Balsamic Glazed Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Goat Cheese Pizza

It’s Friday; let’s talk pizza.  In my opinion, Friday and pizza go together like peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese and tomato soup on a cold winter day.  They’re just meant to be.

Pizza is a staple food in Chicago and in my house on Friday nights, but would you believe I “didn’t like” pizza until sometime in high school?  As a child I refused to eat pizza except when I was eating dinner over a my friend Kristin’s house.  For whatever reason, my warped little kid-brain had decided the pizza her family ordered was superior to any pizza my parents could ever possibly make or order.  Even when I did finally start liking pizza, I stuck to  plain cheese: no meats, no veggies, nothing.  If it wasn’t crust, sauce and cheese, I wasn’t eating it.  Luckily I have expanded my pizza eating horizons over the last decade.

So my ideal pizza?  It’s a thin and crispy crust with just a thin smearing of sauce and a hefty pile of cheese.  (Completely traitorous to Chicago heritage, I know.)  I still don’t care for traditional pizza meats, but I love a good pizza loaded with spinach, onion, mushrooms, garlic, and even broccoli.  My favorite kinds of pizza, though, are the “weird” ones: BBQ chicken, Hawaiian, and various gourmet sounding pizzas.

Today’s recipe falls into that last category: Gourmet Pizza.  This recipe is actually inspired by and adapted from a few different places.  The pizza was inspired by old issue of Vegetarian Times, and the crust is adapted from Panem’s manual and How Sweet Eats Garlic Bread Pizza Crust


Balsamic Glazed  Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza
View/ Print Recipe
Make 2 thin crust, lightly topped 14” pizzas (or 1 large thick crust, heavily topped pizza)

The pizza dough was made using my bread machine.  If you don’t have a bread machine you can try the dough recipe by hand, but I can’t promise it will turn out as well.  If you’re making the dough by hand, I would recommend Jenna’s pizza dough recipe.  You could also buy pre-made pizza dough.


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons quick rise yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 very large sweet yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened slightly
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Make the dough
  • Add the ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed above (or in the order recommended by the manufacturer) leaving out the melted butter and garlic powder.  Run dough cycle.
  • Once the dough is done, preheat the oven to 425.  Spray two pizza pans with nonstick spray and add a dusting of cornmeal.
  • Divide dough into two equal portions rolling out each portion to fit your pizza pans.
  • Combine melted butter and garlic powder.  Use a pastry brush to brush each crust with the garlic butter.
  • Par-bake each crust for 5 minutes.


  • With about 30 minutes left in the dough cycle, begin caramelizing the onions.
  • Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions,cooking until soft, translucent and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Once onions have started to brown, add mushrooms.  Cook onions and mushrooms for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until mushrooms have softened, browned and released their juices.
  • Add balsamic vinegar, water, and sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, and allow to come to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes.

Assemble the pizzas

  • Once crusts have been par-baked, spread each crust with 2 ounces of goat cheese.  (I used the angled spatula that I used for frosting cakes which worked wonderfully spreading the cheese, but any old knife should do.)  Top the goat cheese with half of the onion mixture, and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake each pizza for 10 minutes.

Slice and Enjoy!


Bread (& Circuses) on Impulse

Sometimes I can be extremely impulsive.  More often than not, I overthink things to the point of being unable to make a decision – especially when it comes to spending money.  I can talk myself out of pretty much any purchase.  Though I guess this probably isn’t actually a bad thing.  Without that ability, I would own a lot more shoes.

But sometimes, I act completely on impulse: like that time Run Rock n Roll offered a $29 leap-day discount and I decided “What the hell, let’s run the Chicago race in July.”  Or that time I decided to start a new blog.  Or that time I bought a new bread machine.

Yep, I bought a new bread machine.  Over the weekend I made homemade whole wheat hamburger buns.

(For the record, it was kind of a fail.  I used a bastardized version of these two recipes which tasted good but was much more bread-like than light and fluffy like a hamburger bun should be.)

During the mix/ knead cycle, my trusty old Breadman started to sound like a Gremlin was trying to escape.  Gremlins pretty much terrify me so I thought maybe Breadman needed to be put to rest.  I hopped on Amazon and less than 10 minutes later this guy was ordered.

(Also for the record, the one touch buying through the Amazon app is incredibly dangerous.  Seriously, nothing should allow me to buy something with the tap of a single button.)

So friends, I would like to introduce you all to Panem.

(Why yes, I did name my bread machine.  And just in case naming my new kitchen appliance wasn’t dorky enough for you, I made sure I named it after a fictional country in the latest YA book crazy to sweep the nation.  But hey, at least it’s actually a reference to bread; I mean, that’s got to count for something right?  Right?)

I haven’t actually used Panem to make anything yet, but I have no doubt there will be lots of carb-tastic fun in our future together.

I didn’t do a ton of research before buying this – after all, I spent less than 10 minutes on Amazon before I clicked “Buy” – but the reviews for this model were good, the price was right, and it’s the same brand as my old bread machine which has definitely stood the test of time.  It also has a horizontal loaf pan which I was looking for as well as a 13-hour delay timer which I’m pretty excited to try out.  I mean, how badass would it be to come home from work to a fresh baked loaf of bread?

So stay tuned for all my future adventures in bread making, and hopefully I’ll be successful in hamburger bun making too!