I’ve been wanting to create a really great, out of this world pizza for a long time. I’ve made pizza’s from scratch many times, but I’ve only hand made the crust once or twice (is in measured out ingredients myself instead of dumping a bag of premixed into a bowl and adding water). In years past, we used to hold a little get together for the Grey Cup (that’s the Canadian Football League’s “Super Bowl” if you will, although we’re in our 97th year of celebrating it) and have a big ol’ pizza party. Everyone brought ingredients to contribute and we always made giant pizzas piled high with so many toppings it was my own little mountain of cheesy goodness.
Well, I didn’t want to drown in greasy cheese last night. No. In fact, I wanted my pizza to be refreshing, in season and different. No tomato sauce, no mozzarella, and I really needed to use those figs I bought for the BSI. Not that I am entering my own contest, that would be silly. Yay! I win! Ha ha…kidding…
Anyway, on to the pie.
This is my version of a blend of ingredients, I’m sure, has been done many times before. Not by me mind you, and I did come up with it all by myself. Years in commercial kitchens do that to do, your brain will forever be ingrained with flavours that go well together. Salty with sweet, crunchy with creamy, fruits with meats, etc.
This pizza blends some of my favourite flavours together into one magnificent pie and also allowed me to use some truffle oil that’s been in my cabinet for a couple of months, begging me to use it in something. So there you go, now go make this pizza, you will not be sorry.
Caramelized Onion, Fig, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza With Truffle Oil on a Grilled Whole Wheat, Rosemary Thin Crust…whew!
For the crust :
(makes one large rectangle crust)
1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup water, room temperature
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups whole grain whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
baking spray, butter or other fat (for greasing your bowl)
1. Place 1/2 a cup of water in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Sprinkle in yeast and add tsp. of sugar, stir and let rest 5-10 minutes.
2. Add room temperature water and olive oil to yeast mixture, stir.
3. Place flour and salt in bowl of electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low for a few seconds.
4. Slowly pour yeast mixture into flour, mixing on low speed. Mix until dough begind to form and sides of bowl are clean. Rest for 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, change out the paddle attachment, for the dough hook. Mix for another 5-10 minutes, or until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
6. Oil a medium sized bowl, plop dough ball in, cover in plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm place.
7. Punch down, roll out into a rectangle and fold edges in on themselves to make a small crust.
For the toppings:
1 large sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla, etc)
1 tsp olive oil
1 12 oz bottle of amber (or darker) beer (minus three or four swigs for the chef!)
salt & fresh cracked pepper
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups brown mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 fresh black mission figs, diced
2 oz. fresh goat’s cheese (chèvre)
sprinkling of black or white truffle oil
1. Peel onion, cut in half from top to bottom, slice into thin half moon slices.
2. In large, heavy bottomed saucepan, add oil, onions, s & p and sugar.
3. When onions have begun to soften, begin adding beer about a 1/4 cup at a time. Allow liquid to cook out completely before adding more. Esentially, you are deglazing the pan over and over again.
4. When all the beer is gone and pan has been deglazed a final time, set onions aside.
5. Slice mushrooms and grate, mince or crush up your garlic cloves. I’m not picky…
6. Add mushrooms and garlic, plus 1 tsp olive oil into saucepan (you could use the onion pan if you don’t want to clean more than one, I know that’s what I would do).
7. Sautée until mushrooms are fully cooked, set aside.
8. Assemble your Mise en Place. Like this:
Time to get grilling!
1. Heat your grill to almost high. Brush olive oil onto the top of your crust (the side your toppings will eventually rest on). Toss onto oiled grill for 3-5 minutes.
2. Oil the bottom as the crust is grilling. When ready, flip over and grill the other side for another 3-5 minutes. Be gentle when flipping!
3. When done, remove to large baking tray.
4. Take your goat’s cheese and rub it all over the crust, kind of like a sauce. The heat from grilling will melt the cheese a bit and make it easier to spread.
5. Sprinkle on your onions, mushrooms and figs and more goat’s cheese if you want.
6. Here is where you can do two things to finish your pie. 1) Return to grill on medium heat and bake until cheese is melted and crust is golden and crispy OR 2) Set in 450-500°F oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Either way is fine.
7. When your pizza is ready, drizzle truffle oil over (not too much), cut into 8 pieces and serve. Delicious!
I’m not going to lie. When I first flipped my pie over on the grill, I grabbed one side with tongs and the other with a spatula and attempted to flip it over. Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened next. I tore part of that crust just about clean off! So watch out when you flip it the first time, if it’s not quite cooked yet, it will be soft still and may tear. Good luck!