… I just published this and voila, WordPress lost half my post. The half where I wrote about how I make my basic pizza dough and why brown onions caramelise better than red. It was there before I hit publish and gone after. You’ll just have to imagine it.
I use between three and five onions depending on how much I want and how big the onions are. Three big onions made enough to go on my pizzas. I chop them in half and slice them very thinly. I put them in a pot with 1-2 tablespoons of golden syrup and a splash of balsamic, and cook them in a bit of olive oil on a medium heat for a few minutes to let them soften and start to brown a little. Then I turn the heat right down and put the lid on. I leave it like that for as long as I can bear it – at least half an hour – stirring every so often. If your stove temperature seems too hot you can put them in the oven on a low temperature.
For my caramelised onion tart, I add some salt, pepper, maybe some herbs, perhaps a little wholegrain mustard, and spread the mixture over the bottom of my pastry (I make wholemeal pastry with about 100 grams of cold butter and two cups of wholemeal flour, and enough cold water to hold it all together). Then I mix together 4-5 eggs and about half a cup of milk (or cream, creme fraiche, or sour cream if I have any on hand) and pour it over the onions. I don’t like to add cheese to my custard but I do sprinkle a handful or two of Parmesan on top. Into the oven at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes until a lovely uniform brown and shiny on top! The top should spring back when you press it. I don’t blind bake my pastry as it seems to cook fine, and when I did blind bake first it turned out overcooked.
Anyway, back to the pizza!
I preheated the oven to the hottest setting. I divided the dough into three and hand-stretched it onto a thick baking tray covered in foil and sprinkled with semolina. I don’t hold with rolling as I like the centre of my pizza to be thin and the crusts to be a bit thicker. Apparently it’s easier to get holes when you roll it too. Basically I hold it vertically in my hands and gently stretch while rotating the dough to get it even and round.
I spread the base with a thinnish layer of onions, sprinkled with a few fennel seeds, a pinch of sea salt, and a cracking of black pepper. I topped with some crumbled goat’s cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
Into the oven until the edges were turning brown and hey presto:
The base cooked fine without needing a pizza stone, which I was pleased about. Definitely tasty but was it perfect? Stay tuned for more experimentation!