Author Notes: My all-time favorite pizza topping is bacon and onion. This version is slightly fancier, what with the leeks and all, but it's just as tasty.
I use my favorite pizza dough, adapted from the Silver Spoon cookbook. But feel free to use any you like, even store bought, which I've been spotted buying once in a while at the local market. It's pretty good stuff.
I make a simple homemade pizza sauce from a box of POMI pureed tomatoes, 1 large crushed garlic clove, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a good teaspoon of kosher salt, and in the summer, a few basil leaves. Bring to a boil, and set aside. Store leftover sauce in the fridge for a week, or longer in the freezer. - mrslarkin
Makes two 10" pies
for the Homemade Pizza Dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 11.25 oz., or 319 grams)
- 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (about 3 grams)
- 8 ounces lukewarm water (about 227 grams)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (about 50 grams)
- Mix flour and salt together. Set aside.
- Dissolve yeast into warm water. Stir in the oil, and pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add flour and mix on low speed until dough comes together.
- Scrape off the paddle and switch to the dough hook. Knead for 5 or so minutes.
- Alternatively, you can do these steps all by hand, which is how I usually make pizza, but this last time I used the stand mixer and really liked the results.
- Scrape mixer bowl and hook, and gather dough into a ball. Place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, lay a dish towel over it and place in a warm spot, like in the microwave. Sometimes, before putting the dough in, I heat a mug-full of water, to get the microwave nice and warm.
- Let rise for 1 hour. Punch dough down, and let rise for another hour.
- This step is totally optional, but worth it if you have all day. Punch dough down again and let rise for 2 - 3 more hours. Alternatively, you can stash the dough in the fridge overnight after the first rise. Bring refrigerated dough to room temperature about an hour before forming pizzas.
for the bacon and leek pizza
- 3 thick slices of bacon, cut into 1/4" matchsticks
- 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into rounds, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, or your favorite sweet vinegar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 large garlic clove, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce (see header for recipe, or use your favorite)
- 8 ounces whole milk mozzarella, sliced thin
- Place a pizza stone on bottom-most rack in oven. Preheat oven to BROIL, at highest heat, at least a half hour before you will bake the pizza.
- In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until almost crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- In the same skillet, saute the leeks in the bacon fat until tender. Season with a pinch of salt and deglaze pan with the vinegar, scraping up the stuck-on bacon-y bits. Remove the leeks to a bowl and set aside.
- Divide the pizza dough evenly into two portions, about 10 ounces each. Flatten each portion very slightly, and fold in top, bottom, left side, right side, towards center. Turn over, and gently form into a round. Place on lightly floured parchment-lined sheet pan, sprinkle with flour and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest 10 minutes.
- Place one ball of dough on a very lightly-oiled (just a dab to keep the paper in place) parchment-lined 12" pizza pan. Dust dough lightly with flour and press down with your fingertips as you turn the pie and spread the dough evenly in all directions until you have a nice thin layer, about 1/4" thick. It probably won't cover the entire pan; that’s okay. If dough is not cooperating, it helps to let the dough rest for a few minutes.
- Alternatively, flour your fists very well, and the ball of dough. Stretch dough over your fists and move your fists along the outside edge of the dough, stretching it out. Lay the dough on parchment-lined pizza pan. Tug edges slightly to form a rough circle.
- Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce on the pie, leaving a half-inch border for the crust. Top with a layer of cheese.
- Scatter half of the sliced garlic over top, followed by half of the leeks and then half of the bacon.
- Place pan directly on pizza stone. Or, if you've got a pizza peel and aren't afraid to use it, flour the peel lightly and pull the parchment and pizza onto the peel, then slide parchment and pizza directly onto pizza stone. Switch from BROIL to BAKE, 550 degrees F, and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned and crisp, and bottom of pizza has some nicely browned spots as well. Use a long-handled metal spatula, or the pizza peel, to lift up the pizza and take a peek underneath. Cheese should be bubbly, and the bottom crust should have some brown patches.
- Remove from oven using the pizza peel if you have one. Long-handled tongs are helpful to pull the pizza out. Switch oven back to BROIL.
- Repeat with the second ball of pizza dough.