Last night, I gathered with some of my besties for a lovely home cooked meal at Molly’s apartment. We (Molly, Amanda, Becky… and you too Soph!) have all been friends since the sixth grade and it’s really great to be living in the same city again after spending the college years apart. I wanted to bring something that honored our PHL roots, so I embarked on a journey to recreate this Audrey Claire (a fabulous restaurant in Rittenhouse Square) classic. My mom makes a great semi-homemade version of this, but I wanted to up the ante a little. This is a food blog after all…
Trying to make dough from scratch is like giving birth to Goldilocks… knead it enough but not too much, use lukewarm water but not too hot, flour your surface but don’t add more flour to the dough. Despite my first time jitters I took a deep breath, donned my apron, and measured the flour. The actual dough making only took about three minutes, making it a fairly anti-climatic process, but as I periodically checked on its growth over the next two hours, I felt like a proud mother watching my baby cub come to life. When the time came to pack up the rest of my ingredients and head to Molly’s, I channeled my Mama Kangaroo instincts and zipped the little ball of love in my coat, creating an incubator from unseasonably cold November night. (Oh the power of a mother’s love!).
By the time I was ready to roll, top, and bake I was quite pleased with the young woman my dough ball had grown up to be – warm, soft, and just elastic enough to be rolled (using a wine bottle… her first experience with alcohol!) into a thin oval shape. I then watched with pride as the salty Gorgonzola melted over the thinly sliced pear, and my dough bubbled and crisped just as I had hopped she would. When she finally came out of the oven and we all took a slice, I was filled with joy at the young woman my little ball of flour and yeast had grown up to be.
I think this is probably how my parents felt on my bat mitzvah day.
Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread
Basic Dough Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
1 t. salt
¾ t active dry yeast
½ c lukewarm water
1 T. oil
1 pear, thinly sliced
½ c. gorgonzola cheese
¼ c sunflower seeds
2 T. honey
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (yeast included). Add water and oil and stir until you can as good a ball as you can. (I needed an extra tablespoon-ish of water to get there). Turn ball and scraps onto a floured surface, gather it into a more traditional ball shape and knead for just a minute or two.
Lightly spray the bowl you mixed everything in with a little cooking spray and put the ball back into the bowl. (say that three times fast). Turn the dough over in the bowl to coat it with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for an hour or two.
Once your dough has doubled in size, dump the ball back onto your floured surface and press the air out of it with the palm of your hand. Fold it back into a ball again and let it sit under the plastic wrap for another 20 minutes.
Now the fun part….
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Roll your doll out on a floured surface until it is nice and thin, and put onto a cooking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Brush your pizza dough with a little olive oil (I used my fingers). Arrange the pears around the dough (but be careful not to weigh it down too much!) Sprinkle the gorgonzola and sunflower seeds around the dough and drizzle with honey. I also sprinkled a little salt on top.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the dough starts to crisp and your toppings take on a nice caramelized color.