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Originally published Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 7:01 PM

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Recipe: Caramelized Onion, Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread

It's not hard to make flatbread and a homemade flatbread with great tasting toppings are all the culinary rage.

McClatchy Newspapers

Whether you call it pizza, pita, tortilla, lavosh, injera or naan, flatbread is fashionable.

Although the first flatbreads date back to ancient times, health-conscious Americans are quickly adopting the breads as their own. Perhaps the best flatbreads are the ones you make yourself.

Never had the nerve to make bread?

The Star's Caramelized Onion, Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread is easy enough for beginners to master, and you're bound to get rave reviews when you serve this delicious combination of rich, fall flavors.

Shopping tip: Be sure to use regular, not quick rising yeast for this recipe. For best results, use an instant-read thermometer to be sure the water is the correct temperature to activate (not kill) the yeast.

Caramelized Onion, Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread

Makes 16 appetizer servings

Sponge:

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Flatbread dough:

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1/2 cup skim milk

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramelized onions and pear Gorgonzola topping:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 pears, cored and thinly sliced (unpeeled)

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

3 tablespoons Gorgonzola crumbles

1. In a 1-cup measure, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let stand a few minutes until the yeast looks wet. Stir in 1/4 cup flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 40 minutes.

2. Stir the milk into the sponge in a large mixing bowl. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt; add flour mixture to sponge and stir to blend well.

3. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour. Turn out the dough and knead 5 to 6 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Spray a medium bowl with nonstick spray coating and place dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area until double in volume, about 45 minutes to 60 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet. Add onions and cook over medium high heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add brown sugar and vinegar and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until onions are soft and caramelized; set aside.

5. Add pear slices to skillet and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pears are soft and begin to dry out. Remove from heat.

6. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll dough into a rectangle about 10 — by -13 inches. Place dough on parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with rosemary. Spread onions over dough and layer pears over onions. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola crumbles. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until browned and bubbly. Cut into squares.

Recipe developed for The Star by home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

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