Corn Chowder Pizza

May  7, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes Two 12-inch pizzas
Author Notes

On cool summer evenings here in the Bay Area, I often make a bacon-y corn chowder scented with thyme. For this pizza, I use the primary ingredients of that soup as toppings, with a handful of broccoli rabe or arugula thrown on for color. The dough recipe here is inspired by one for bacon bread in Peter Mayle’s “Confessions of a French Baker.” The baker is Gerard Auzet, boulanger extraordinaire in a small town in Provence. You can include some bits of bacon in the dough, or not, as you please. Or, if you wish, use any other pizza dough that you like! In our house,cheese is strictly optional on a pizza like this. Sometimes I put a bit of finely grated Parmesan down first, as one would a pissaladiere. Other times, if I have some on hand, I sprinkle this pizza with grated smoked Gouda or Fontina. I recommend using a light hand with the cheese, however, to keep the corn, thyme and bacon on center stage. Either way ... enjoy!! ;o) - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

Test Kitchen Notes

One is always in good hands when following a recipe by AntoniaJames, and this is no exception. The combination of sautéed onions, celery, thyme, and a splash of cream evokes a chowder base brilliantly. The fresh corn stays crisp and sweet, adding both texture and flavor. The bacon and greens play nicely with the rest of the ingredients to make an extremely tasty pizza topping. I definitely urge you to make the crust. It's got a wonderful flavor, and the texture is perfect with a crispy, crunchy bottom and a bit of chew around the edges. I sprinkled the top of the pizza with about 1/2 cup shredded smoked mozzarella. It came off the stone with lightly golden cheese and crust, and did not last for long in my house. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • The Dough
  • 4 slices of natural bacon (This will become a pizza topping.)
  • 2 large onions, cut in half vertically, then thinly sliced crosswise (Also to be a pizza topping.)
  • ¾ cup white wine, divided
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fruity, flavorful olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus up to another ½ cup for kneading
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (to counteract acidity in the wine, which could affect the yeast)
  • The Pizza: These toppings make two 12-inch pizzas. (This can be halved if you want to make only one pizza with these toppings.)
  • 4 slices of cooked natural bacon (If using the white wine dough recipe, use the ones you cooked for that.)
  • Bacon fat reserved from cooking, or olive oil if you prefer
  • 2 large onions, sliced and cooked (If using the white wine dough recipe, use the ones you cooked for that.)
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced celery (cut on the diagonal)
  • 4 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of fresh or frozen organic white corn
  • Salt to taste
  • 16 - 24 broccolini, 3-4 inches long (Cut stems if necessary.)
  • Cheese -- whatever kind appeals to you. This is strictly optional.
  • Olive oil for brushing the crust
  1. The Dough
  2. PLEASE NOTE: If you prefer to use your own pizza dough, by all means do so. Just fry up the bacon and then cook the onions in a bit of the fat, and skip down to the pizza assembly instructions.
  3. Proof the yeast in 2 tablespoons of warm water with the pinch of sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon. Make sure the pan doesn’t get too hot, lest the sugar from the bacon burns in the pan.
  5. When the bacon is done, remove and save the bacon, drain off and reserve most of the fat, and add the sliced onions. Cook over medium heat until they just begin to turn a light golden color. They shouldn’t get too dark.
  6. Remove the onions – you will use them on the pizza -- and use 1/4 cup of the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up whatever bits you can. Bring to a boil, then turn off. Pour off, with all of the little bits, into a liquid measuring cup and add the remaining ½ cup of wine, plus enough cold water to make 1 cup total.
  7. Put the wine and water mixture, the honey, olive oil, salt, wheat germ and one cup of flour in a large bowl. Stir it well to combine.
  8. Add the yeast and water mixture and beat well.
  9. Stir the baking soda into the remaining two cups of flour and add to the dough. Stir, using the back of the spoon to press the flour into the dough to combine. When it becomes too difficult to stir, dump everything from the bowl onto your kneading surface and begin kneading to incorporate all of the flour from the bowl.
  10. Continue to knead for about ten or twelve minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. You may need to add up to another ¼ to ½ cup of flour, a bit at a time, while kneading. Don’t add too much, or the dough will be flat and tough.
  11. Put the ball of dough into a well-oiled bowl, turn it over to coat thoroughly, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume.
  12. After the dough has risen, punch it down and let it rest while you prepare the topping ingredients. I typically let it rest outside of the bowl, on a piece of parchment paper.
  1. The Pizza: These toppings make two 12-inch pizzas. (This can be halved if you want to make only one pizza with these toppings.)
  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Put pizza stones, if using, on the middle racks to preheat with the oven. Don't put the pizzas in until at least twenty minutes after the oven has reached 475 degrees.
  3. In 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat (or olive oil, if you prefer), saute the celery slices. After a minute or two, add the cooked onion and stir well, continuing to cook over medium heat. Add the thyme leaves. (If not using the white wine dough, saute the onion at this point, until translucent, then add the celery, and when it's bright green, add the thyme.)
  4. When the celery is bright green (another minute or two at most), remove from the heat and add the cream. Toss well to coat.
  5. Cut the bacon slices into one-inch square pieces. Blanche the broccolini by plunging it in boiling water for one minute, then draining and immersing in very cold water. After a minute or so, drain again and lay out on a towel to dry a bit more.
  6. TO MAKE EACH PIZZA: Roll out half the pizza dough into whatever size and shape you prefer. I then put it on a large piece of parchment paper because it's so easy just to put the whole thing on the pizza stone, and the crust doesn't seem at all affected.
  7. Put the onion, celery and thyme mixture on first, then the corn, then the broccolini or arugula, if using, then the bacon pieces.
  8. (If using cheese, add it last.)
  9. Brush the outside edge of the dough with olive oil.
  10. Cook on the hot pizza stones for about 8 - 10 minutes. Check after 8, as they may be ready then. Cooking could also take longer, depending on the efficiency and calibration of your oven.
  11. Enjoy!! ;o)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ms. T
    Ms. T
  • lapadia

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

2 Reviews

Ms. T. August 22, 2011
Congrats on the EP--this sounds amazing! Can't wait to try it.
lapadia August 11, 2011
Your pizza and its crust sound delicious - btw!!!!