Let me tell you about this pizza.
A few weeks ago, my cousin Lacy walked into our house with this pizza.
It was right in the middle of a hangry husband episode and once he realized that this pizza wouldn’t be enough for him, he left and went to get a burger.
I was thrilled. Secretly. But not so secretly.
The two of us had this entire pizza to ourselves and oh my word – it was insane. I think I took down four slices and then thought about it for just about as many days. Ah, but they were thin slices so it was really like I ate two slices. AND it was whole wheat. Girl math!
No lie though: I thought about this pizza for days. It haunted my dreams. It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty. It was like I was physically incapable of doing anything in my life until I recreated this pizza.
It had to happen.
Caramelized Onion, Gruyere + Pepper Bacon Whole Wheat Pizza
Yield: serves 2 to 4
Total Time: 2 hours
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 vidalia onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
12 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 2/3 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook just until a bit of the fat is rendered and the bacon is SLIGHTLY cooked - it will cook more in the oven. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel. Sprinkle it with the pepper. Leave the grease in the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and add butter. Add in the onions with the salt and toss to coat. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so. After 1 hour, stir in the brown sugar and cook for 15 minutes more. Stir in the garlic. Turn off the heat and add the onions to a bowl. Set aside.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas - this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or if you're using a pizza stone or the skillet method, follow those directions). Add half of the cheese to the dough, then cover it with the onions, then the bacon. Add the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and serve.
Get this done.