You might never guess that this gourmet pizza is fiscally modest. Its cooking techniques render it rich: A tender homemade crust is topped with a garlic-enhanced white sauce, which is then embellished with fresh sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, bacon, and Parmesan.
1 cup bread flour, divided
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach
2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) sliced onion
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
To prepare dough, lightly spoon the bread flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine 1/2 cup bread flour, warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, and yeast, stirring with a whisk. Let stand 15 minutes.
Lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup bread flour, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Make a well in center of mixture. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture; stir well. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85º), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 20 minutes.
To prepare topping, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings. Set bacon aside. Add spinach to drippings in pan; sauté 2 minutes or until wilted. Place spinach in a colander, pressing until barely moist. Add onion and 2 teaspoons sugar to pan; cook 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 3 tablespoons flour and pepper, stirring with a whisk; cook 30 seconds. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly with a whisk.
Preheat oven to 475º.
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Place dough on a (12-inch) pizza pan or baking sheet coated with cooking spray adn sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Spread milk mixture evenly over dough; top with spinach and onion.
Bake at 475° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with bacon and cheese; bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.