So I don’t know about where ya’ll are from, but down here in South Mississippi Figs are in their prime. Honestly, because their season is so short and because everyone I know has to contend with the birds for the pleasure of eating them, I treasure them.
I’ve been buying them at every farm stand I can, and since my aunts, cousins, and neighbors know my mama and I love them so much, they’ve been bringing them by if they have extra to share. Isn’t that some of the most fun of growing/finding/making your own food? Sharing it??
I’ve been disappointed my tomatoes haven’t produced as much as I’d expected since once of my greatest joys over the past few summers has been doling them out to friends and leaving extras on neighbors doorsteps… next year, we’ll be back in business.
This pizza was so good I made it TWICE in a day. Once as a sweeter breakfast pizza and then later as a more savory appetizer for some of my mama’s old friends who were coming over. I mean, what says “you’re special to us and we are so glad to see you” more than figs, honey, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and bacon?
It has a lot of components, but the best part is that those can be made ahead of time and on an as-you-feel-like-it basis and then assembled all on the pizza. Make this for yourself (if you can beat the birds to a fig tree!)
- FOR THE DOUGH: (same as my Chanterelle-Bacon pizza)
- 1 package OR 2½ teaspoons of active yeast
- 1 Cup of Warm Water (NOT boiling, just pretty Warm. run the tap on hot and go with that, or microwave cold water for like 10 seconds)
- 1½ teaspoons Sugar
- 2½ Cups Bread Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- FOR THE TOPPINGS:
- 8-10 ripe figs, cut into 3rds vertically
- 1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked crispy
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons/strips
- 2 Cups Ricotta or Marscapone cheese
- Salt, pepper
- 2 Tablespoons fresh honey (if you want a sweeter pizza. This can be left out if you prefer savory!)
- ½ white onion, sliced into thin rounds for caramelizing
- or the Dough:
- Preheat your oven to 450-500 degrees (yep. we're cooking on high heat, y'all.) For best results, use a pizza stone and put it in the oven BEFORE you preheat so it warms with the oven).
- Add the sugar into the warm water with the yeast. When it's creamy and foamy, it's ready to go (somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes)
- While that's happening, add your flour, your salt, and your olive oil into a large mixing bowl.
- Turn on the mixer, and add in the yeast/water/sugar mixture just a little at a time until it's all incorporated. (You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl a few times until it's all mixed together.)
- The dough will be sticky, sticky. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over it to keep it from sticking to the sides and smear it around on all the edges, then cover it for 10 minutes (at least) to 6 hours.. If you go with the longer rising time, your dough will double. You'll need to punch it down at least once halfway through.)
- I've found that pizzas made with dough that rises for 10 minutes are just as good as the ones that I let rise for 4 or 6 hours... but somehow, there seems to be a thinner crust the longer it sits. You can also refrigerate this dough for 48 hours if you make it in advance. 🙂 it's SO versatile and great.
- Once it's risen, flour a pizza peel (the big wooden spatula things) thoroughly and knead your dough into a flat circle. I like mine to be super thin in the middle and thicker around the edges, but you do you.)
- Scoot the dough onto your pizza stone or baking dish and let it cook until the dough is firm and slightly browning on the edges. You'll have some lovely air bubbles, too.)
- Using tongs and the pizza peel, remove the dough from the oven.
- FOR THE TOPPINGS:
- While the pizza dough is rising, caramelize your onions and reduce your balsamic vinegar.
- To Caramelize onions, Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with about a teaspoon of butter and and heat the pan until the butter melts and shines.Add your thin onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the butter. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally until they are brown. SO EASY!
- For the Balsamic Vinegar reduction (this is also way easy), pour the vinegar into a saucepan and simmer until it has reduced enough to cover the back of a spoon slightly. You're done.
- Cook your bacon how you usually do that (I like to put a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake mine at 350 for 15 minutes or so because it keeps the extra fat out AND there's no scary hot bacon grease shooting out of the pan)
- With your pre-baked pizza dough, you're ready to add toppings.
- Smear your ricotta cheese on the pizza, add the figs, bacon crumbles, and onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 5-10 more minutes or until the crust is browned.
- Finish the pizza with generous drizzles of the balsamic reduction sprinkle the basil on top, and if you're going with honey, drizzle that as well.