of oil over low heat until brown.
Preheat the oven and the pizza stone to 400 degrees F. It takes about 30 minutes to preheat the pizza stone, so time this step accordingly if you are using a stone.
Step Three: After the dough is finished rising, Knead it a few times then form the dough into a 15-inch circle. Pinch up the edges. Transfer to a cornmeal covered pizza peel or a greased pizza pan.
Step Four: Brush the pizza with the olive oil. Arrange the sliced apples, covering the surface of the pizza. Apply the shredded cheddar cheese, the onions, the sausage, the goat cheese, and then the figs.
Transfer the pizza from the peel to the stone, or place the pizza pan on the middle rack of the oven.
Back for about 25 minutes, until crust is brown and the cheese is bubbly.
Time-Saving Variation: Use a purchased whole wheat pizza crust or frozen dough instead of making your own dough.
Higher Fiber Variation: Replace the white flour with 100% whole wheat flour. The dough may require longer kneading and will benefit from being punched down after an hour and allowed a second rising.
Lower Fat Variation: Leave off the sausage entirely or replace with a soy substitute sausage product.