You know what I don’t eat enough of on the 4th of July? Pizza. And why wouldn’t I? I mean think about it– large gatherings of (possibly picky) people, celebrating, kids running around– pizza definitely has a place on good ol’ Independence Day. “But pizza’s so ordinary,” you say. “I’m pretty sure I had a frozen one for dinner last week.” I hear ya, but wait! Did your pizza have an American flag on it? This isn’t any ordinary pizza.
If our founding fathers laid eyes on this pizza, they would be crying tears of joy. This pizza is about as patriotic as it gets and without a doubt delicious. I mean, it’s covered in pepperoni and bacon for goodness sake and there’s even a spot reserved for the vegetarians smothered in black olives. All of this is resting on top of shredded mozzarella cheese, sauce, and an unbeatable homemade crust. It can even be made on the grill!
So Munch Love, but too little time? Try this hack. Here are a few tips for making your 4th of July pizza party a breeze.
Make One Pizza the Star – To keep things on the simpler side, while also ensuring that all of your guests are pleased with the toppings, make only one flag pizza. The others can be smaller or even circular so as to set your hero pizza apart from the rest. This makes for an impressive presentation.
Ahead of Time Crust – You can easily make the pre-baked crust ahead of time and freeze it. Then all you have to do the day of your celebration is thaw, top, and bake (or grill!). To make the crust ahead of time, simply follow the directions for the recipe only stop after the crust has been pre-baked. Cool it, wrap it up in plastic wrap, and toss it in the freezer until you’re ready. That’s it!
Grill It If You Please – All of the cooking for this pizza can be done on the grill, that way you can stay outdoors with your guests! To do this, get the internal heat of your grill around 400ºF. But here’s the key to cooking pizza on the grill– indirect heat. Pizza over direct heat = burnt crust. Don’t ask me how I know this, I don’t wanna talk about it. 😉 So turn off the burners/move the coals to one side and cook the pizza on the other while rotating it halfway.
What do y’all think about a 4th of July pizza party? Tell us all about it! See you next time!
- ¾ cup warm water (no more than 110ºF or this will kill the yeast)
- 1 heavy pinch sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup prepared pizza sauce
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
- 2 ounces sliced pepperoni
- 8 large black olives, sliced (about ¼ cup)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- In a large bowl, combine the water, 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 medium skillet and cook over medium heat until slightly crispy, about 7 minutes. Drain the bacon and set aside.
- Drizzle the vegetable oil onto a cookie sheet and spread to evenly coat with clean hands. Place the dough on the cookie sheet and stretch to form a rectangle that fits the cookie sheet. Do this by gently pulling and patting the dough. Be patient, it will fit. Set it aside for a moment to rest if it feels like it just isn’t stretching. This will relax the gluten so the dough is more pliable.
- Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the crust is just lightly browned on top, about 6 minutes. Allow the crust to cool slightly, then carefully flip and place on the back of the cookie sheet.
- Top the pre-baked crust with the pizza sauce followed by the cheese, then arrange the bacon, pepperoni, and olives to create an American flag. Move the oven rack to the top position. Bake the pizza, again, until the cheese bubbles and the bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes more.
- Allow the pizza to cool for 5 minutes, slice, and devour!