Caramelizing Enhance Flavor of Wood Fired Pizza
If our going to precook items likes Bacon, Onions & Pineapple why not add that extra level of flavor by caramelizing them and then put them on your wood fired pizza. You can do this in a couple of ways, but the techniques share a similar characteristic, high temperature and heating of certain simple sugars within the ingredient. The high temperature can be from a direct flame, bar-b-que, wood fired pizza oven, frying pan or torch. Certain items, such as pineapple, benefit from grill marks, as it limits the caramelized surface and looks good too.
I tend to caramelize onions in a frying pan with oil, salt and a small bit of sugar. The sugar will enhance the color, especially if you use a light sweet onion. Sharper tasting onions also become sweeter with the addition of some sugar. To be done properly, onions need to be tended to and stirred frequently, as they can burn quickly and ruin you food. I like to start off a high temperature, until the onions are softened and start to change color. I lower the temperature and continue cooking until the desired doneness is achieved. This could take up to 30 minuets, so be patient. That will give you a smooth and sweet distinct onion flavor. If you want some bite to your onion, taste them as you go along and stop the cooking at that point.
After the onions are cooled, you can apply them as a wood fired pizza topping by dotting the pie with these sweet flavors.
One of my favorite wood fired pizza toppings is “ Candied Bacon ”. It just need 3 Ingredients:
- 1 pound of your favorite thick sliced bacon
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
Preheat your wood fired pizza oven to 350 degrees. Place the bacon on a rack on a lined rimmed sheet pan, being careful not to overlap the strips. In a small bowl mix the maple syrup and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. * Brush a thin layer on each bacon strip, in 5-minute intervals. Bake for 15 minutes total.
Remove the sheet pan from the wood fired oven. Flip the bacon over & brush with remaining mixture in 5-minute intervals until another 15 minutes has elapsed or until the bacon is crisp. Checking on the progress frequently will avoid a burned product. Times may vary with each pizza oven and the thickness of the bacon.
If you like some kick to your bacon, you can add your favorite hot pepper to the glaze or sprinkle on your portion only.
You will quickly discover that Candied Bacon isn’t just for wood fired pizza.