In a large mixing bowl combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes until yeast proofs (it will be nice and bubbly).
Add oil, flour,and salt. Using a dough hook attachment, mix ingredients on medium speed for about 5 or 6 minutes until dough comes together and forms a ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Add the dough and coat with olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise (double in size) for an hour.
After dough has doubled in size either freeze ball or if ready to use, punch dough down and roll out.
For the onions, warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir to coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid burning until onions are brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the sauce, in a small bowl mix mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and liquid smoke until creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble, Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
Roll dough out on a clean surface using a rolling pin until dough is even. Spray 16-inch pizza pan with cooking spray. Place on pan.
Spread sauce on top of crust.
Top with a layer of caramelized onions and cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
Sprinkle with a pinch of thyme (optional) and let sit for 4 minutes and serve.
Time Saver – Alternatively you can use store bought pizza dough instead of making homemade dough. You can also make the onions and sauce a day ahead of time and assemble pizza when ready to make.