Awesome pizza

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a restaurant called Marzilibrücke in Bern, Switzerland, where I ordered an eggplant pizza. Overall, it was disappointing: not enough eggplant, too much cheese. So this past weekend, we made our own eggplant pizza, in a regular oven (using a pizza stone). The result was simply outstanding.



EGGPLANT PIZZA

Crust
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt


Toppings
1 jar passata (italian pureed pomodoro tomatoes)
fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 eggplant
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
1 mozzarella ball (or 2/3 cup of shredded mozzarella)
Cut the eggplant into slices and lay them on a sheet of paper towel. Sprinkle salt on the slices and cover with another sheet of paper towel. Let rest for 20 minutes (this helps remove moisture and acidity). Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet on high heat and grill eggplant slices on both sides. Remove from heat and place over paper towel to drain excess oil.
In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. 
Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 520 degrees F (our oven goes up to 280 degrees C, which is about 530 degrees F). When pizza stone is hot, remove it from the oven (watch your hands). Transfer crust onto the pizza stone. Spread with tomato sauce, mozzarella, chopped onion and eggplant slices. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves on top before serving.

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