Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza

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Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Homemade pizza is one of my favorite ways to feed a crowd—especially a crew of hungry movers. (We’re in the process of relocating The Mouse House this week! More on that to come soon!) This particular pizza combines two of my favorite things: bacon and cheese. Think of it as a mouthwatering take on a BLT in pizza form.

Ribbons of fresh basil and paper-thin slices of ripe tomato provide a ton of fresh flavor—without making the pizza too wet. A few handfuls of shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan give the pie all the cheesy goodness you expect in a pizza.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse


And then, of course, there’s the bacon. I used Black Forest bacon from Whole Foods, but you can certainly use your favorite kind. (If you’ve been following The Hungry Mouse, you know I can’t get enough of this stuff. It’s deeply smokey and slightly sweet.)

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Black Forest Bacon, crisp as can be

How to make the pizza dough

I used the basic dough recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, by Peter Reinhart.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

I first made this dough for the Daring Baker’s October Challenge last year, and it remains one of my favorite pizza doughs. The dough needs to rest overnight, so start it the day before you want to make your pizzas.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

If you don’t want to do the dough overnight, you can always use my Nice & Easy Pizza Dough recipe. For a thicker crust, try the dough from my Thick Crust Sausage & Cheese Pizza.

Or, use your favorite dough. As much as I love a good crust, this one is more about the toppings for me.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

The dough recipe below makes three fairly large pizzas (maybe 16 inches or so in diameter). I used 2 of the balls for this Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza. I used the last to make a slightly smaller, thicker white cheese pizza.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza

Pizza Dough (Click here for step-by-step instructions for how to make the dough)
4 1/2 cups unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
1 Tb sugar
Spray oil
Coarse cornmeal

Yields: Enough dough for 6 small pizzas or 3 large ones

Pizza Toppings
Shredded mozzarella
Grated Parmesan
1-2 large, ripe tomatoes
1/2 – 3/4 lb. Black Forest bacon (or any bacon you like), cooked and crumbled
Fresh basil, cut into ribbons
kosher salt
garlic powder

The night before, make the pizza dough according to these instructions. Divide the dough into 3 balls and refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to make your pizzas, take the dough out of the fridge and bring it up to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle your pizza pans with coarse cornmeal.

Roll out the pizza dough

Flatten each ball of dough out with a rolling pin or by stretching it across the backs of your hands. Put the dough on top of your prepared pans.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Add the toppings to the pizza dough

Sprinkle lightly with shredded mozzarella. This is to give your tomatoes a base to stick to.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Slice your tomato as thin as you can.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Spread the tomato slices out on top of the cheese. Cover the pizza without overlapping the tomatoes.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

And another thin layer of mozzarella. (It may seem fussy, but I’ve found that layering the ingredients like this helps the all the toppings stick together better, and avoids pizza snafus…like when you take one bite and ALL the cheese comes off in one piece.)

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Toss on the cut basil. Spread it out fairly evenly.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Sprinkle with a layer of Parmesan cheese. Then sprinkle on a light layer of garlic powder. Toss on a little salt if you like (there will already be a fair amount from the Parmesan).

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Bake the pizza in a really hot oven

Slide your pizzas (pan and all) into your preheated 500-degree oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until your crust and toppings are nicely browned.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Cool your pizza for a few minutes on the pan, then slide it off onto a board and cut into wedges with a sharp butcher knife or pizza cutter.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Serve immediately.

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Enjoy!Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

Bacon, Basil & Tomato Pizza at The Hungry Mouse

 

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

20 COMMENTS

  1. that pizza looks great, I love how it looks rustic, it gives the pizza a nice touch. I need to go on a hunt for that black forest bacon at whole foods.

    • Thanks, honey!

      The Black Forest bacon is in the deli case. (Their regular thick-cut bacon is great, too.) It’s usually about $5.99/lb. here in Boston. Which isn’t cheap, but isn’t super expensive, either. It’s just a little bit more than buying a regular pound of pre-packaged bacon, not on sale.

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

    • Thanks so much! About pizza stones, ya know…I used to have one…and I used it…and I have no idea where it’s gotten to.

      The thought behind using a pizza stone is that it holds heat (put it in when you preheat the oven), then distributes it evenly. Because pizza stones are usually unglazed, they also usually suck some moisture out of the bottom crust, which helps it crisp up.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  2. Mouse –

    Do you find that the crust ends up having more bubbles if it is not kneaded that much? After making Ciabatta bread and unfortunately not getting the nice crumb as in Reinhardt’s book, I am starting to believe that the more you knead, the more you develop the gluten mesh (and distribute it all over the dough) making it impossible to have the nice un-even crumb.

    Does that make any sense?

    Curious to know if you have any insights on this –

    thanks!
    Gabi at Mamaliga

  3. Oh yeah. That’s the stuff right there. I’ve never had black forest bacon, but I can only imagine it’s awesome. Does the basil burn at all? It doesn’t look like it did, but I’ve had bad luck with fresh basil on pizza.

  4. Oh, yum. North Shore (Boston) here, so I’ll be making a special trip to Whole Foods for some of this bacon. And I’ll certainly be trying the pizza. I ate too much for lunch and looking at that pizza is still making me hungry. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I need get into this more. Sure, i’ve made pizzas before, plenty of them, but I’ve never quite nailed it. My pizzas have been OK, good on ocassion, but never great, never as good as I think they could be.

    I have some theories, though. I think I need a pizza stone of some kind to start with, and I spent some time this afternoon trailling around hardware stores looking for a big unglazed terracota tile that I could use. I know exactly where I could get one, but it’s in Portuagal, and unfortunately, I am not.

    I read the other day about a guy who modded his oven to make it better for pizza by tripping out the thermostat so that it didn’t kick in at the top end, letting him super heat the oven way past it’s ‘maximum’ temperatures. His pizza looked superb, but I guess the fire department wouldn’t be too impressed…

    That bacon looks pretty darn good, BTW.

    • Sigh. Yeah, I’m convinced that the secret to out-of-this-world-I-can-die-happy-after-I-have-a-slice pizza is a super hot oven. As in, surface-of-the-sun hot. One that gets hotter than you can really safely do at home. Sigh again.

      All that sighing aside, this method really does produce a damn fine pizza. If you give it a shot, I’d love to know what you think.

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  6. I made this last week. I didn’t have a pizza stone so I used the back of a cookie sheet and draped it with parchment paper, as recommended by Smitten Kitchen (a href=”http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/06/10-paths-to-painless-pizza-making/”).

    It was fabulous.

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