Pizza dough ball
Spicy ranch dressing
Mozzarella cheese, grated
For ovens with a pizza brick, preheat oven to its highest temperature, preferably 550°. Otherwise, preheat your oven to accommodate your preferred pizza baking method. While the oven is preheating, prepare toppings and set aside. Fry bacon until brown, just under your desired doneness (soft rather than crispy). Let the bacon cool, then slice it into squares. Brush the pizza dough with olive oil and crushed garlic. Spread out a layer of spicy ranch dressing (add crushed red pepper flakes to add more heat, if desired) and top with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and bacon. Bake in the preheated oven and watch for the cheese to bubble; once the bubbles show a hint of browning, remove from the oven. (If you prefer cheese to be stretchy, remove from the oven after the cheese is fully melted.) Garnish with shredded lettuce. Guests can add more dressing or lettuce as they prefer.
Bringing Home the Bacon
“I’d be a vegetarian,” Homer Simpson once said, “if bacon grew on trees.” For many of us who aspire to vegetarianism, bacon really is the deal-breaker. There’s no satisfying substitute for its salty, savory goodness. Whether stuffed between slices of bread or laid out on a crispy thin pizza crust, bacon, lettuce and tomato make for a classic combo. Check out these examples from pizzerias around the country and start developing your own dream pie for bacon lovers:
With three locations in Illinois and Indiana, Sicilian Joe’s Pizzeria (sicilianjoes.com), combines bacon, ham and mozzarella on a thin crust, bakes it and then tops it off with lettuce, tomatoes and a generous dollop of ranch dressing.
Uncle Peteza’s Pizzeria (unclepetezas.net), in Bothell, Washington, prepares its BLT pie with a Ranch dressing for the base and loads it with bacon, red onions, mozzarella, lettuce and tomatoes.
With 16 locations in five Southern states, Brixx Wood Fired Pizza (brixxpizza.com) rocks taste buds with its Spicy BLT Pizza, made with strips of applewood-smoked bacon, mozzarella, shaved jalapenos and red onions, then topped with diced Roma tomatoes and chopped Romaine lettuce tossed in Caesar salad dressing.
Specializing in northern Italian cuisine, Clayton, Missouri’s Bocci Bar (boccibar.com) has made a name for itself with the Lobster BLT, featuring lobster claws, bacon, tomatoes, field greens and crème fraîche.