Well, the creators of the most recent Cooking Light issue certainly know how to get our attention. For one, their cover screams pizza, and two, their cover screams bacon. Together, they scream Make us now! It seems we are powerless against such suggestions. Hopelessly and yet unashamed. Because this pizza is a very, very good thing. Because bacon. Because pizza. And bacon.
Normally I don’t buy a new ingredient if I already have something that will work just as well, like the mayo above, for example. It’s used for the sauce portion of this pizza. I almost decided to save a couple of dollars and just use the low-fat mayo I already have, but then I got curious about how the fat and cholesterol-free mayo would taste. Turns out – we couldn’t tell a difference at all!
This pizza is a tad bit more work because we’re oven-roasting them prior to putting them on the pizza. It’s a must, however, because as we all know, tomatoes are watery creatures. Delicious, but watery.
And when the tomatoes are done and almost waterless thy will look like wizened creatures that have had many life experiences. But actually it’ll just have been about forty minutes in a really hot oven. That’s good for us, though, because not only will they no longer make the pizza soggy, but their flavor will be more concentrated.
In the meantime, let’s get the “sauce” ready, shall we? Yep, it’s mayo and I know plenty of people who really don’t like the stuff. But it’s a BLT pizza, so….tough! I suppose if you wanted to do away with it altogether, you could Google some options for white pizza, which sometimes have an alfredo-like sauce. I’m OK with the mayo, though. Onward!
See the little pile of yellow? That’s grated garlic. A word to the wise – one garlic clove, grated, is plenty enough to set someone on fire let alone the two called for. Mincing garlic very finely really releases the oils that make garlic spicy, but when you grate it? Well, let’s just say, do not invite anyone to try a spoonful of this pizza sauce if you want to remain friends. The intensity of the garlic will diminish when cooked. A microplane grater works great for grating garlic, by the way.
You also have to pre-cook the bacon. But of course, right? Mmmm. Bacon! Don’t tell anyone, but we used more like 6 or 7 slices instead of the measly amount called for originally. There’s always room for more bacon. This is irrefutable!
When it comes to the dough, I usually reach for a ready-made one in my grocery store deli. Our Publix makes the best fresh pizza dough. IT’s just that sometimes I don’t have the patience to roll it out.
Here the dough has already baked in the oven on a pizza stone for five minutes. As you can see, it’s mighty fluffy because, again, not enough patience on my part to roll out the dough more. If you want thinner dough, you can either split the fresh dough in half and roll out a thinner piece, or if your dough is too elastic, as ours was, and wants to keep retracting in on itself, try to be patient and let it sit for a few minutes before rolling it out more. Repeat, letting it relax and then rolling it more until the dough is the desired thickness.
I should listen to my own advice!
So anyways, time to spread on the sauce! We ended up using most of ours.
Next goes on all those delicious oregano-topped, roasted tomato slices.
And next, ALL the bacon. Except for a piece or two for your personal taste testing.
And finally – we have cheeeeese! Not too much, though. Crazy, right? Us, advocating “not too much” cheese. Honestly, this one doesn’t need to be loaded down with it. We used about half a cup.
And last but not least, a little olive oil helps the exposed crust to brown nicely.
Oh but wait! The final final touch – the lettuce. In this case, it’s a little pile of peppery arugula. I think we’re really ready to cut this thing up at this point, but try to let it cool for a few minutes at least before doing so.
Oh, um, gee. Somebody’s cut this little guy up! I guess there’s nothing to do now but enjoy the heck out of it. The white sauce is nice and creamy, and again, you’d never know it’s base is a fat and cholesterol free mayo. Plus, the garlic has mellowed a lot but still adds some background flavor goodness. The rest is a delicious translation of sandwich to pizza. You can just about guarantee a delicious time when bacon’s involved, but the pizza as a whole pretty much transcends even that. It’s absolutely one of the best pizza ideas we’ve ever tried. Well worth the extra effort with the tomatoes. There’s no doubt this is getting made again ASAP!
from BLT Pizza with White Sauce by Tiffany Vickers Davis, Cooking Light, July 2014
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: about 4-5 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 2-4
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 4 center-cut bacon slices
- 10 ounce fresh pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup baby arugula
Place a pizza stone on bottom oven rack. Preheat oven to 400°.
Arrange tomato slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Place baking sheet directly on pizza stone. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are no longer wet. Remove tomatoes; keep stone in oven.
Increase oven temperature to 500°.
Combine mayonnaise, oil, chives, and garlic in a small bowl.
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Break into pieces.
Using well-floured hands, pat dough into a 10-inch circle. Place dough on a pizza peel or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Pierce dough with a fork; transfer to preheated pizza stone. Bake at 500° for 5 minutes.
Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Brush mayonnaise mixture over crust, leaving a 1-inch border; top with tomatoes and bacon. Top with cheese; coat crust edge with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust browns. Top with arugula. Cut into 8 slices.
Simply patting the dough into a circle wasn’t working for us, so we used a rolling pin for part of that step. Do whatever works best for you. Do make sure too that if your dough was refrigerated prior, let it come closer to room temp on the counter, about an hour.
Instead of spraying the crust with cooking spray, we just brushed it with olive oil. Again, it’s up to you what method you want to use.