Anyone that loves to cook will tell you that they will never forget their first kitchen nightmare. My aunt experimented with a low fat cake that was a complete bust. No one has ever let her forget it, and this was over a decade ago. Last year, I made a roasted vegetable soup. It tasted like nothing, but looked like a certain bodily fluid. Sorry for that visual. It is my low fat cake and I will never be able to live it down.
You also never forget the first time that you come up with a recipe that is all your own and it is a huge success. The first recipe that I created on my own was this pizza topped with balsamic roasted onions, bacon, and goat cheese. It is my idea of the perfect pizza. The crust is crispy, the balsamic onions are sweet, the bacon is salty, and the goat cheese adds a little something creamy. Like any good pizza, this one is slathered with a good amount of marinara sauce. I can’t begin to tell you how good the kitchen smells when you put this pizza into the oven.
I have spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how to get a crispy, golden crust on pizza when cooking it in your own oven. First of all, crank you oven up as high as it will go. The hotter your oven, the quicker the crust will crisp up. Second, a drizzle of olive oil under your crust before you bake it will ensure that it does not get soggy. These days, you can buy pretty good pre-made pizza dough or pre-baked flatbreads at the grocery store. But I have a recipe that is so simple, it doesn’t take much longer than 30 minutes to prepare. Check out the recipe below.
Hopefully this pizza is good enough to make up for my failure of a soup!
- 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1½ cups warm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
- ½ recipe pizza dough, recipe above
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in ½ cup of warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy.
- Combine the flour, salt, and remaining teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture and olive oil and pulse to combine. Gradually add enough of the remaining cup of water to form a smooth, wet dough that rides around the sides of the food processor.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 45 minutes, until doubled in volume.
- Preheat the broiler. Toss together the onions, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the salt, and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Broil the onions for 6 to 8 minutes, until soft and lightly caramelized.
- Meanwhile, place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 6 minutes, until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F, or as high as your oven will go. Drizzle a large heavy baking sheet with some olive oil, just enough to lightly cover. Transfer the pizza dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a thin 15-inch circle. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Spread the marinara sauce over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and spread the onions over the dough. Crumble the goat cheese and bacon on top. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.