This pizza taste like fall to me. I love bacon and cooking it in water first, I find, takes away the greasy quality and leaves me with pure crunch and flavor. A little trick I picked up at Guy Savoy in Paris…. But here’s the real kicker for this recipe: I have served this as an appetizer to friends, as a snack and as breakfast. Put a fried egg on top of here and its unreal.
Makes four 6-inch pizzas
THE PIZZA DOUGH
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1½ cups warm (about 110°F) water
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus some additional for coating the bowl/greasing the trays
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 scant tablespoon honey
Note: You will need extra flour for rolling the dough.
6 strips bacon, cut into thins slices
2 cups Brussels sprout “leaves”
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lemon, lightly zested
Pinch coarse sea salt
Pinch coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Make the pizza dough: In a bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast and allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes.
Using a sieve or strainer, “sift” about half of the flour over the yeast mixture and blend until smooth with your hands. Add the salt and honey and mix to blend. Sift the remaining flour and mix to blend.
Lightly flour a cutting board or flat surface. Turn the pizza dough onto the floured area and knead for 3-5 minutes. The flour should feel smooth and the ingredients full integrated. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and let it “rest” in a warm place, about 1½ hours or until it has doubled in volume.
Cook the pizza: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Press gently on the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into four equal parts, rolling each quarter into a loose ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to “rest” for an additional 15 minutes. Flatten each ball, one at a time, and roll into a 6-inch round. Place each round in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 2-3 minutes then “flatten” them by placing another baking sheet over them. Finish in the oven until light, golden brown, 12-15 additional minutes.
Cook the bacon and Brussels sprouts: Heat a medium skillet and add ½ cup water and the bacon strips. Cook over medium high heat until all of the water evaporates and the bacon becomes crispy. Drain the bacon on a kitchen towel. Set aside. In the same skillet, add the vegetable oil and heat until it begins to smoke lightly. TAKE CARE HERE BECAUSE WHEN YOU ADD THE BRUSSELS SPROUT LEAVES THE OIL WILL SPLATTER. Add some of the leaves and step back. Allow them to fry and get crispy. Drain them with a slotted spoon and put them with the bacon. Season the leaves with salt. Fry the remaining leaves.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, a teaspoon of lemon zest, coarse sea salt and a splash of olive oil. Stir to blend. Add a pinch of black pepper. Set aside.
Assemble the pizzas: Brushing the dough with olive oil can create a barrier that will help to prevent the topping from making the crust soggy. Brush the pizza rounds with olive oil and spread a generous layer of ricotta over them. Season lightly with salt. Arrange the bacon and Brussels sprout leaves on top. Remove and transfer to a flat surface. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of juice from the lemon. Cut into wedges.