Edible Bozeman

I relish the opportunity to dive into fall flavors, and what better way than with homemade pizza? I’m not saying you have to make your own pizza dough—great dough is available from On the Rise at Town & Country or the Bozeman Community Food Co-op—but if you have time to make your own, my guess is that you’ll love your pizza even more. I find that if I start the dough at 4pm, we’re eating by 6:30pm.

For the dough


1¾ cups warm water
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt

Measure warm water into a small bowl and sprinkle with yeast. Let rest until frothy, about 5 minutes in a warm kitchen. Add olive oil and stir to combine.

In a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook, combine flour and salt. Then, with the mixer on slow, gradually add the yeast mixture. Let the bread hook do its work until a cohesive dough is formed, then increase the speed to slow-medium and let knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. It generally takes 5–7 minutes. If, at this time, the dough is still sticking to the bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour at a time into the bowl, up to ¼ cup, until the dough reaches the desired consistency.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled glass or metal bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours.

Transfer risen dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 equal portions. Form each into a smooth, round ball.

If using right away, cover with a damp cloth and let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes.

*Did you know that you can freeze pizza dough? I often make 1 and freeze 1. To freeze, wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag before transferring to the freezer. To thaw, place dough in the refrigerator on the morning of the day you plan to use it. Cover with a damp cloth and let come to room temperature on a lightly floured surface for 30 minutes before shaping.

For the topping and assembly


2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
(frozen diced butternut squash also works)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
½ teaspoon salt
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
2 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Anjou pear, sliced into ⅛-inch wedges
1 handful chopped walnuts
Blue cheese crumbles, to taste

If using a pizza stone, preheat oven and stone to 500°F for at least 30 minutes. If baking on an aluminum sheet pan, preheat oven to 450°, putting sheet pan in the oven about 10 minutes before you plan to bake the pizza. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine squash with water and salt and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.

Add onion and thyme and cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently. When the squash is tender and mashes under pressure from a fork, use an immersion blender to blend the squash and onion until it becomes a chunky sauce. If the mixture seems dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt to your liking, keeping in mind that the blue cheese crumble that goes on top of the pizza will add a punch of salty flavor.

Shape the dough using a rolling pin to make the crust as thin as possible. Carefully transfer to the hot stone or pan. Layer the dough with the squash mixture then top with bacon and pear.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the pears are caramelized, 12–15 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, and top with a handful of walnuts and as much blue cheese as you like. I’ve also been known to add a handful of arugula and a balsamic drizzle if I have them both handy.

Slice and serve.

More Recipes