For the Dough
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4–6 cups flour (whole white wheat or unbleached all-purpose)
For the Pizza
- 2 cups pizza sauce (my easy recipe is in the notes)
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella
- 6–8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumpled
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (a mix of basil, parsley, and oregano is delicious)
- In a large mixing bowl add the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Allow mixture to stand for 5 minutes. Add one cup of flour and mix to combine. Add another cup of flour and mix through. Mix by hand for 1 or 2 minutes. The dough should be the consistency of cake batter. Add another cup of flour and mix through. Add flour until you can’t mix it by hand very well. Sprinkle some flour on your table and turn the dough onto the table. Knead the dough by hand until it is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed. This should take 6 to10 minutes of kneading. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 15 to 60 minutes (this time varies a lot for me, I just let it rise according to how long it is until dinner time).
- While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to heat, too. I would recommend using a stone for baking this pizza. If you don’t have a stone you can turn your biggest cookie sheet upside down (so that the flat side is up) or use a rimless sheet. If you are using a stone let the stone heat for 30 minutes. If using a baking sheet, let it heat for 15 minutes.
- When the oven is hot, cut your dough in half. Place half of the dough on a piece of parchment paper that is 18 inches long. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough (on top of the parchment paper) into a large circle. The dough should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick (I like mine thin, Husband likes his thicker… you’ll have to find what you like). Top with 1 cup of pizza sauce, 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella, and half of the crumbled bacon, tomatoes, and herbs.
- When the pizza is all ready, slide the pizza, which is on the parchment paper, onto a rimless cookie sheet or one that is upside down. This will help you get the pizza to the oven.
- Open the oven and slide the pizza which is still on the parchment paper, from the cookie sheet onto the hot baking stone or hot cookie sheet. I just tug on the edge of the parchment paper with my hands and slide it on to the stone. BE CAREFUL! Your oven is set to 500. It’s super hot, obviously! Make sure the babies are out of the way and be careful when sliding the pizza into the oven.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the top is bubbly and the edges are starting to brown. When the pizza is done, tug the edge of the parchment paper and slide the pizza back onto the cookie sheet you used to transfer it to the oven. Again, be careful!
- Let your stone reheat for 10 minutes. While the stone is heating, repeat the whole thing with the second half of the dough and bake the same way.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough and the rest of the toppings.
- Enjoy, enjoy enjoy!
- I serve it right off of the parchment paper (which gets all dark and cooked looking) or I’ll tear off a new piece and serve it on a crisp white sheet of parchment. Very pretty!
For the sauce: 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (extra points if you home can them, which I do every summer!) – In a small sauce pan cook the oil and garlic together over medium heat until the garlic starts to smell good. Add the tomatoes and simmer until it thickens a bit, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. DONE! Really. Three ingredients and it tastes amazing!