Channel your inner Italian with this European-style recipe!
If you like your pizza crust with an extra crunch, you can pre-bake it without toppings (or only tomato sauce) for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven.
If you plan on topping your pizza with a lot of fatty meats or juicy vegetables, brushing on a thin layer of olive oil base can help with containing the moisture during baking.
Raw or fatty meats aren’t going to get fully cooked from a few minutes atop a pizza in the oven. Always pre-cook and drain vegetables that release water while cooking, such as mushrooms.
Exceptions: thin cut pepperoni and prosciutto and some thinly sliced vegetables are fine to top raw.
Use the dough right out of the refrigerator and don’t let it sit on the countertop for too long.
Unroll and keep dough on parchment paper while baking. Paper is oven safe up to 500°F and paper will brown during baking. Cut off or tuck excess paper under the dough, so it isn’t hanging over the baking sheet.
Cutting the dough: If you need to cut the dough, place it on a cutting board to avoid scratching your baking sheet or countertop. If cutting the dough on the baking sheet, ideally use a pizza cutter.
To unroll the dough, remove dough from package and gently separate the dough and parchment paper from the roll, so that the dough on paper begins to lay flat. Be careful not to separate the dough from the parchment paper. There may be some sticking, but the dough and paper should easily pull away from the roll.
Once the dough is lying flat on the baking tray, cut off or tuck any excess paper under, so it does not hang over the edge.
The fastest way to a crispy and chewy crust is cooking the dough directly on a heated surface. Make sure the oven is fully preheated and already hot. A pizza stone or even a simple sheet pan needs ample time to pre-heat. Pizza and Flatbread can also be cooked on a non-heated sheet pan, but always in a pre-heated oven.
You can brush the dough edges with olive oil. Do it right before it goes in the oven and/or right after it comes out. You'll get great color, crunch and flavor.
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 12 minutes. Add vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until liquid cooks away and onion is very tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat remaining 1/2 cup oil in heavy small skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté just until garlic begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to custard cup. Pour oil into separate small bowl.
4. Char bell pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and slice thinly (onion, garlic, garlic oil, and pepper can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill).
5. Unroll refrigerated Bistro Pizza Dough on enclosed parchment paper and place on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Brush 1 Tbsp. reserved garlic oil over dough, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Sprinkle with mozzarella, then reserved garlic and balsamic onion. Top with pepper strips in spoke pattern. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
6. Bake until crust is browned, about 15 minutes. Remove and arrange prosciutto atop pizza. Bake until prosciutto softens, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with thyme. Drizzle with a balsamic vinegar glaze (optional).