On pizza night at 1840 Farm, the whole family is happy to come to the dinner table. We enjoy homemade pizza year-round unlike so many of our other favorite meals. While we choose to bid our heirloom tomatoes a begrudging farewell once their growing season ends, we can enjoy pizza with homemade tomato sauce even in the middle of our long, snowy winter.
Come fall, we are all happy to see that caramelized butternut squash has found its way back into our pizza night routine. The smell of brown butter fills our kitchen with its nutty aroma while I anticipate the delicious contrast of the spicy black pepper and caramelized squash. True, I’m still counting the days until next year’s tomato crop can be planted, but pizza this good makes the waiting much easier.
Caramelized Butternut Squash Pizza
serves 6-8 as a main course
400 grams (3 1/3 cups) Bread Flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
8 1/2 ounces warm water
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine water, honey, salt, and olive oil.
- Sprinkle yeast on top of liquids and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add flour to bowl and fit mixer with dough hook.
- Mix on low-speed for three minutes. The dough will begin to gather together and form a shaggy ball. Turn mixer off and allow dough to rest for five minutes.
- At the end of the rest period, mix the dough for another three minutes at medium low-speed. At this point, the dough will be transformed into a smooth, elastic ball.
- Remove the ball from the bowl and divide into two equal portions. Form each into a ball by tucking the ends underneath as you turn it in your hands. Place on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Allow to sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes.
- Place in a plastic container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3 pounds butternut squash
6 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated
- Set pizza stones on oven racks placed in top and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature while preparing the squash.
- Peel butternut squash. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside. Mince the onion finely and add to the squash. Set aside while making the brown butter.
- In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and cook until the butter solids have browned. At this point, add the squash and onion to the pan. Season with sage, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook the mixture 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Do not overcook as the squash will continue to cook in the oven. Remove from heat and check for seasoning.
- Dust pizza pan with flour. Stretch pizza dough into a 10 inch round. If the dough offers too much resistance, allow it to rest for five minutes before attempting again. You will find that the dough will relax and be much easier to stretch after this short rest.
- Brush the middle of the stretched pizza crust with olive oil, leaving a two-inch border all around the perimeter.
- Divide the fontina between the two pizza dough rounds and spread evenly over the area brushed with olive oil. Divide the butternut squash mixture evenly between the pizzas and distribute over the fontina cheese. Top with grated parmesan.
- Place pizzas in preheated oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Using a spatula, attempt to separate the pizza from the pan by turning the pan and running the spatula underneath. Slide pizza directly onto pizza stone. If pizza crust does not come free from pan, return pan to oven and allow to bake two more minutes before attempting to slide it from the pan to the stone.
- After pizzas have been moved to the stone, bake an additional 4 to 6 minutes or until the crust is golden and firm. Remove from pizza stone to pizza pan using tongs. Serve hot.