Wednesday 31 October 2012

2 Pizzas for Bruce

I can't claim to have come up with the idea of Brussels sprouts on a pizza, that credit belongs to someone in the United States, but when I first heard about it, being a Brussels sprout fan, I had to try it. The second pizza uses red onions, roasted with fennel seeds, potatoes and char-grilled artichoke hearts. Bruce got to the second pizza before I could photograph it whole. This amount of dough makes four pizza bases, but I used the remaining half to make flat breads

I use wild yeast whenever I can, even in this pizza dough which contains a small amount of instant yeast. The wild yeast adds greatly to the texture of the crust as well as the flavour.

The one that was nabbed

 You will need:
For the ferment,
1 tablespoon of starter from the fridge
200g of strong white flour
200g of water.

 For the final dough:
 All of the ferment
600g of strong white flour
3g of instant yeast
300g of water
10g of salt.

Begin by mixing up the ferment ingredients and leave covered for 8 hours. Add the ferment to the remaining ingredients and mix until you have a soft dough. Place in an oiled polythene bag and place in the fridge overnight.

Take the dough out of  the fridge 8 hours before you need to make the pizzas. Leave the dough in a large bowl, stretching and folding the dough one or two times over the resting period while it completely returns to room temperature. Now that Autumn is here, my house is cold so the timings of this recipe would have to be adjusted if you live in a warm climate.

Prepare the toppings.
I used 10 Brussels sprouts which I broke up into separate leaves, easy enough to do with the outer leaves, then simply shred up the core, I blanched the sprouts in boiling water for just 30 seconds, pine nuts, a 250g round of good mozzarella, about 50g of freshly grated Parmesan. For the second pizza I used red onions, quartered and roasted in a little olive oil, sea salt and fennel seeds, a 250g of mozzarella, 50g of Parmesan, half a dozen char-grilled  artichoke hearts from a jar. The Brussels sprout pizza gets a drizzle of olive oil blended with a few basil leaves, when it comes out of the oven.

Turn the oven to 220 degrees C. Have all of your toppings ready, divide the dough into four, forming each into a round. Take the first round and begin to flatten into a disc, stretching as you flatten. I find lifting the dough vertically, and running the perimeter through my fingers while allowing the weight of the dough to stretch the disc into the final sized pizza base is the best way to work, however form the pizza base any way you find straightforward, place it onto your pizza stone or baking sheet, whatever you use usually to make pizza, place on the toppings and bake for 5 to 10 minutes in the hot oven.


These pizzas are both without crushed tomatoes and I find the absence of tomato creates a very different, less masked flavour experience, however pizza all over the world are topped with a myriad of ingredients and the choice is only limited by your imagination. This recipe really highlights the benefits of incorporating wild yeast in the dough, using a small amount of instant yeast and using a lengthy, retarded rising time, rather than promoting these particular toppings, delicious though and well worth a try.


  1. Just the best pizza in the world.

  2. so many wonderful dishes - I think myself very fortunate to have eaten with you on many occasions


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