It’s Friday; let’s talk pizza. In my opinion, Friday and pizza go together like peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese and tomato soup on a cold winter day. They’re just meant to be.
Pizza is a staple food in Chicago and in my house on Friday nights, but would you believe I “didn’t like” pizza until sometime in high school? As a child I refused to eat pizza except when I was eating dinner over a my friend Kristin’s house. For whatever reason, my warped little kid-brain had decided the pizza her family ordered was superior to any pizza my parents could ever possibly make or order. Even when I did finally start liking pizza, I stuck to plain cheese: no meats, no veggies, nothing. If it wasn’t crust, sauce and cheese, I wasn’t eating it. Luckily I have expanded my pizza eating horizons over the last decade.
So my ideal pizza? It’s a thin and crispy crust with just a thin smearing of sauce and a hefty pile of cheese. (Completely traitorous to Chicago heritage, I know.) I still don’t care for traditional pizza meats, but I love a good pizza loaded with spinach, onion, mushrooms, garlic, and even broccoli. My favorite kinds of pizza, though, are the “weird” ones: BBQ chicken, Hawaiian, and various gourmet sounding pizzas.
Today’s recipe falls into that last category: Gourmet Pizza. This recipe is actually inspired by and adapted from a few different places. The pizza was inspired by old issue of Vegetarian Times, and the crust is adapted from Panem’s manual and How Sweet Eats Garlic Bread Pizza Crust
Balsamic Glazed Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza
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Make 2 thin crust, lightly topped 14” pizzas (or 1 large thick crust, heavily topped pizza)
The pizza dough was made using my bread machine. If you don’t have a bread machine you can try the dough recipe by hand, but I can’t promise it will turn out as well. If you’re making the dough by hand, I would recommend Jenna’s pizza dough recipe. You could also buy pre-made pizza dough.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons quick rise yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 1 very large sweet yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened slightly
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Add the ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed above (or in the order recommended by the manufacturer) leaving out the melted butter and garlic powder. Run dough cycle.
- Once the dough is done, preheat the oven to 425. Spray two pizza pans with nonstick spray and add a dusting of cornmeal.
- Divide dough into two equal portions rolling out each portion to fit your pizza pans.
- Combine melted butter and garlic powder. Use a pastry brush to brush each crust with the garlic butter.
- Par-bake each crust for 5 minutes.
- With about 30 minutes left in the dough cycle, begin caramelizing the onions.
- Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions,cooking until soft, translucent and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Once onions have started to brown, add mushrooms. Cook onions and mushrooms for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until mushrooms have softened, browned and released their juices.
- Add balsamic vinegar, water, and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and allow to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes.
Assemble the pizzas
- Once crusts have been par-baked, spread each crust with 2 ounces of goat cheese. (I used the angled spatula that I used for frosting cakes which worked wonderfully spreading the cheese, but any old knife should do.) Top the goat cheese with half of the onion mixture, and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese.
- Bake each pizza for 10 minutes.
Slice and Enjoy!