Tuesday, August 09, 2011

June's Pizza del Mese: BLT Pizza

Hey, it's still August and I'm already up to June's Pizza del Mese. Maybe I'll be all caught up by December. I finally found a pizza from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough that I'm not madly in love with. The BLT Pizza is from a small chapter containing five salad pizzas. The crust is fantastic and the B and T are great. I'm just not personally up to L on my pizza. My designated taste tester had a great suggestion for pizza purists: serve the dressed lettuce on the side.

I also just used some hearty romaine from my CSA basket rather than buying iceberg lettuce as directed in the recipe. The heat of the pizza really messes with the consistency of the lettuce fast. Perhaps the crunchy iceberg would have maintained its texture better and that might have made me love the pizza.

But my lettuce issues aside, the Cracker Pizza Dough ROCKS. If you like crispy, thin crusts that look like they just came out of the wood oven at A Tavola in Athens, Georgia, or Fritti in Atlanta, this is the pizza dough recipe for you. Can you tell I haven't had descent thin crust pizza in a long time?

BLT Pizza adapted from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

  • Vegetable oil to apply to the cooking surface of Lodge Pro Logic Cast-Iron 14-Inch Pizza Pan
  • One recipe Cracker Pizza Dough (see recipe below)
  • 12 oz. bacon strips
  • 1 1/2 T plus 1 t Dijon on honey mustard
  • 6 oz. mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 T regular, low-fat, or fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 C shredded, packed iceberg lettuce
  • Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Apply a thin coating of vegetable oil to the surface of the cast iron pizza pan. Lay the dough at its center and dimple the dough with your fingertips. Then pull and press the dough until it forms a 14-inch circle on the pizza pan.
  • Fry the bacon strips in a large skillet over medium heat until just starting to
    turn brown, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove the strips from the skillet and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
  • Spread 1 1/2 T mustard over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border at its
    edge. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella evenly over the mustard, then top with
    the diced tomato and the chopped bacon.
  • Place the pie on its pizza pan in the oven on the middle rack. Check it about every three minutes for the first nine minutes to pop any air bubbles that may blow up at its edge or across its surface. Bake until the crust's edge is golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes.
  • Transfer the pizza pan to a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes. Remove the pie from the pan, transferring it directly to the wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and
    the remaining 1 t mustard in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Add the lettuce and toss until well coated. Mound the dressed salad onto the
    pizza, then cut into wedges to serve.
Cracker Pizza Dough adapted from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough Ingredients
  • 1/2 C lukewarm water (between 105 F and 115 F)
  • 1/4 t active dry yeast
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 C bread flour
  • 2 t olive oil
  • Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with warm tap water, drain it, and dry it thoroughly. Stir the water, yeast, baking soda, and salt together in the bowl just until everything is dissolved.
  • Add the flour and olive oil, attach the dough hook, and beat at medium speed until combined. Continue kneading at medium speed, adding more bread flour in 1 T increments if the dough gets sticky, until the mixture is soft and elastic, about 4 minutes.
  • Wipe a clean, large bowl with a bit of cooking oil on a paper towel. Place the dough in the prepared bowl, turning the dough so all sides are coated with oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Because there's not much yeast, the dough will not double in bulk but will rise a little and soften somewhat.
Previous Pizza del Mese:

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