Roasted Bacon Meatball Pizza with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Peppers

Yes, I like to make things in large volumes sometimes. Or repeatedly. It’s part of the perfecting process when I develop recipes. If I’m giving a recipe, it’s because I know that the measurements are well tested, not just some random handful of this, pinch of that. I tend to do the “handful/pinch” approach after doing a recipe a few times because I have a feel for the repetition, but for the initial development stages, I’m precise with my measures.

With my most recent batch of Roasted Bacon Meatballs, I like to keep them as is, without sauce for certain things. And my regular pizza night on the weekends is one of those reasons. I also like to think of toppings to compliment it and prepare them while my dough is rising. So within the hour rise time that it usually takes to wait for dough, I can roast peppers (since the oven is on anyways to give a uniform warm environment to my kitchen to have even rising) and caramelize some onions.

The rest is pretty instant. Shred some cheese, whip together a quick pizza sauce and you’re ready to stretch some dough.

Roasted Bacon Meatball Pizza with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Peppers

For the Red Fife Wheat Flour Dough:

2 cups red fife wheat flour (or whole wheat bread flour)

3/4-7/8 cup warm water

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp salt

   In a large bowl, add the flour. Make a depression in the centre of it, sprinkle the salt around the outer edge of the flour and add the warm water to the centre. Whisk in the maple syrup and yeast into the warm water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until frothy on top. Slowly work the frothy yeast mixture into the flour and salt until a soft dough starts to come together. Turn on to the counter and start to knead with any residual flour left from the bowl. Gradually, knead until the dough is soft, slightly sticky and smooth. This will take at least 10 minutes for a smooth dough. Place in a large bowl that has been lightly oiled with 1 tsp oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise next to the oven for an hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 190C/375F.

For the Roasted Peppers

1 sweet bell pepper

   Place the pepper on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until deeply browned/nearly blackened on the skin on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap to steam the skin away for 10 minutes. Peel the skin, remove the stem and seeds and tear the roasted pepper into strips. Set aside.

For the Caramelized Onions:

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp cold pressed canola oil

1/2 tsp salt

   In a small pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and salt. Stir over medium high heat for about 7-8 minutes. As it starts to soften and lightly brown, lower the heat to medium. Sauté for a further 7-10 minutes and as the onions begin to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan, add a few tablespoons of water. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and incorporate the sticky, brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the onions. Gradually lower the heat to medium low and continue to caramelize for another 13-15 minutes or until the onions are deeply golden, adding a few tablespoons of water throughout the process as needed. Don’t worry, the water will incorporate into the onions and reduce to leave a sweet, jam-like texture to the onions. When they reach your desired level of browning, remove from the heat and set aside.

For the pizza:

5 or 6 prepared Roasted Bacon Meatballs

Prepared Roasted Peppers

Prepared Caramelized Onions

5 or 6 Tbsp pizza sauce (I generally whisk together 1 small can tomato paste, 3 Tbsp water, 2 tsp soy sauce, 4 tsp dried oregano and 2 tsp garlic powder for a quick version)

100g/4 oz gruyere cheese, shredded (or mozzarella)

50g/2 oz herb/garlic-flavoured gouda cheese, shredded (or your favourite flavoured cheese)

Prepared Red Fife Wheat Flour Dough

   Take a baking sheet, invert it so the bottom is facing up. Drizzle it with 1/2 tsp cold pressed canola oil and rub it over the surface of the bottom of the pan to evenly distribute it. Divide the dough in half. Stretch each half into 25 cm/9″ rounds. Lay on the prepared baking sheet. Spread half of the pizza sauce on each stretched circle of dough. Sprinkle half of the shredded gruyere over each pizza. Cut the meatballs into 1 cm (1/2″) thick pieces. Spread them evenly around each pizza. Layer strips of roasted peppers in between the meatballs and dot little bits of caramelized onions over both pizzas. Top with herbed gouda and bake on the middle rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, turn the pan around and bake for another 8-10 minutes until it is uniformly golden along the edge of the crust and the top of the cheese. Makes 2 25cm/9″ pizzas.

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