RECIPE. May 18, 2011

Broccoli Pepper Bacon Pizza

I was inspired to make this recipe because I had all the ingredients on hand and a recent issue of Sunset magazine had featured a pizza topped with broccoli rabe, mozzarella and yellow pepper. It also suggested making the dough in a skillet instead of the oven and I quickly nixed that idea due to my great success with my pizza stone. If you make the dough ahead of time this recipe takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s incredibly delicious, cheap and very basic. It is also one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. I was troubled to top it all with cheese and stick it in the oven because all I wanted to do was stare at the gorgeous colors and appreciate the vibrancy of life that burst from the mingling of these vegetables.

Maybe I’m just a tad bit of a foodie and an obsessive photography but I appreciate such natural beauty. It made it challenging to devour this beautiful masterpiece but on first bite my conscious was clear as my belly rumbled for more.

Combine all of the crust ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or mix in an electric mixer. After you’ve combined all of the ingredients, set the dough aside to rest for 5 minutes. Stir again for 3 to 5 minutes, adding more water or flour if necessary. Generally speaking, you want the dough to be wetter and stickier than your typical bread dough. It should be dry enough that it holds together and pulls away from the side of the bowl when you mix it, but it doesn’t need to be dry enough to knead by hand.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Place each one into an oiled freezer bag. I just squirt a couple of sprays of spray oil into the bag. You can also brush the outside of the dough with olive oil and then place it into the bag. All that matters is that you be able to get the dough out of the bag later. If you aren’t going to bake them that day, you can throw the bags into the freezer. They’ll stay good in there for at least a month. The evening before you intend to bake them, move the frozen dough balls to the refrigerator to thaw. If you intend to bake them later that day, place the bagged dough balls in the refrigerator. Remove them from the fridge and let them warm to room temperature an hour or two before you intend to bake them.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees when ready to bake pizza. Place pizza stone in oven while it heats. If you don’t have a pizza stone just use a lined baking pan but do not place in oven while it heats. If using pizza stone, cut piece of parchment paper a little longer than your stone. Pull dough from corners by hand until it is in round or rectangular shape and place on parchment paper. The parchment paper allows easy transfer on and off your stone. No matter how hard I try mine always turns out more rectangular. If using lined baking pan just place dough directly on pan. For more detailed instructions on shaping the dough go here.

Place peppers on pizza first, followed by bacon and then broccoli and cheese. I used half cows mozzarella for my husband and half daiya mozzarella for me. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes, watching carefully until cheese is melted to your liking. I like mine a bit golden. Allow to cool for five minutes and then slice.