Friday, November 16, 2012

"Pizza Juliana" with Homemade Pesto Base, Crispy Bacon, Crumbled Goat Cheese, Roasted Mushrooms, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Fresh Basil, & Balsamic Reduction

"Pizza Juliana"
I swear I'm not that into myself, ya know... by naming a pizza after me. This goes way back to when I was in lower + middle school. Remember how awesome slumber parties were? A bunch of your friends all at one house, wreaking havoc, dressing up, doing makeovers, calling boys, giggling, and most importantly, gossiping. Well, almost every one of our weekend sleepovers included ordering a bunch of boxes of Papa John's pizza. This was not fun for me because I'm lactose intolerant. So I always had to pick off all the toppings, peel of the cheese, and eat the crust for dinner. I know, that's less-than-stellar for sure. But as I got to high school and college, rustic pizza places became my new obsession. I mean, they had this deliciously crispy crust, topped with all the best toppings you can buy, and even better, you could create your own... brilliant! Now, that's the only kind of pizza people eat. I can't honestly remember the last time I had one of those delivery pizza chains (thank goodness). This is how I developed "Pizza Juliana"... a no cheese pizza loaded with all my favorite toppings like pesto, caramelized onions, crispy bacon, roasted mushrooms, slow roasted tomatoes, fresh basil and a balsamic reduction drizzled over the top. The kicker is that I do include goat cheese. It seems to be the one cheese that doesn't make me feel sick. So, by nature, I'm a pro-goat cheese kinda gal. I put it on everything, it pretty much borderlines on an obsession. In my recipe below, I didn't give exact measurements for each topping, I like to fill mine up, while others might want much less, and that's fine. Just put as little or as much as your heart desires, either way it will be delicious!! Enjoy :)

For the Extra-Crusty Pizza Dough:
3 ¾C AP Flour (plus extra for shaping the dough)
2t Sea Salt + 1t Sugar
¼t Active Dry Yeast
1 ½C Water  

For the Balsamic Reduction:
¼C Balsamic Vinegar
1t Honey

For the Pizza Juliana:
Prepared Pizza Dough
Prepared Balsamic Reduction
Homemade Basil Pesto
Caramelized Onions
Crispy Bacon Lardons
Slow Roasted Tomatoes or Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Roasted Mushrooms (I used Portabella Mushrooms)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, For Drizzling (optional)
Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste (if needed)
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Fresh Basil, Chiffonade

1. For the Extra-Crusting Pizza Dough: Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 1.5 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, preferably 18 hours (but anywhere between 12-18 hours would work as well). Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 1-2 equal portions (depending on thin or thick you want your pizza dough). Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions. Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour.
2. During the last hour of the dough’s resting, preheat the oven to its hottest setting, around 500-550 degrees, and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Working with the dough, dust it generously with flour and place onto a floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a 10-12 inch disk. Press or spread the dough dish on top of a baking sheet or pizza stone. Now it’s time to add on the topping.
3. For the Balsamic Reduction: Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan and cook to reduce for 3-5 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Set this aside until ready to use.
4. Assembling the Pizza: Spread the dough with some of your homemade pesto, in an even layer, and then layer on the caramelized onions, crispy bacon lardons, slow roasted tomatoes, and roasted mushrooms (and you can drizzle a little olive oil, as well as salt & pepper if you would like too).
5. Bake the pizza until the bottom of the crust is crisp and the top is blistered, about 10-15 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven).
6. Once it has baked and the crust is crispy, scatter the crumbled goat cheese all over the pizza and garnish with a bunch of fresh basil (the more the better, the aromatic smell is unbelievable) and a drizzle of the balsamic reduction all over the toppings.
7. Cut into squares of slices, and enjoy immediately!


  1. What an inspiring recipe, Juliana. I really appreciate the back story too.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    1. Thanks for the kind comments! I know a lot of people are allergic to something now-a-days, and it can be so frustrating. But hey, there's always a loop hole to eating what you love!


  2. I am so into homemade pizza! My husband has a bad problem with chain stores and so we don't eat out often. When it comes to pizza all you need is a great crust and then the possibilities are endless! I tried this crust and used up some of our leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving caramelized onions, truffle cheese, a little bit of truffle oil and some crispy pork jowl (my hubby loves it more than bacon) and some roasted mushrooms and tomatoes. I used the balsamic reduction as well for some acidity. This was a hit! The crust has such a great texture, and is so easy to put together, easily done at night for the next day. Great inspiration, and can't wait to try it with your complete recipe next week. I hope the Dr will get you well soon, my prayers are with you. Miss B

    1. I know homemade pizza is the best... especially with homemade pizza dough and high-quality ingredients!! Your pizza sounds amazing, I wish I could've gotten a bite of it. And I agree about the crust. I like that is extra crispy and a little thick. It really hold up to a lot of toppings, which is the most important part about it. I will actually be updating the pizza dough recipe probably next week, so make sure to check back about that!