Pizza night is always welcome in our house, especially when the pizza is a combination of another family favorite, Cheeseburgers. I usually make homemade pizzas with dough made from scratch or that I buy from the Publix bakery section (they have the best homemade pizza dough in a little refrigerator), but in a pinch I will even use the refrigerated pizza dough that is in a can sold by Pillsbury or Walmart’s Great Value Brand.
One thing that I highly recommend using for a more authentic pizza place crust, is cornmeal. I don’t have a pizza stone so I line my large pizza pan or cookie sheet (if making a rectangle slab pizza) with a piece of parchment paper and then sprinkle the surface of the paper with a little cornmeal. The cornmeal helps the crust to have a crispier bite and prevents sticking. Use or lose this step.
When using a homemade or bakery “homemade” dough, I set my gas oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and let it preheat. Pizza ovens in restaurants bake hot and fast which is what I try to mimic for my at home pizza. If using canned dough, follow the instructions on the can for baking the pizza or reduce the time if you use a higher temperature than suggested by the manufacturer.
To blind bake or not to blind bake, that is the question. I prefer thin crispy crust, so I stretch my dough out thin and blind bake it for about 5 minutes to ensure a crispy crust and less doughy center. For pizzas with fresh toppings like onions, bell peppers, and sliced mushrooms make sure to slice the vegetables very thin so they cook completely since they will be in the oven for less time. If you don’t feel like taking a hot pan out of the oven and like a hand tossed or pan style dough you don’t have to blind bake the dough.
I hope that you’ll try this Cheeseburger Pizza today and leave a comment below. For daily updates follow @lifeabovethecafe on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest using the social media icons found on this page.
For one medium to large pizza
Note – Room temperature dough is easier to stretch so I take my pizza dough out of the refrigerator and set it out on the counter for 1 to 2 hours to come to temperature before I stretch it. I also use a little flour to help to keep it from sticking to my hands as I work with it. If your pizza dough springs back too much it is too cold and needs to rest for 15 – 30 more minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a piece of parchment paper on a pizza pan or large sheet pan. Sprinkle the surface of the paper with cornmeal and set it aside.
Slice the purple onions and shred the cheese if not using bagged shredded cheese. Brown the lean ground beef as the oven preheats. Drain any excess fat. I season my ground beef with a sprinkling of Morton’s Seasoning Salt as it cooks (1/4 – 1/2 tsp.) but use your favorite seasonings.
Dust the top and bottom of the pizza dough with a little flour, and then stretch the dough out to make a thin crust pizza. Place the stretched dough on the pizza pan use a fork to poke holes all across the surface of the dough. Bake the pizza dough for about 5 minutes and then remove from the oven if blind baking. (Not a required step if you prefer a dough that isn’t super crisp)
Remove the partially cooked pizza dough from the oven and cover it with your favorite sauce. Leave a crust edge and don’t over sauce your pizza or the toppings will slide off. Top the dough with a thin layer of both cheeses and then evenly distribute the cooked ground beef across the surface. Sprinkle more of both types of cheeses across the surface of the pizza dough and then sprinkle the thinly sliced purple onions across the top.
Return the pizza to the oven and bake it for about 7 more minutes. Carefully watch the pizza to ensure that it doesn’t overcook. I like to remove if from the oven and take a large spatula and lift the pizza up to check that the color on the bottom is golden brown.
Once the pizza is cooked lightly squirt thin lines of ketchup and mustard across the surface of cheese, avoiding the edge, and then layer the surface with your desired amount of dill pickle slices. Slice and serve.
Note – if you use don’t stretch the dough out as thin as I stretch mine, you may need additional cooking time for your thick dough. If using canned dough follow the manufacturers time and temperature instructions. All ovens bake differently so monitor the pizza based on your particular oven.