Candied bacon? Yes, and quite amazing, at that! Your only problem, once you make it, will be saving enough for the pizza! Do try your best though because I have a feeling, this might become your favorite pizza - EVER!
Pesto & Potato Pizza w/ Candied Bacon & Sweet Bell Peppers
1 ball pizza dough (this recipe is my favorite)
8 ounce bag shredded Italian blend cheese
4 ounces small potatoes, cooked, cooled and sliced in ⅛ inch slices
¼ cup small diced sweet bell peppers
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1. Place pizza stone or sheet pan on middle rack of oven. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
2. Pat or roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately a 14 inch circle. Shape does not have to be perfect. This is a rustic pizza. Place a piece of parchment paper, slightly larger than your dough, on a pizza peel or large cutting board. (The parchment paper will make your transfer of the pizza to the oven infinitely easier.) Sprinkle parchment paper lightly with cornmeal. Fold pizza dough in quarters and transfer to parchment paper, then unfold.
3. Spread pesto over dough to within ½ in of edge all the way around. Brush exposed edges of dough with a bit extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle pesto layer with about ⅔ of the cheese. Lay potato slices on top of cheese and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and just a bit of fresh ground pepper (the bacon has some pepper, too!). Scatter remainder of cheese, then candied bacon over the potatoes.. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
4. Slide parchment paper with pizza on top onto stone or cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Lift pizza up slightly with a metal spatula and pull out parchment paper. This will ensure a crispier crust as parchment paper sometimes traps a bit of moisture. Continue baking 3-5 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Watch carefully, at this temperature it's easy to burn the pizza!
5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with chopped peppers and fresh basil. Serve and enjoy!
Candied Applewood Bacon
6 slices applewood bacon, cut in 1" pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 400˚F.
2. Combine bacon pieces, brown sugar and a generous grind of black pepper and toss to coat bacon with the sugar.
3. Turn sugared bacon mixture out onto prepared sheet pan.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden, stirring every 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the bacon. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a sheet of parchment paper. Blot lightly with a paper towel to remove extra grease. Allow to cool.