This Gorgonzola Pear Pizza with homemade made-from-scratch pizza dough pairs pear and gorgonzola flavors beautifully with an added walnut crunch!
Certain flavor pairings are so underrated. Pear and gorgonzola is one of them, in my opinion. It might sound strange, but this Gorgonzola Pear Pizza is so addictive, you'll quickly find yourself doing it over and over again! It combines pear and gorgonzola flavours with sweet caramelized onions and crunchy walnuts.
Making homemade pizza dough from scratch might sound like a daunting task, but it really isn't! All you need are a few (literally) basic pantry ingredients and some extra time for the dough to rise. I would highly suggest trying this super simple homemade pizza dough if you have the time; the final result will be rewarding, I promise!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
This Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza:
- Is made with a simple foolproof homemade crusty pizza dough
- A beautiful flavor combination of rustic gorgonzola with sweet pears and caramelized onions, topped with crunchy walnuts
- Is perfect for finger food, as an appetizer, or as a meal on its own!
- Pizza dough can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight
Ingredients and Variations
For the homemade pizza base, you will need:
Flour - The best type of flour for pizza dough is Type '00' Bread Flour as it makes the pizza chewy and crispy - which is what we want! If this is type of flour not available to you, you can also substitute with Type '0' or even AP flour. It's a good idea to have some extra flour on hand for rolling out the dough (and for adding flour to the dough if it's too sticky). Always weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales for accuracy.
Yeast - For this recipe, I used instant dry yeast, which does not need to be proofed and can be added directly to the dry ingredients. You can also use active dry yeast, but make sure to proof this in some lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes before using.
Oil - Use extra-virgin olive oil.
Water - The liquid part of the dough. I always use lukewarm water as it helps activate the yeast faster.
Salt - A pinch of good quality salt.
For the Pear and Gorgonzola topping, you will need:
Oil - Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the pizza base before adding the topping ingredients.
Onion and brown sugar - Onion will be caramelized in a skillet (with some brown sugar). You will need one large onion or 2 smaller ones.
Pears - There are many types and varieties of pears in different sizes. Feel free to use what is available to you as long as they are sweet and ripe (but not too ripe). For this recipe, I used Coscia pears. You will need to peel, core, and slice the pears into thin wedges.
Gorgonzola - Gorgonzola is an Italian blue-veined cheese, made from cow's milk. It can be creamy, firm, or crumbly. The main varieties include the "dolce" and the "piccante" Gorgonzola. The dolce type tends to be more spreadable, milder, and sweeter than the piccante, which is usually slightly spicy. For this recipe, I used the piccante type, but you can use any type that is available.
NOTE: The main difference between gorgonzola and traditional blue cheese is that blue cheese can be made from goat's or sheep's milk (in addition to cow's milk) and it is usually sharper in taste and more crumbly. Feel free to substitute gorgonzola with blue cheese, but I suggest using slightly less blue cheese as its taste is stronger than that of gorgonzola.
Walnuts - For an extra crunch. Make sure to add walnuts after baking the pizza (or they would burn!). You will only need a handful if using!
Honey - To drizzle pizza before serving
Rucola - Rocket, or arugula. I wanted to add some color and leafy greens, and I though rucola would be the best idea! If using, make sure to add after baking the pizza.
How to Make Foolproof Homemade Pizza Dough
This recipe will yield 2 pizza bases (approximately 12 to 14 inches in diameter). The topping recipe is enough for the two pizza bases.
- Stir salt, olive oil and yeast into a bowl with lukewarm water.
- Sift flour into a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment.
- Add the water mixture and stir until combined (use a spatula).
- Mix on medium-low speed, until a dough ball forms. If the dough is too sticky, add 2-4 tbsp. of flour (1 tbsp. at a time). If its too dry, add 2-4 tbsp. of water (1 tbsp. at a time).
- Once a dough ball is formed and the dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl, knead on medium-low speed for 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, knead by hand on a lightly floured surface.
- Once kneaded, shape the dough into a large ball and place it in a bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Cover with a damp teacloth or cling film and allow to rise for 1½ to 3 hours in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 24 hours).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it into 2 equal parts (use kitchen scales to weigh for accuracy), shape each into a ball, and allow to rest, uncovered for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, start caramelizing the onions and preheat the oven to 200°C (400F). Place a pizza baking stone (or a large baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone) in the oven while it's preheating.
