One of the interesting things about baking along with the Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking with Julia group has been finding my expectations challenged. Not being in control of the recipe selection process has led to some surprising results for me. For instance, this pizza with onion confit confounded my expectations for both the dough and the topping.
I’ve made pizza dough a lot and have a couple of recipes from Jim Lahey that I’m happy with. Recently I’ve been using the one from his book, My Pizza – it’s a no-knead recipe featuring a little yeast and extended fermentation, which “strengthens the dough.” There are some specifics about the baking process that are a little complicated with an electric oven, but the results are fabulous.
I thought I didn’t need another pizza dough recipe, and so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this dough was exceptionally easy to handle and baked into a thin crispy crust with a minimum of fuss. The process involves mixing up a sponge with water, yeast, olive oil, and about half the flour, which is left to rise until it’s bubbly. Then the remaining flour is added, the dough is kneaded in a mixer and left to rise again.
I love onions, especially when they’re slowly braised or carmelized, and they make a great topping for pizza. This onion confit is made by softening sliced onions in butter and then braising them in red wine and a little red wine vinegar for an hour. They’re seasoned with a bit of sugar and some thyme. I didn’t use the optional crème de cassis.
The dough was surprisingly manageable, stretching effortlessly to a thin roughly oval shape without tearing, and then sliding easily off the peel. Maybe I was lucky…I’ll have to see if it goes as smoothly with the second half of the dough which I plan to bake tomorrow. In addition to the onion confit, I scattered some chopped olives and gorgonzola cheese over the pizza.
I like the concentrated sweetness of carmelized onions and wasn’t crazy about the vinegary flavor of the onion confit. I’ll have to experiment with the onions, maybe cook them a little longer in the butter before adding wine, definitely omit the vinegar, and try substituting white wine for the red. But I’ll absolutely be making this pizza again.