BLT Ranch Pizza

blt pizza sliceedited Homemade pizza is something I’m getting better at the more often I make it. I humbly submit that this combo and crust are my best yet. Back when I was baking my pita bread, I managed to crack my pizza stone. It cracked cleanly in two on the last round of baking the pita bread, I’m guessing because I spritzed the tops of the pitas with water {I’d read it would help them puff-up a bit better} that was just cold enough to cause the crack. Until I can get a new one, I’m down to baking on my Airbake Perforated Pan by T-Fal. The crust does not get quite as crisp on the bottom with it, but I like it because I can spread the dough, top it, bake it and slice it, all on one pan.

I’ve also switched my pizza dough recipe the past two Fridays I’ve made homemade pizza to a quick pizza dough recipe from the James Beard Foundation. I cut the original recipe in half because I only need to make one pizza for my family of four, but I love this dough because it is quick, it’s very easy to stretch onto the pizza pan and it’s tasty.

blt pizza wholeedited This BLT Ranch topping came about because I’d looked through a ranch-flavored foods gallery that came across my Facebook feed. As soon as I saw their photo of a bacon ranch pizza, I knew I had to make it for our dinner. I’ve mentioned before I’m a huge fan of Penzeys Spices. I have their Chip and Dip seasoning which simply mixes with sour cream to make a very yummy ranch-type sauce. This is what I used for the pizza’s base, followed by plenty of freshly shredded Muenster cheese, crisp bacon, fresh tomato and romaine lettuce. This pizza was so, so good. Try it yourself and see!

BLT Ranch Pizza
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for the crust
  1. 1 1/2 t. instant yeast or 2 t. active dry yeast
  2. 1/2 c. + 3 T. lukewarm water (95 - 115 degrees)
  3. 3 T. extra virgin olive oil + extra for greasing bowl
  4. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  5. 3/4 t. kosher salt
for the toppings
  1. 1 c. sour cream (not low-fat)
  2. 2 t. Penzeys Chip & Dip Seasoning (or your favorite brand of dry ranch seasoning)
  3. 8 oz. Muenster cheese, shredded
  4. 1 pkg. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  5. 3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  6. 2 c. romaine lettuce, shredded
Instructions
  1. Place the yeast in a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the lukewarm water and stir on low to dissolve. Add the olive oil and 1/2 c. of flour and beat on medium-low speed for a minute until smooth. Switch to dough hook and add another 1/2 c. flour and salt and mix well. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and put machine on low speed until the dough forms a mass around the hook. Let the machine knead the dough for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and scrape out the bowl. Knead on counter for a minute for two until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball.
  2. Place a teaspoon of oil in the bottom of a large, clean bowl. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and move it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and set in a warm place (near your oven) until the dough doubles in bulk, 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. While waiting for dough to rise, preheat oven to 400 degrees, spread bacon in even layer on two sheet pans and bake until just crisp. Drain on paper towel lined plate and crumble for topping.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 550 degrees and move oven racks so you can bake your pizza in the lower third of your oven.
  5. Prepare rest of toppings.
  6. Once dough has risen, press down to release air. Move dough to center of pizza pan and gently stretch and press dough to fit pan. My pan measures 15.75 inches.
  7. Top dough with about 3/4 of the ranch-flavored sour cream and save the rest of the ranch for dipping fresh vegetables as a side dish for your pizza.
  8. Evenly spread the shredded cheese on top of the ranch. Sprinkle the fresh tomatoes and crumbled bacon evenly over the cheese.
  9. Bake pizza 10-12 minutes or until crust edges are nice and browned and cheese is very bubbly. Remove pizza from oven and top with the fresh, shredded romaine lettuce.
  10. Slice and serve.
Adapted from Quick Pizza Dough
Adapted from Quick Pizza Dough
Foodtastic Mom http://www.foodtasticmom.com/

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