Paul was very excited when he heard I was making pizza for dinner, but his enthusiasm quickly turned into apprehension when I told him we were having a strawberry pizza.
"So...we're like having strawberry version of one of those dessert pizzas on the Pizza Hut buffet?" he asked, without even trying to hide his disappointment.
"Not at all - it has a bacon and chicken on it too!"
That made him perk up a little. Everything is better with bacon.
We really did not know what to expect with this pizza. But the combination sounded interesting enough that I definitely wanted to give it a try. Instead of your normal tomato-based sauce, the sauce for this pizza is composed of balsamic reduction, strawberry jam, and Siracha sauce. Once everything is mixed together, the taste is reminiscent of a barbecue and Teriyaki sauce hybrid. Very unique!
This makes a beautiful looking pizza. And the taste? Unbelievable. Sweet, tangy, salty, and just a little bit of residual heat from the Siracha sauce made this one nice party for the taste buds. The chopped strawberries and cilantro on top add just a touch of freshness. I really consider this the perfect gourmet pizza.
And Paul and Matthew loved it as well!! Give this a try for a unique twist on pizza night!
Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza
adapted slightly from Annie's Eats
For the dough:
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the sauce:
1/2 cup good-quality strawberry jam
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons Siracha sauce
For the toppings:
1 cup shredded or diced cooked chicken
4-5 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
4 oz. shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
2 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
2-3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
To make the dough, place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix briefly to combine. Mix the warm water and yeast in a small bowl until the yeast swells. Add the oil and room-temperature water to the bowl with the yeast. With the mixer set to low, slowly and steadily stream in the yeast mixture. Once the dough comes together, turn off the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Continue to knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Knead for about 30 seconds on a lightly floured countertop and form into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for the dough to double in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
While the dough is rising, make the sauce. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Alternatively, if you already have a bottle of balsamic reduction on hand, you can skip this step and just use 2 tablespoons of that in the sauce recipe. Whisk together the reduced balsamic vinegar, the strawberry jam, and the Siracha sauce. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Once the dough has doubled, gently deflate and turn out onto a lightly floured countertop. Divide the dough in half. Let the dough rest at least 10 minutes but no more than 30. (If you are planning on only making one pizza, wrap the dough ball you do not plan on using with plastic wrap and then place in a ziploc bag. You can freeze the dough for up to 1-2 months).
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone set on the middle rack for at least 20 minutes before baking.
Stretch/roll the dough into a 12-14 inch round pizza shape. At this point, I usually like to place the pizza dough on a large sheet of parchment paper to help when transferring it to the pizza stone. Spread the sauce over the entire surface, then sprinkle with the chicken, bacon, and sliced onion. Cover with the cheeses. Finish with the cilantro and chopped strawberries.
Using a large cutting board, transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let stand about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!