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Food Network Favorites: Pizza with Caramelized Onions & Crispy Bacon

A very good pizza recipe from Wolfgang Puck. The dough is the same recipe that I've already tested from Live, Love, Eat! , and just as with my previous test, the dough was easy to work with and tasted great. The only variation here is the toppings.

The combination of bacon, onions, and cheese was tasty. You could try any combination of toppings that you like: pepperoni with red sauce, pesto with spinach, olives and sausage -- whatever sounds good to you.

The dough recipe makes twice as much dough as you need for the amount of toppings. The extra dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

The recipe instructs the cook to bake the pizza on a pizza stone, but all is not lost if you don't have one. Use a regular baking sheet and cook the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven. To help prevent sticking, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal or semolina on the baking sheet just before you put the pizza dough on it. To get the pizza onto the stone or baking sheet, use a pizza paddle or assemble the pizzas on a sheet of parchment paper.

For the toppings and pizzas:
Prep Time: about 30 minutes
Cook Time: about 30 minutes
Yield: 4 main-course servings or 8 appetizer servings

2 tsp olive oil
6 slices bacon (about 4 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup farmer's cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
2 balls Pizza Dough, 6 oz. each (see below)
1 cup grated mozzarella
4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
4 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil, add the bacon, and cook until bacon is very crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 Tbsp 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 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 to taste. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll each dough ball as thinly as possible into a 14- to 15-inch circle. Evenly spread the mascarpone mixture over each dough round. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, bacon, thyme, and sautéed 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.

For the pizza dough:
Prep Time: about 1 hour
Yield: enough dough for 4 eight-inch pizzas, or 2 twelve-inch pizzas
Make Ahead: up to 2 days

1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water in a small bowl.

In a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes together and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes.

(To make the dough in a food processor: Combine the flour and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the yeast mixture, water, and oil and process until the dough begins to form a ball that rides around the side of the bowl on top of the blade.)

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 to 3 minutes longer. The dough should feel smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp cloth and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes (when ready, the dough will stretch easily as it is lightly pulled).

Divide the dough into four balls, about 6 oz. each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking them under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times to form a smooth, even ball. 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. Repeat with each ball. Cover the balls with the damp cloth and let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.



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