Sausage and Onion Pizza

When I was little, I always looked forward to pizza night. My parents would always order two large deep-dish pizzas, one topped with sausage, mushrooms, and green peppers. I relished every bite of the cheesy, savory pizza with its crispy thick crust. One slice was never enough–I usually ate 4 slices (no wonder I had so much trouble maintaining my weight). The pizzas I savored so much were from Domino’s.

It’s amazing how much our perception of food changes as we grow and gain new experiences! These days, I hardly ever order pizza and if I do, Domino’s would not be my first choice (unless I was really tight on my food budget). I would feel guilty after eating a slice of pizza, but even then I could never stop after just one slice. In an effort to enjoy sinful food without going overboard on calories, I recently attempted to make pizza on my own. It may still be loaded with carbs and fat, but I figured, at the very least, homemade pizza would be less heavy and greasy than a store-bought pizza.

Sausage & Onion Pizza Topped with Basil

Since this was my first time making pizza from scratch, I found some trusty recipes to guide me. I ended up making my pizza using Bobby Flay’s Pizza Dough and Giada’s Caramelized Onion, Sausage, and Basil Pizza. I didn’t have all the exact ingredients to make the same pizza as Giada’s, but my pizza still turned out delicious!

Ingredients for Pizza Dough:
1 packet (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
11/2 cups warm water, divided
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil, plus more for greasing

Activate the yeast: Stir the entire packet of yeast in 1 cup of warm water. Let the the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.

Mix the dough ingredients: Combine the yeast mixture, bread flour, sugar, salt, remaining 1/2 cup water, and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, beat on low speed for 3 minutes, until all ingredients are combined.

Knead the dough: Increase the speed by one notch (low-medium speed), and beat the dough for 8-10 minutes. Stop occasionally, if needed, to scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

Proof the dough: Lightly grease a bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, and cover with a plastic wrap. Leave the dough in a warm spot for about 60 minutes, until it doubles in size.

Ingredients for Pizza:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 links (1 lb) pork sausage
2 balls (10 to 11-oz) pizza dough
11/2 cups (8 oz) queso fresco, crumbled
cornmeal, for dusting
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Caramelize the onions: Melt the olive oil and butter in a large skillet, then add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat, until the onions are golden and tender.

Bake the sausage links: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the sausage links in a baking dish, and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the sausage is firm and cooked through. Bring the oven temperature up to 475°F. When they are cool enough to the touch, cut the sausage links into thin round slices, about 1/4” thick.

Divide the pizza dough: Punch out the air in the pizza dough. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, then form each piece into a ball. Cover the balls of dough with plastic wrap, and leave them in a warm spot for at least 10 minutes to rest (only 2 balls of dough will be used for this recipe; refrigerate the 3rd portion to use the next day, or freeze in a zip lock bag).

Prepare the pizza: Roll out a ball of dough into a 10″ circle (adjust size based on desired thickness of crust). Lay the dough on top of a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal, and drizzle the dough with olive oil. Spread half the onions evenly over the dough, leaving a 1″ border. Lay out half the sausage rounds over the onions, then sprinkle half the cheese over the top. Do the same with the second ball of pizza dough.

Bake the pizza: Bake each pizza in the oven at 475°F for 17-19 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Sprinkle the pizzas with chopped basil, then cut into wedges.

Makes: 2 medium pizzas

It took only two days for us to finish both pizzas. The caramelized onions added a sweet flavor to the pizza, and the basil added some freshness to the overall dish–a great combination! For my second pizza pie, I spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the dough before adding the toppings; its flavor and moisture brought the pizza together really well.

Even though what I made is still layered with sausage and cheese, I feel a lot better about eating this pizza because I know what I’ve put in it. No more greasy, calorie-laden pizza!

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48 thoughts on “Sausage and Onion Pizza

  1. that dough looks amazing, Ada! Making me hungry and I just had lunch 😉 Have not forgotten about the granola bars. We are going camping next week and it’s on my list to make a batch to take with us. From your experience, will they travel well?

    1. Thanks! 😀 The dough was actually easy to make and doesn’t require that many ingredients.

      As long as you store them properly, the granola bars should travel well! In order to make sure the bars stay intact, my suggestion would be to 1) not skimp on the binding ingredients, 2) make sure the nuts and dried fruits are chopped small enough, and most importantly 3) pack the granola mixture down really well before (and perhaps even after) baking. Have fun on your camping trip!

  2. OH SUCH PERFECTLY MADE HOME PIZZAS…ONE BITE AND WE WILL NEVER WANT IT FROM OUTSIDE AGAIN….ONIONS GOES SO WELL WITH THIS…MAKES US REMEMBER FRENCH PIZZA WITH LOADS OF CARAMELIZED ONIONS….SERIOUSLY YOUR VERSION IS SOOOO SCRUMPTIOUS…NO WONDER IT GOT FINISHED WITHIN 2 DAYS.. 🙂

    1. Homemade pizza is definitely more special than store-bought pizza! Do try making your own pizza crust when you get the chance! It was my first time making my own pizza crust, and it was pretty simple. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. This sounds delicious – what a beautiful, soft dough and lovely combination of flavors – your toppings are among my favorite things to eat. I’m with you – I would not eat just one slice! Oh, how our taste buds have changed since the Domino’s pizzas of our childhoods!

    1. Thanks Shanna! I like the combination as well–sausage is one of my essential pizza toppings and the caramelized onions add so much flavor to the pizza. I can’t believe I used to love eating Domino’s pizza–fresh, homemade pizza is always better 😀

      1. Hey Ada, yeah I definitely will. Will probably take much tweaking but if I figure out how to make it paleo and delicious then I will share the recipe 🙂 Hmm it can be tough but you can always try bits and pieces of paleo, like maybe start with one or two days of the week? I have quite a few recipes that are pretty easy and don’t take long 🙂 x

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