Wider Horizons

As the seasons shift to shorter days and cooler nights, it’s the perfect time to heat up the kitchen and try a savoury Homemade pizzapizza created by Lethbridge College’s Chef Doug Overes, chair of the college’s Culinary Careers program and 2014 winner of the Chef of the Year title by the Canadian Culinary Federation. Overes and his colleagues will teach a new cohort of apprentices and student chefs the skills of their trades this fall, including the fine art of making pizza crust and choosing the best local ingredients to bring extra pizzazz to your pizza.

To sample some of the delicious creations from student chefs at Lethbridge College, book a table in the Garden Court Dining Room by calling 403-382-6999. And to see a video of this recipe being prepared by Chef Doug Overes, go to widerhorizons.ca.

Ingredients

FOR THE PIZZA CRUST
1 ¼ cups warm water
¼ tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. dry yeast
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 ¾ cups bread flour

FOR THE TOPPINGS
20 dried figs, thinly sliced
splash extra virgin olive oil
6 small shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
splash balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil and dried thyme
to taste sea salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup dried cranberries
8 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
2 cups arugula

 

Method

FOR THE PIZZA CRUST

1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Pour warm water into large bowl. Add sugar. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the water and stir to blend. Let stand until the yeast dissolves and the mixture looks foamy – about 10 minutes.
3. Mix in the salt and flour. Stir until a slightly sticky dough forms.
4. Sprinkle the work surface with flour and roll out the dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, adding more flour if it is too sticky.
5. Dust the dough all over with flour and place it in a large bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it has doubled in volume, about 1½ hours.
6. Push the dough down. Dust the work area lightly with flour. Divide the dough into four equal pieces and place them on the work surface. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
7. Working with one dough piece at a time, stretch the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 9- to 10-inch round. Add toppings, transfer to baking sheets and bake until bubbly.
FOR THE TOPPINGS

1. In a medium non-stick skillet, heat a little olive oil on medium heat and add the shallots. Cook the shallots, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes until they are browned, softened and caramelized.
2. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, until fragrant. Add the figs and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Remove the pan from heat and let cool slightly.
3. Salt and pepper the rolled out pizza crusts and then add basil and thyme. Add ½ the cheese. Then add the shallots, garlic and figs, and then remaining cheese.
4. Bake until bubbly.
5. Remove from oven, then immediately top with arugula, dried cranberries and pine nuts. Enjoy!

Wider Horizons
Doug Overes
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