Recipe Index

Italian | Caramelized Balsamic Onions, Creme Fraiche, and Black Pepper Bacon Pizza

Posted on March 4, 2011

Serve with a big green salad or as an appetizer.

Yield: 6 first course servings

caramelized balsamic onions, creme fraiche, and black pepper bacon pizza



1 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil



1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3 year old



1/2 cup creme fraiche

6 ounces black pepper crusted bacon, cut into lardoons (1/4 inch strips) and cooked

freshly ground black pepper, to taste




Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a cup and let stand until mixture appears creamy on surface, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't appear creamy, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Whisk salt into 1 1/4 cups flour in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water and stir until smooth. Stir in enough flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup) for dough to begin to pull away from side of bowl. (This pizza dough will be slightly wetter than others you may have made.)

Knead dough on a floured work surface with floured hands, reflouring when dough becomes too sticky, but using as little flour as possible, until dough is smooth, soft and elastic, about 8 minutes. Form dough into a ball and dust generously with flour. Put dough in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, and 1 1/4 hours.


Heat a 10-inch saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the butter and olive oil. Add the onions and lower the heat to low. Cook the onions "low and slow" for about 45 minutes. Add in the balsamic vinegar and cook the onions for an additional 15 minutes. The onions are ready when they become translucent.

Shape dough and make topping: At least 45 minutes before baking the pizza, put pizza stone on oven rack in lower third of the over and preheat to 500 degrees F.

Do not punch down the dough. Gently dredge dough in a bowl of flour to coat, then transfer to a parchment-lined pizza peel or baking sheet (without sides). Lightly flour parchment (around dough). Pat out dough evenly with your fingers and stretch into a 13-inch round. (Do not handle dough more than necessary. If dough is sticky, dust it lightly with flour.)


Mix the onions and creme fraiche together in a medium-sized bowl and spread on the dough. Sprinkle the bacon evenly over the onions and creme fraiche.

Slide pizza on parchment onto pizza stone. Bake pizza until dough is crisp and browned, about 14 to 16 minutes. Using peel or baking sheet, transfer pizza to a cutting board. Cool 5 minutes and remove parchment before slicing.


(Ref. Sur La Table's "Caramelized Balsamic Onions, Creme Fraiche, and Black Pepper Bacon Pizza" recipe, "All About Bacon" class.)