Simple Caramelized Onion White Pizza should be what its name implies – just pizza dough and mouthwatering caramelized onions. OK, a bit of cheese too. But nothing else.
However, when researching this post, I discovered that simple is not what you get if you google “simple caramelized onion white pizza” or even “easy caramelized onion white pizza.” Instead, you come up with a raft of recipes that call for mushrooms, spinach, arugula, chard, and ricotta. All those ingredients are lovely, and I do love them as pizza toppings. But when I want a simple caramelized onion white pizza, I do mean simple! And so, I decided that the world needs this recipe.
By the way, do you know what defines white pizza? It is pizza without tomatoes or tomato sauce. Typically, it is the crust, with a bit of olive oil and a few toppings. It could be as simple as cheese on dough or as complicated as you like. For this version, it’s just three ingredients besides the dough and oil – two kinds of cheese and melt-in-your-mouth caramelized onions.
In my house pizza is close to a religion. My beloved spent his summers on the New Jersey boardwalk, making pizza from scratch. After many years perfecting his technique and recipes, he is truly a pizza master. But he’s not a snob when it comes to equipment or ingredients. He can make delicious pizza with much less than ideal equipment and simple ingredients. That’s the beauty of his approach.
Although my guy would love a Hobart (commercial grade and size) mixer with a dough hook and a commercial oven or an outdoor version that would get super-hot without heating the kitchen, he does not have either. Instead, he is content making dough in my home-size Kitchen Aid and baking the pie in our good, but not commercial-grade, oven.
He does well with a Baking Steel “stone,” which gives a crispiness to the crust that is just fabulous. And like the true pizza-man that he is, my beloved puts his pizza directly on the steel surface using a pizza peel.
But you can make really good pizza without that equipment and skill. Instead of the Baking Steel, use a large unglazed tile. It should be about 11-inches square and 1/4-inch thick, from natural materials – no lead or concrete. You can find one at your local hardware store for just a few dollars. If you prefer, put a few smaller tiles together. (Before he got his Baking Steel, my beloved used unglazed tiles that we bought at our local kitchen store.) Instead of putting the pizza directly on the stone, use a pizza screen (a pan with holes that let the heat come through) or pan, or even a rimless or short-rimmed cookie sheet.
I promise to do a post on how to make homemade pizza dough in the fall. In the meantime, either use one of the many recipes out there for pizza dough. For example, you might like the one on Epicurious from Giadia de Laurentis or David Tanis’ recipe in the New York Times. You can even buy a dough ball at the store. The bottom line is that how you bake the pizza and what you put on it makes this Simple Caramelized Onion White Pizza a crowd pleaser no matter what dough you use.
We served this pizza cut into small wedges as an appetizer. You can do that, or make bigger wedges for a meal with a salad. Either way, it’s a winner.
Tips for Making Caramelized Onion White Pizza
- Use good ingredients – There is no substitute for good cheese and slow-cooked caramelized onions. And whether you make dough or buy it, find a version you love.
- Spreading the ingredients – When you spread the cheese and the caramelized onion, you must leave a rim of about 1-inch, so that a crust can rise up around the edge. Distribute them around, but don’t get too frantic about how evenly you spread the cheese and onions. Pizza is meant to look “rough,” not as if it was plated with tweezers.
- Oven temperature & baking – Be sure to pre-heat both the oven and the pizza stone or Baking Steel. You can’t get the crust crisp unless they are blazing hot.
Now that you have the tips, here is a video of the master at work.
Simple Caramelized Onion White Pizza
With just a few ingredients, you can make a pizza that is simply spectacular. For an appetizer or a full meal (with a salad), just follow these easy instructions.
- 1 ball of pizza dough
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, spread over dough
- 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese 2 ounces/60 grams
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup caramelized onions 4 & 1/2 ounces/122 grams
Preheat oven to 550 degrees F, with pizza stone set on middle rack while the oven preheats.
Toss or roll the dough into a flat, round shape, approximately 10-inches in diameter.
Spread the mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan or romano cheese over the center of the pizza dough, leaving uncovered a ring of approximately 1-inch around the edge.
Add the caramelized onions, spreading them over the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of parmesan or romano cheese.
Slide the pizza onto the stone in the oven, either directly or using a pizza tray/cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 8 minutes until the crust is browning and the center bubbles. If you notice that bubbles develop on the ring of crust without cheese and onions, you should press them down or puncture them with a fork or knife. This keeps them from burning before the pizza is fully baked.
Once you remove the pizza from the oven, slice it into wedges for serving.