Sunday 27 August 2017

The Bread Bible - Alsatian Onion Pizza

The next offering for the Bread Bible Bakers (yes, I am behind schedule still) is the Alsatian Onion Pizza. Alsatian brings to mind the dog breed but I can assure you there are definitely no dogs in this pizza. 

In the recipe Rose states that the pizza dough recipe makes enough for two people. I don't know if she's feeding pigeon-sized people but I beg to differ on this point. Maybe I just know a lot of greedy, greedy people. Anyway the point is I suggest you double if not quadruple the dough recipe if you want to satisfy family and friends, and/or are shamelessly greedy yourself.

I doubled the dough recipe but not the topping. The onion* and gruyere cheese topping is quite sophisticated as pizzas go. While I do love the old favourite pizza toppings (hello ham and pineapple) it's perhaps good to have another topping up your sleeve to serve to your more discerning friends and family (if you have any). I felt positively cosmopolitan scarfing down multiple pieces standing over the kitchen bench.

*Still mulling over the Alsatian part of the pizza, am wondering if onions are particularly grown in that region? Although it's more likely the gruyere cheese? There's nothing like a blog to expose your ignorance.

The dough is very simple to make. If you're a bread baker you might describe it as quick, although I'm not sure a random street poll would agree. Having cooked through one of Rose's books I find my judgement on designations such as 'quick' and 'easy' is slightly skewed. The dough takes a bit of time because of the proving phases but really the initial mixing couldn't be simpler. You mix a few basic ingredients roughly together and leave it in the bowl in a good amount of olive oil for an hour, or overnight in the fridge. When you next see the dough it's more beautiful swan than the ugly duckling you left in the bowl and it's very easy to to shape and prove a couple of times until it's ready for baking.

The topping involves slowly cooking some onions down until they're caramelised. It thought it was a little bit (more) involved (than I have patience for) for caramelised onions but the result was lovely. The thyme and garlic added towards the end, nicely offset the sweetness of the onions.

Once I had my pizza bases and toppings lined up, I got out my miracle pizza cooker (not its official name). It was a present from my older brother and sister-in-law (thanks again J & M) and, like a lot of cooking equipment, is both a blessing and a curse (take the bench top deep fryer, for example, just how easy do you want it to be to deep fry something at a moments notice?). The 'blessing' part of the pizza maker is the high heat it can generate and the pizza stone base which cooks bases to perfection in double-quick time (my favourite type of time).

Rose has us cook the dough base for a short while before putting the toppings on and baking again. This worked well, particularly with the pizza maker, because I could cook the base on the tray and then once it was par-cooked I could finish it directly on the stone base of the pizza maker, with the toppings. The pizza was exactly how I like it - a thinnish, crispy and chewy base with just enough topping to flavour the base without drowning it.

Even though I doubled the dough but not the onion mixture, I found there was plenty to cover the two 25cm-ish pizzas. The sweetish onion mixture and the nutty gruyere cheese is a great combination.

This pizza is way too easy to make. It's a public holiday here in the Northern Territory as I write* and I'm very tempted to mix up some dough and treat myself. Perhaps a tomato sauce base this time.

The next recipe on the Bread Bible Baker schedule is Potato Buttermilk Bread.

*Actually by the time I got around to pressing the publish button on this blog post the holiday was long gone. But I did make some more pizzas that weekend and they were just as, if not more, delicious than my first attempt. 


  1. You are hilarious! Always a treat to giggle along to one of your posts. Now you make me want to try this onion/Gruyere combination topping. I couldn't agree with you more that this pizza dough is truly simplistic. I love your pizza gizmo. Googling it right now.

  2. Thanks Vicki! Hope you're feeling better now. Definitely give the topping a try, it's really delicious. The bench top pizza makers seem to be really popular in Australia and my experience with it has been good.