French onion soup is something I only order once every 5 years, but when I do, I am in heaven. I love the overly salty caramelized onions with that cheesy and slightly soggy bread top. Why not turn these amazing ingredients into a pizza! Ancestory.com says I am French and Italian, so I must try to unite my cultures, right?
I have worked in the restaurant industry for 18 years, but not too many know the first 3 jobs were in pizza restaurants. As a 16 year old pizza cook, I would cut a sliver of each pie out of the oven, eat it, and push the pie back together. My justification was if you are going to pay me $6.75 per hour, I can eat whatever I want. Thank god people didn’t have video cameras at their disposal like they do today, or I probably would have gone viral. I have morals now, so please don’t judge me.
Pizza is a fun meal to make for a date night, with the whole family, or even solo (judgment free zone). I’m the cook in the family, but love to put my husband or dinner party guests to work if I can. If I could get my 7 month old baby to shred cheese or roll out the dough I would! Each 14″ Pizza gets one whole yellow onion caramelized in wine. The process of caramelizing completely transforms an onion, bringing out the deep, rich, and natural flavors. What person doesn’t like pizza? A weir-dough!!…get it??
How to make pizza dough
Although the process of making pizza dough isn’t quick, it is easy and fun to make. If you are in a pinch for time, by all means, buy store bought pizza dough. Trader Joe’s makes a great pizza dough that I buy all the time. Please do not buy pre-cooked pizza dough from the grocery store. It tastes horrible and won’t be worth your time.
Start by pouring the bread flour, one packet of instant dry yeast, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil and warm water. Stir until well combined and the dough is soft. If the dough is dry, add more water (1 tbsp at a time). If the dough is super stick, add more flour (1 tbsp at a time). I recommend bread flour because it will make the crust crispier. All-purpose flour makes the crust denser and chewier.
Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes.
Spread olive oil in a large bowl using a paper towel or brush. Place the kneaded dough ball in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
What if I don’t have a warm place for my dough to rise?
If you don’t have a perfectly warm spot for your dough to rise, don’t worry. I have a solution for you. Turn on your oven for 2 minutes and immediately turn off. Transfer the dough ball in the bowl (covered in plastic) into the oven. Shut the door.
How to knead dough
Using the palm of your hand, knead the dough by pressing down, then outward. Fold the dough in half and press the dough into itself, pressing down and outward. This process makes the dough silky, soft, and elastic. YouTube is a great resource for learning how to knead.
Once the dough ball has doubled in size, transfer to a lightly oiled surface. Adding too much flour can make the dough tough in texture. Divide pizza dough into 2 equal balls. Stretch each dough ball into a 14” pie. Transfer stretched pizza pie onto a pizza peal sprinkled with cornmeal. The cornmeal helps prevent the dough from sticking and makes it easy to transfer the pizza to the stone in the oven.
Assemble the pizza
You want the oven as hot as possible to give the crust the perfect crispy golden texture. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F with the pizza stone in the oven. If you don’t own a pizza stone, you can bake the pizza on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle each pizza dough with the caramelized onion mixture. Top with the shredded Havarti cheese and fresh chives. Bake for about 12 minutes or until crispy and golden on top.
French Onion Soup Pizza
- 8 oz havarti cheese, shredded
- 3 tbsp chopped chive
- corn meal
- 2 cups yellow onions, sliced (1/4" thick) (about 2 onions)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp thyme, fresh or dried
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1.5 cups beef broth (vegetable broth- optional)
- 1 tbsp flour
Homemade Pizza Dough (store bought-optional)
- 3.5 cups bread flour (more for cutting board)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp sugar
- 1 package instant dry yeast (1/4 oz.)
- 1.5 cups warm water (about 105-115 degrees F)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Saute the sliced yellow onions, butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper for 8 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and thyme and saute for an additional minute.
- Add 1 tbsp of flour and brown for 30 seconds.
- Deglaze pan with the wine and broth. Let simmer until no more liquid in the pan (about 6-10 minutes).
Pizza Dough (2 x 14" pie crusts)
- In a large bowl, mix flour, instant yeast, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center; add oil and yeast mixture. Stir until well combined and the dough is soft. If the dough is sticky, add more flour (1 tbsp. at a time). If the dough is dry, add more water (1 tbsp. at a time).
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Dust with more flour until no longer sticky.
- Brush large bowl with olive oil using a paper towel. Place the dough ball in the bowl. Turn dough ball once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour and let it double in size. You can turn your oven on for 2 minutes and turn off to use as a warm place for your dough to rise.
- Divide dough ball into 2. Roll out both dough balls on a floured surface. Transfer one of the stretched pizza pies onto a pizza peal with cornmeal.
Assembly of pizza
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F with pizza stone (optional) in the oven.
- Divide and sprinkle caramelized onions over both shaped pizza doughs.
- Divide and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the caramelized onions.
- Sprinkle the chopped chive over both pizzas.
- Using a pizza peel, transfer the pizza onto the pizza stone in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes or until crispy and golden on top.
- The pizza peel and stone are optional. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Transfer the stretched dough onto the baking sheet.
- You can substitute the bread flour for all-purpose flour. The bread flour makes a lighter and crispier crust. All-purpose gives the dough a denser and chewier crust.