Pizza, pizza, pizza– pizza everywhere. I’m sure this isn’t the first pizza recipe you’ve come across and it definitely won’t be your last. Hold the bus and forget about all of that for just one moment, if you please, because I just want to share this tid bit of info with you. This is one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a long time.
Maybe it’s the crispy bacon and the way that it teams up with the cheese to create something truly sinful. Or how the arugula comes to the party adding a peppery kick and the acidity of the balsamic vinegar takes things to a whole new level of excitement. Maybe it’s the made from scratch crust that holds all of these flavors that are making sweet, sweet love in your mouth.
Just maybe it’s all of those things combined. Mmmhmmm… that’s it.
Another thing that I adore about this pizza is that, regardless of the pile of cheese and bacon that go onto this pizza, it does not taste or feel too heavy. This scrumptious pie earns my two thumbs up and shall be dubbed the perfect Spring pizza. (Do big toes count at thumbs? If so, I give it four thumbs up. Why should they have to be opposable digits in order to endorse an amazing pizza?)
With that in mind, I could definitely imagine this pizza grilled. Picture it– it’s one of those particularly lovely Spring days where you’ve got the itch to cook outside. Prepare the pizza indoors, except leave the last baking stage to the grill. Whoooooeeee! Man, that’s gooood. (Any BBQ Pit Boys fans here?) Smoky bacon + a slightly charred pizza crust = pure love.
Too little time? Try this hack! You can easily cook the bacon and make (and pre-bake) the crust for this pizza ahead of time. Sometimes, the best way to tackle a recipe it to divide it up into pieces, cooking parts of it when you have time. When you’re busy (and who isn’t these days), that’s the best, and sometimes only, way to treat yourself to some truly delectable homemade eats. You deserve it, everyone does. Good food is a human right that is not only reserved for those with a bit more time on their hands. Even if your life is hectic, I hope you’ll try this tip and indulge a bit.
What do you think? What’s the best pizza you’ve ever had? Would big toes be better if they were opposable? Fill us in. Bye for now!
- ½ cup plus ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar, divided
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 6 slices bacon, preferably thick cut
- ¾ cup hot water (no more than 110ºF)
- pinch of sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup prepared pizza sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh baby arugula
- ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
- In a small, non-reactive skillet (stainless steel works great), combine the ½ cup balsamic vinegar and ½ tablespoon sugar. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the balsamic vinegar begins to thicken slightly and bubble, about 10 minutes. This makes a balsamic vinegar reduction. It will thicken considerably during cooling, so give it a minute to chill before deciding it’s too thin. You want it to eventually have the consistency of maple syrup. If it’s too thick, you can whisk in a tiny bit of water or simmer it a bit more if it’s too thin.
- In a large bowl, combine the ¾ cup water, pinch of sugar, and yeast. Whisk together, then set aside to allow the yeast wake up, about 10 minutes. You should see bubbles and smell a kind of carbon dioxide, yeasty smell after the yeast become active.
- Add the flour and 1 teaspoon salt to the yeast mixture. Stir until combined, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until elastic, about 5 minutes. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, place the bacon in a large skillet. Place over medium heat and cook until the bacon is almost completely crispy. It will crisp up just a tad bit more once it’s baked on top of the pizza. Set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Roll the pizza dough with a rolling pin or stretch with your hands into an oval shape about ¼-inch thick. Oil the back of a cookie sheet and place the dough on the back. Brush the pizza dough with oil, then place in the oven to pre-bake. Bake until the dough begins to brown very slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven, top with the pizza sauce followed by the cheese, then arrange the bacon on top. Move the oven rack to the top position. Bake the pizza, again, until the cheese bubbles and the bacon is crispy, about 6 minutes more.
- In a small bowl, toss together the arugula with the remaining ½ teaspoon of vinegar, ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Scatter the dressed arugula on the pizza, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Devour immediately.