This pizza topping uses a classic flavour combination, sweet fig balanced out with a creamy piquant blue cheese. The mascarpone and vincotto add an extra element of decadence and the pickled onion added at the end gives a welcome crunch and an essential vinegar tang. There are lots of instructions for this recipe but it’s actually quite easy, don’t be scared.
- 100 ml water, at room temperature
- 100 g pasta flour
- 15 g fresh yeast or 7 g dried yeast
- 300 g water, at room temperature
- 325 g pasta flour
- 175 g durum wheat flour (fine semolina flour)
- 15 g table salt
- 100 g mascarpone
- 6 large purple figs
- 100 g gorgonzola picante
- 80 g grated parmesan
- pickled onion
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preparation time overnight + another 2½ hours
To make your biga, place the water in a bowl, add the yeast and stir with a fork until it dissolves. Mix in the flour using a spoon until combined, it doesn’t need to be smooth. Place in a covered container and let it rest overnight in your fridge. If you find yourself wanting pizza more rapidly than that, you can make the biga and leave it rest in a warm-ish spot for about four hours before you want to use it.
To make the dough, place your water and the biga in a bowl. Use your fingers to jiggle the biga through the water so it disperses a little then add the flours and salt and continue mixing until it forms a ball. Turn it out onto a clean bench and knead it vigorously for at least 15 minutes, this will be a little tricky as you’ll find its quite a sticky dough but do persevere as it does come together. You can also use a KitchenAid mixer with dough hook attachment. Knead for 10 minutes on low speed.
Once mixed, place in an oiled bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and allow it to proof in a warm spot for 1–2 hours. Divide the dough into four portions and again allow it a little rest for another 20 minutes. (I know there’s a lot of resting going on but it is really needed to allow your dough to become as good as it can be.)
Meanwhile, heat a wood-fired oven or oven to the hottest setting. If not using a wood-fired oven, place a pizza stone or heavy-based tray into oven to get hot. Place the mascarpone in a bowl, add a little water and mix until a nice spreading consistency.
Roll out each dough ball on a floured bench until thin, to whatever shape you desire. Spread the mascarpone over the base and then tear each fig into quarters and arrange on top. Dot with the gorgonzola and sprinkle over the parmesan. Bake for 10–15 minutes.
Scatter the pickled onion over the top of the pizza, drizzle with some olive oil and vincotto, season and serve with a bitter leaf salad.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Trish Heagarty.