Pizza. It seems like every household and every region of the United States has their own take on it. From New York to California, the styles are endless. My wife loves a thick crust, piled high with every meat imaginable. Pepperoni, salami, sausage, ham, chicken – you name it, she’ll eat. (Basically, if it used to walk…it’s fair game). Me? Well, I tend to like a thinner crust with a pop of produce. So, while I’m a meat eater, a simple pizza Margherita (mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil) is usually my go-to.
I created this pizza with my taste buds (sorry, Lanaya) and summer in mind. It’s layered with caramelized onions, crispy bacon, both fresh and low-moisture mozzarella cheese, local yellow peaches, basil, baby arugula, California Avocados, avocado oil, and plenty of salt, pepper, and herbs. You guys, it’s pretty damn AMAZING!
First, we have to make the dough. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Promise me you won’t buy it. Promise?
Okay, let’s do this!
¾ cup water, warmed to 110°-115°F
1 package active dry yeast (or 2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 cups bread flour (more as needed)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Lightly brush a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.
Combine the water (110°-115°F), sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Allow to foam.
While you’re waiting for the mixture to activate (3-5 minutes), whisk together the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add the activated yeast mixture and olive oil to the bowl and mix on low until combined (stopping occasionally to scrape the sides). Once combined, increase to medium speed, add additional flour (as needed), and continue to mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Transfer the dough to the prepared oiled bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat both sides with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough, turn onto a lightly floured surface, and shape as desired. If you’re not ready to use it, punch down the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator.
Did you go buy dough? SMH. You promised you wouldn’t!
Okay, now, it’s time to assemble the pizza.
1 batch homemade pizza dough
4 slices bacon
1 sweet onion (I used vidalia)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon bacon fat
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus
½ teaspoon black pepper, plus
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ red pepper flakes
¾ cup low-moisture part-skim mozzarella, shredded
5 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced (¼-inch)
1 peach, sliced (¼-inch)
2 California Avocados, sliced (¼-inch)
½ cup baby arugula
¼ cup fresh basil
1 Tablespoon avocado oil
Preheat your oven to 500°F.
To Prepare the Bacon
Pull the bacon from the fridge 15-20 minutes before cooking. Without overlapping, lay the strips in a cold nonstick frying pan or cast iron skillet. Cook over medium heat, turning the strips as needed until they’ve reached the desired crispness (about 8 to 12 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and allow to cool. Reserve 1 teaspoon of rendered fat.
To Prepare the Onions
Thinly slice the onion. In a small frying pan or cast iron skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until they begin to soften (5–7 minutes). Stir in the teaspoon of the reserved rendered bacon fat and continue to cook until the onions are a deep golden brown (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat.
To Prepare the Crust
On a lightly floured surface, use your palms and fingers to push and pull the prepared dough into a (roughly) 8×12” rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to rest for 7-10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Brush evenly over the rested dough.
To Assemble the Pizza
Leaving a half-inch border around the perimeter, spread the caramelized onions and crumbled bacon over the dough. Cover evenly with shredded mozzarella and slices of the fresh cheese. Arrange the slices of peach in groups of 3-4 and fan throughout the pizza. Bake at 500°F until the crust is golden brown and bits of the cheese have begun to caramelize (AKA, burn). This will take approximately 12-15 minutes. You’ll be tempted to pull the pizza out of the oven too soon. Don’t. No one wants a soggy bottom. No one.
Arrange the slices of California Avocados in groups of 3-4 and fan throughout the pizza. Toss with leaves of fresh basil and baby arugula. Finish with avocado oil, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Slice and enjoy!
This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission. The content and opinions expressed here are my own.