Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Crispy Bacon
Oh how do I love Wolfgang Puck? Let me count the ways. Puck is a true talent who creates recipes that are simple, elegant and very tasty. So tasty that I can only describe them as the cream cheese on my bagel, the cream in my coffee, the bacon on my donut. I have saved many Puck recipes over the years but I forgot about this one and I am so very glad I came across it in one of my cleaning frenzies. The recipe was given to me by my Mother; an avid Puck fan who reads the Chicago Tribune in which he used to have a column that has since disappeared. My Mom would meticulously cut out all of his recipes and try them for herself and then eventually hand the recipe over to me.
This pizza is one of those cutouts that I found buried deep in my recipe box, stained with Olive Oil and taking on a yellow antique quality. This pizza has an undeniably fabulous mixture of sweet caramelized onions, salty bacon, four different cheeses and a dash of thyme and nutmeg that strikes the perfect balance in flavor. Could there be a better combination of ingredients to be piled on soft honey laced pizza dough? Actually, any recipe that intermingles cheese, bacon, onion and starch is guaranteed to make me swoon with delight.
Note: I first made this pizza a few years ago without the called for pizza stone and on a regular baking sheet and it was fantastic. However, I made the pizza for this post on the pizza stone and it definitely made it taste even better. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Wolfgang Puck, 2004, Chicago Tribune
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 slices bacon (about 2 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, peeled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup farmer's cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces Pizza Dough, recipe follows
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
In a medium size saute pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bacon and cook until the bacon is very crispy and all of the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan and discard. Place the pan over high heat. Add the onions to the hot bacon fat and cook until the onions are well browned, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone and farmer's cheeses. Season with nutmeg and black pepper. Reserve.
On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll the dough as thinly as possible, about 14 to 15-inch circle. Evenly spread the mascarpone mixture over the dough. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, bacon, thyme, and sauteed onion. Bake until the pizza crust is nicely browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove pizza from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cut into slices and serve immediately.
1 package active dry or fresh yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.
In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the mixture comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the dough hook.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a cool spot for about 2 hours. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled).
Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Yield: dough for 4 small pizzas