Every Friday night growing up my family ordered pizza for dinner. Pizza Hut pizzas, to be exact. Two of ’em. One cheese, one pepperoni – no deviation. Ever!
It was a chance for my Mom, who cooked 5+ nights a week, to catch a break, plus it gave my brothers and me something to look forward to all week long. Isn’t it sad that kids don’t always look forward to their Mom’s home-cooked meals that they put so much time, love, and energy into? My sister-in-law recently shared with me that her 4 year old son, my sweet-as-pie nephew Finn, exclaimed “Mommy, this looks terrible!” to the dinner she put in front of him a few weeks ago.
Kids say the darnedest things.
Anyway, Pizza Hut on Friday is fine, but homemade pizza is even better. Homemade BBQ BLT Pizza! Make this tonight, yo!
To be honest with you, BLTs don’t really do it for me. Dry toast with a couple pieces of bacon, a slab of tomato, and warm limp lettuce? Gag.
Chewy homemade pizza dough slathered with sweet and smoky BBQ sauce then topped with crispy kale, juicy tomato, salty bacon, and a modest yet perfectly melty amount of mozzarella cheese? Now that is one riff on a BLT I can get down with!
Now before you say, but Kristin! I don’t DO homemade pizza crust! Trust me, you do. You must! This recipe is too mouthwatering to miss out on. Making homemade pizza is so easy – almost fool proof. All you need is 5 minutes to make the dough, and one hour to let it rise. I’ll show you how!
Start by making the pizza dough. Like I said, if I can make pizza dough – you can make pizza dough.
Combine 1/2 cup warm water (think hot-tub temp – not scalding, but not lukewarm) with 1-1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast, and 1 Tablespoon honey. Stir to combine then place in a warm spot until foamy, about 10 minutes. I placed my bowl on top of a heating pad set to low. If your mixture does not foam, likely your yeast was old your water was too cold. Easy fixes!
Foam party! Ugh…foam parties.
To the foamy yeast mixture add 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil then stir until the dough comes together in a ball. I used a wooden spoon.
Next, turn the dough out onto a heavily-floured surface then knead for 3 minutes, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. THAT’S IT. Pizza dough = made!
Shape the dough into a ball then place in a nonstick sprayed bowl. Cover the top with a tea towel, making sure it doesn’t touch the dough, then let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour. Again, I placed my bowl over a heating pad set to low.
Works like a charm! Now, at this point you could cover the dough and refrigerate for 1-2 days – just let the dough come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before using – or you can forge ahead!
When the dough has 20 minutes left to rise, start getting the rest of the ingredients ready beginning with the bacon – the first letter, and most important part, of a BLT.
Place 4 strips bacon on a nonstick sprayed cooling rack set atop a foil-lined baking sheet then place it in a COLD OVEN and set the oven to preheat to 400 degrees. The bacon will cook low and slow as the oven comes up to temperature, rendering out the fat so your bacon will be gloriously crisp yet chewy. Perfection. (The fifth slice was for snacking.) ; )
If your bacon still needs to crisp up a bit after the oven has reached 400 degrees, just let it continue to cook in there. I needed about 5 extra minutes. Let the bacon cool slightly then chop into pieces.
Meanwhile chop 2 cups lacinato kale into bite-sized pieces, removing the ribs first. I like lacinato kale a bit more than curly kale, but use whatever feels right. This, by the way, is the “L” part of the BLT. I swapped out hot lettuce (how much do we loathe hot lettuce?!) for kale, which tastes SO good on this pizza and, more importantly, practically makes it health food.
Lightly massage the chopped kale with 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 30 seconds. The oil helps the kale crisp up on the pizza, and the salt and pepper make it taste reeeeal niiiiice.
Final piece of the BLT puzzle? The “T”, of course! Seed then chop 2 vine-ripened tomatoes.
Time to put together some pizza! I use a pizza pan I borrowed forever from my Mom, but you can use a 12″ disposable foil pizza pan, or even a rimmed baking sheet. Whatever you use, just spray the heck out of it with nonstick spray first.
Spread the dough out over the pan using your finger tips. This should be incredibly easy if you’re using the dough fresh. If you’re using refrigerated pizza dough it will take a little more coaxing. That’s why it’s important to let the dough come to room temperature first – cold dough does not stretch very well!
Next spread on 1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (or more or less depending on how saucy you like your pizza.) I chose a sweet BBQ sauce, which tastes awesome with the bacon, and used a pastry brush to make this step easy. Sprinkle on the massaged kale next.
Followed by the tomatoes and bacon.
Finish with 4oz shredded mozzarella cheese then bake in the 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
Presto – BBQ BLT Pizza!
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BBQ BLT Pizza
Sweet BBQ sauce meets salty bacon, juicy tomatoes, and hearty kale in this mouthwatering homemade BBQ BLT Pizza.
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 cups chopped lacinato or curly kale
- 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 4oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- For the pizza dough:
- 1/2 cup warm water (think "hot-tub" temp - not luke-warm, but not scalding)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1-1/2 cups flour + more for kneading
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- For the pizza dough: Combine water, yeast, and honey in a large glass bowl then stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes in a warm place (I put my bowl on a heating pad set to low heat) or until foamy. Add flour, salt, and extra virgin olive oil then stir until dough comes together in a ball. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface then knead for 3 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Spray a large glass bowl with nonstick spray then add dough and cover with a towel (don't let towel touch dough.) Place bowl in a warm spot (again, I placed mine over a heating pad set to low) then let dough rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. You can cover and refrigerate the dough at this point for 1-2 days. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing on to next step.
- When dough has 20 minutes left to rise, line a baking sheet with foil then place a cooling rack on top and spray with nonstick spray. Lay bacon slices on top of cooling rack then place into a cold oven. Set oven to preheat to 400 degrees. Bacon will cook as oven heats up. Continue to cook at 400 degrees if the bacon still needs to crisp up a bit after oven has come to temperature (I needed about 5 extra minutes.) Cool slightly then chop.
- Lightly massage kale with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then set aside.
- Spray a pizza pan or baking sheet very well with nonstick spray then spread risen dough into a 12" circle, or into an even layer on a baking sheet. Spread BBQ sauce on top then sprinkle on massaged kale, tomatoes, chopped bacon, and cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust and cheese are golden brown. Slice then serve.
Pizza dough recipe from Half Baked Harvest.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
This is one of my favorite homemade pizza concoctions to date. Salty, sweet, smokey, cheesy. SO delicious!! And I love how, when you use flavorful toppings, you really don’t need to add that much cheese. There’s only 4oz on this pizza pie – that’s, like, the amount Pizza Hut puts on one slice! Delicious but, as this BBQ BLT Pizza proves – totally not necessary. Enjoy, guys!