How to Make Gorgonzola Pear Pizza Topping
- Slice and caramelize the onion by sauteeing on medium heat in a skillet with some olive oil for 15-20 minutes. Add 1 tsp. of brown sugar half-way through the cooking to help with caramelization.
- Place each dough ball onto a lightly floured large piece of baking paper. Use your knuckles to carefully shape it into a circle by slowly rotating it (but do not overwork the dough). Each pizza base should be around 12-14 inches in diameter.
- Transfer baking paper with pizza base onto the pizza stone or baking sheet.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the base with olive oil. Divide caramelized onions, gorgonzola, and sliced pears between the two pizza bases and bake for 20-25 minutes until pizza crust is golden brown at the edges.
- Top with walnuts and rucola leaves, drizzle with some honey, slice, and enjoy!
Can I Make this using Store Bought Pizza Dough?
Yes, you can! Follow package instructions to roll out store-bought dough, and follow recipe instructions for topping. You may need to adjust topping ingredient amounts depending on the size of your pizza/s.
Can I Prepare Pizza Dough Ahead?
Yes! If making pizza dough ahead, you can prepare up until the kneading step, and then store kneaded dough (covered) in a lightly greased bowl in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
For the topping, you can prepare caramelized onions ahead and store in a refrigerator until using. I suggest your prepare all other topping ingredients right before baking your pizza.
Can I Make Pizza Dough with Plain Flour?
You can use plain flour if that is available for you, however the pizza dough may not be as chewy and crispy as the one made with Type '00' (or Type '0') flour. Pizza dough requires flour with a high protein content, which is typically found in Type 00 Bread flour.
Type '00' flour (also known as Manitoba flour in Italy) is highly-refined flour which contains 8-12% protein. This is what makes the pizza chewy and crusty. Type '0' flour can also be used interchangeably if '00' is not available. I have tried making pizza dough with both '0' and '00' types, and got great results with both.
Make sure to weigh and sift the flour before using.
Can I freeze Pizza Dough?
Yes! Pizza dough freezes well for 2-4 months. Just make sure that the dough fully rises before you divide it into two and freezing it. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight before using.
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Gorgonzola Pear Pizza
- 320 g flour (type '0' or '00' + extra as needed
- 200 mL lukewarm water (¾ cup + 1 tbsp).
- 2 g instant dry yeast
- 1 tbsp. olive oil extra-virgin (+ extra for greasing)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 2-3 pears sliced into thin wedges
- 200 g gorgonzola cheese piccante or dolce (or blue cheese, see notes)
- handful walnuts
- 4 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp. honey
- handful fresh rucola rocket or arugula
- Place lukewarm water in a glass bowl and stir in yeast, olive oil and salt.
- Sift flour into a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment. Add water, oil, salt, and yeast mixture. Mix with a spatula until well combined.
- Set mixer on medium-low and mix until dough ball forms. If the dough is too sticky, add 2-4 tbsp. of flour. Dough should not stick to the side of the bowl. If the dough is too dry, add 1-2 tbsp. of water. Increase speed to medium and mix for 5-7 minutes.
- Once kneaded, shape dough into a large ball and place in a bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Cover with a damp teacloth or cling film and allow to rise for 1½ to 3 hours in a warm place.
- Once dough has doubled in size, uncover and divide into two equal sized pieces. Shape each into a ball and allow to rest (uncovered) for 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare your topping and preheat the oven to 200°C (400F).
- Place a pizza baking stone (or a large baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone) in the oven while it's preheating.
- Thinly slice onion, place in a medium non-stick skillet and saute in 2 tbsp. olive oil for 15-20 minutes until caramelized. Add brown sugar half-way through the cooking.
- Place each dough ball onto a lightly floured large piece of baking paper. Use your knuckles to carefully shape it into a circle by slowly rotating it (do not overwork the dough). Each pizza base should be around 12-14 inch in diameter.
- Transfer baking paper with pizza base onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush the base with olive oil.
- Place caramelized onions, sliced pears, and crumbled gorgonzola on each pizza and bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown at the edges.
- Bring out of oven and add crushed walnuts, rucola, and drizzle with honey.