Fall recipes: Pumpkin pizza dough

10/22/15 – BOSTON, MA. – Executive Chef Tom Barton makes a fall inspired pizza in Stetson on Oct. 22, 2015. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Northeastern Dining executive chef Tom Barton recently dished up a delicious baked apple recipe to kick off our fall recipe series. Here’s the next installment, an autumnal twist on the classic comfort food with toppings ranging from pumpkin seeds to roasted squash and fresh figs.

Yields two pizzas
(View recipe as PDF)

Before you begin, listen to Tom Barton pro­vide a few tips for making the dough:


  • 1 cup warm water, 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey divided
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • Cornmeal

1. Place warm water in a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon of the honey. Sprinkle yeast over the top of the water. Let it sit for 10 minutes until the yeast becomes slightly foamy.

2. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Mix well with a whisk to evenly distribute the salt and aerate the flour. Add the remaining honey, pumpkin, and oil to the yeast and mix until smooth.

3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and begin to mix by hand in the bowl until the dough is formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or work surface and continue to knead the dough until it is smooth and not sticky. This mixing process can also be done in a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment.

4. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, turning once to evenly coat the dough. Cover and set in a warm area to rise for approximately two hours.

5. Once the dough has risen, place it onto a lightly floured board or work surface and divide it in half. The remaining dough may also be placed in a zip-lock bag and stored in the refrigerator for use the next day. The dough may also be frozen for up to a month. To form the pizza, use your fingers to stretch the dough into a circle, continuing to flatten the center and push the dough outward. Once you have stretched the pizza to your desired thickness, the dough can be carefully moved onto a pizza pan or pizza stone. Be sure to sprinkle just a little bit of corn meal onto the pan or stone before placing the dough down to be able to easily remove the pizza after it is cooked. The pizza is now ready to be topped with your favorite sauce, toppings, and cheese. Cook at the desired temperature, but a hot oven at approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

You’ve got the dough. Now it’s time to add the toppings.
“One of the nice things about a recipe like this is that it lends itself nicely to many changes in cheeses, sauces, and toppings,” said Barton. “The addition of pumpkin to the dough gives it a beautiful autumnal yellowish color when cooked, so using that as your canvas, feel free to add a variety of fall ingredients. My favorites include either dried or fresh figs, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, roasted pumpkin, or butternut or other fall squash, and greens, such as arugula, baby kale, or spinach. I prefer a combination of cheeses, such as fresh mozzarella and goat cheese or traditional mozzarella with a hint of smoked Gouda. I also like to include a few items from the summer that I have preserved, such as using a pesto as the sauce along with oven dried tomatoes from the garden.”

Here, Tom Barton describes his inspi­ra­tion for this dish: