Some things make going to the gym totally worth it. This peach flatbread pizza is one of them.
Last night, I returned to Women’s Workout World after a long hiatus. It was high time to return because over the course of summer vacation, I’d gotten into the habit of eating homemade ice cream and crepes and out of the habit of doing leg lifts and hammer curls.
Thankfully, Women’s Workout World shields its members from the outside world while they work out. The gym faces a busy street but its windows have been frosted over and then painted with the pastel colors of its founding year: 1982. To the uninitiated, it is one of the neighborhood’s great enigmas. Mostly, what happens at Women’s Workout World stays at Women’s Workout World.
But I can tell you that what was happening last night was Olga’s Body Fit class, and even though Olga is a very encouraging instructor who told us that we could take breaks if we needed to, I don’t think I could have made it through triceps extensions without knowing that when I got home, I would have peach flatbread pizza with homemade naan, peach compote, prosciutto, mascarpone cheese and thyme. I could taste it already. Just a few more reps to go.
If you are also looking for some delicious motivation, or just looking for a mouthwatering in-season recipe, here’s how you can make peach flatbread pizza at home. It’s a messy meal, so if you are serving it to guests, consider slicing it into small, manageable pieces. Or just embrace the mess.
You can save a step and purchase flatbread, but if you have time to make the naan yourself, you will feel very frugal. You’ll just need to start the naan a few hours before dinnertime, or make it the day before and keep it in the fridge. Making naan might sound intimidating, but it’s fairly easy. Certainly much easier than oblique crunches. And you probably have the ingredients on hand, especially if you use an “emergency substitution” for buttermilk and add lemon juice or vinegar to the milk. The trick with naan is to have the oven very hot: be sure to preheat it for 45 minutes. I’m not sure what the trick is for oblique crunches.
Once you have the naan dough going, make a batch of peach-basamic compote, a recipe that comes from Lori Scheckler of locally famous DiBruno Bros., the Philadelphia-based specialty food retailer that supplies Wolff’s Apple House with gourmet Italian cheeses, meats and more.
It is a great time to use local peaches in recipes. In fact, earlier this week, I was talking with Ed Weaver of Weaver’s Orchard, which supplies Wolff’s Apple House with many peach varieties. He noted that though the harvest has not been as abundant in some parts of the East Coast this year, the peach harvest in our region will be plentiful, and recent rains have contributed to the size of the fruit. It is a good year for local peaches, and that’s all the more motivation to make this peach flatbread pizza. Followed by a classic peach cobbler. With peach-brie quesadillas the next night. It is just that time of year!
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1½ cups buttermilk, room temperature (or use 1½ tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar and add enough regular milk to make 1½ cups)
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided and melted
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons water (if needed)
- PEACH-BALSAMIC COMPOTE:
- 6 large ripe peaches, chopped
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Mascarpone cheese
- Fresh thyme
- Mix flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and 4 tablespoons melted butter and mix to form a soft dough. Add water if needed.
- Knead 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Set it in an oiled bowl, cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for about an hour and a half.
- Preheat oven to 475 F (give it 45 minutes to really reach that temperature), and preheat your baking stone right now too.
- Punch down the dough and roll it into 8 equally sized balls. Let these rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll out dough into flat ovals on a pizza stone or parchment paper. Sprinkle with minced garlic and add two teaspoon-sized dollops of mascarpone cheese, spaced far apart (it will melt and make the flatbread taste very buttery).
- Bake for about 7 minutes, until flatbread is golden with puffy bubbles. Spread the melted mascarpone on top, and turn the oven down to 350F.
- PEACH-BALSAMIC COMPOTE:
- Mix chopped peaches, sugar, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit has softened. The sugar will melt as the peaches release their juices. Remove from heat, let cool.
- While flatbread is still warm, top with more mascarpone cheese, spreading it around the surface. Then spoon the compote on top, then the prosciutto.
- Bake for a few more minutes until the prosciutto is crispy. Add fresh thyme on top. Serve warm.