Pear, Manchego, and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Sourdough Discard Crust

Pear, Manchego, and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Sourdough Discard Crust

So, I realize that this pear pizza the third sourdough discard recipe to appear on this blog, but, what can I say, I have a lot of discard starter to use up! Constantly.

Also, when someone proposes an intriguing recipe collaboration, I have trouble saying no. Thus, when USA Pears invited me to develop a pear pizza recipe, my head immediately started buzzing with ideas, all, of course, involving a sourdough crust.

Sourdough discard crust

Really, it didn’t take me long to settle on a topping combo: I pretty quickly decided to go vegetarian, and since I already had some Manchego hanging out in my fridge, that seemed like a good starting point. Caramelized onions were also a no-brainer. (The only twist here is that you deglaze the frying pan with red wine, which adds another layer of flavor.)

The crust is not really a new recipe: Following the lead of Tartine Bread (my bread bible), I simply used a half recipe of the country loaf dough that you can find in the blog archives. After the bulk rise, instead of shaping the dough and letting it proof in a banneton, you just plonk it in a lightly greased bowl, refrigerate it for half an hour while the oven heats, then shape, top, and bake.

The resulting pizza is rich and savory and sweet and awesome. For another layer of texture and flavor, you can toss on some fresh baby arugula and toasted walnuts after it’s out of the oven–they add a bitter note that is a nice complement. But the pizza is also delicious without those embellishments.

Pear, Manchego, and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Sourdough Discard Crust

Pears, manchego, and red wine-infused caramelized onions top a crisp and flavorful crust made with discard sourdough starter. The dough is adapted from Tartine Bread.

Course Main Course
Keyword discard starter recipe, pear pizza, sourdough discard recipe, sourdough pizza, sourdough pizza crust
Servings 2 9-10 inch pizzas


  • 1/2 recipe Country Loaf with Discard Sourdough Starter dough prepared through the bulk rise–see notes below
  • 3 oz. Manchego cheese shredded
  • 1 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese grated or finely shredded
  • 1-2 firm, ripe pears
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • a handful of baby arugula (optional)
  • chopped, toasted walnuts (optional)


  1. Make the caramelized onions: Thinly slice the red onion. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Tip in the onions, add a pinch of salt, turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and allow the onions to cook, covered, about 15 minutes. Remove the cover, turn the heat up to medium-low, and allow the onions to caramelize, stirring occasionally. (This could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes.) When the onions are deeply caramelized and starting to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 tablespoons of red wine, stirring to scrape up all the savory, onion-y bits. Turn the heat up to medium and cook, stirring occassionally, until the liquid is almost completely evaporated. Remove from the heat. (The onions can be prepared a couple of days ahead of time, if need be. Just cover and refrigerate until needed.)

  2. Prepare the dough through the end of the bulk rise, following the instructions in my Country Loaf with Discard Sourdough Starter recipe. Turn the dough out onto the counter, then scoop into a bowl that has been lighly greased with olive oil. Cover with the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 500 F.

  4. Thinly slice the pears.

  5. Place an 11-12 inch square of baking parchment on the counter and dust it lightly with rice flour or cornmeal.

  6. Divide the chilled dough in half. Leave one half in the bowl and return the bowl to the fridge. Place the other half of the dough on the parchment, then press or roll the dough into a 9-10 inch diameter circle.

  7. Distribute half of the caramelized onions evenly over the dough, then top with half the manchego and pecorino. Arrange several thin slices of pear on top. (They can slighly overlap.) Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pears, and top with some freshly ground black pepper and a few flakes of sea salt.

  8. Transfer the parchment to a pizza peel, and use the peel to ease the pizza onto the preheated stone.

  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the crust is deeply colored.

  10. Remove the first pizza from the oven, and repeat with the remaining dough and topping ingredients.

  11. If desired, top the baked pizzas with a bit of baby arugula and some chopped walnuts.

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