Belgian Endive and Goat’s Cheese Pizza

A very thin base with spicy topping is the aim here for a hot starter or, at most, a light lunch with salad. The fresh, in fresh goat’s cheese, refers to the manufacture method rather than how recently it was purchased. Cabri or English Perroche are good examples.

White flour may be replaced in part with wholemeal or even rye, but at a cost to the pizza’s lightness. The only other tip I can offer is to leave the edges of the pizza a fraction thicker so that the topping all stays put.

Ingredients

Pizza bases

  • ¼ oz (7.5 g) fresh yeast
  • 5 fl oz(150 ml) milk
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz (225 g) strong plain white flour

Topping

  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 Belgian endives (chicory)
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • olive oil
  • 3 plum tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 small fresh goat’s cheeses

Method

The pizza bases

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the tepid milk. Mix thoroughly and leave to stand in a warm place for 15 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon salt, the olive oil and then the flour. You should have a soft, slightly sticky, yet workable dough.
  3. Knead it for about 5 minutes then place in a large oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume. This should take between 30 minutes and 1 hour, but depends on room temperature.
  4. Split the dough into four balls and then roll out on a floured surface to 1/8 in (3 mm). You may pull the dough into shape with your fingers if it helps as it is quite elastic. Cover loosely with cling film while you make the topping.
  5. Preheat the oven to 475°F (240°C) Gas 9. Put a thick baking sheet or four appropriately sized, handleless metal pans into the oven to preheat for 15 minutes.

The topping

  • Acidulate a saucepan of water with the lemon juice and then boil the endives for 10 minutes. Lift them out and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Cut each endive in half lengthwise and remove the first 1/4 in (6 mm) of hard base.
  • Fry the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until soft, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the tomato and season with salt and pepper. Turn the tomato in the oil, garlic and onion for 2 minutes so that it starts to melt but still has a fresh smell. Remove from the heat.

To Complete

  • Brush the pizza bases with olive oil. Spread on the onion and tomato mix. Place a half endive and goat cheese, also split in half, on each base.
  • Take the hot baking tray or pans out of the oven. Brush pans and pizzas with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
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