For the longest time, I felt that homemade bread was sort of the gold standard of home cooks. If you were making bread on your own, you had your life together, and you definitely had culinary skills. I had watched so many family members completely screw the pooch on making it themselves, so I just always assumed that it was really hard.
It certainly was not something that I ever thought I would try on my own. Why would I, when Papa Murphy’s does it so well?
I can’t put my finger on the moment that I decided to give it a try. Maybe it was one of those long, lazy summer days when I had a lot of time on my hands. Or maybe I was inspired by a Nerdy Nummies episode. Either way, the inspiration struck one day, and I gave it a go using this recipe from Epicurious.
And yes, I did feel fancy as hell when I was making it.
After tasting my creation, there was no going back. Frozen pizzas would never compare. Beyond that, making the crust was so much easier than I ever could have anticipated, and I could completely customize it to suit my tastes.
I’ve used the same recipe every time since then, although I have tweaked it a bit here and there to amp up the flavor. It doesn’t have the best reviews due to a few places where it isn’t incredibly specific on instructions, and also because making it as-is can be a bit bland. I spiced it up by adding oregano and garlic powder to the flour before adding the yeast mixture.
Of course, if you want to use a store-bought crust, or if you have a recipe that you have used before and you want to try it out, feel free to. I won’t stop you, and I’m sure it will be delicious.
What I love about this pizza is how hefty it is, without being weighed down by a ton of dairy. The whole pizza only has half a cup of shredded mozzarella and a few thin slices of fresh mozzarella. The crunchiness of the kale mixed with the chewy, salty bacon creates a meal that will fill you up without relying on a bunch of cheese for added flavor.
A few notes: For the sauce, you can use my canned tomato recipe or the recipe that I give down below (or store-bought. Again, no judgment). That recipe is best for time crunches, as it only takes about fifteen minutes total to make. The recipe below tastes great but takes about half an hour of active time.
And if you hate kale with a passion, spinach is a decent replacement. It won’t have the same crunch, but hey, it’s still vegetable.
So, without further ado, here is my recipe for Bacon Kale Pizza.
5 Fresh Tomatoes, peeled
2 1/2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Oregano
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Garlic Powder, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4 Cup Red Wine (Optional)
3 Oz. Tomato Paste
1 Pizza Crust
5 Small White Mushrooms, diced (optional, I just love them)
1 Cup Kale, chopped or whole
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
5 Thin Slices Fresh Mozzarella
5-6 Slices Bacon, diced
Directions For Sauce
Cut the peeled tomatoes into quarters, or eighths if the quarters appear too large. If you like the texture to be smooth with no trace of tomato chunks, then toss these into a blender and blend for about ten seconds. If you like chunks of tomato, then you can toss the cut pieces into a pan after adding the garlic and olive oil.
Add garlic and olive oil to bottom of saucepan over medium heat and saute for about two minutes. Add the tomatoes, whether chunky or blended, and stir until coated with the garlic and olive oil. Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then stir.
Stir occasionally until sauce starts to bubble. Add wine and tomato paste, then reduce until sauce is no longer watery (if you don’t reduce enough, your crust will get soggy, so be be prepared to be here for a while).
When sauce is reduced, set aside.
Directions For Pizza
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take your rolled out crust (rolled very thin, as it does rise when cooking) and place it onto a grease pizza pan. Place in oven for ten to twelve minutes, then take out. Layer on the sauce, mushrooms, kale, and cheeses. Add the raw bacon to the very top, as cooked bacon will overcook and burn in the oven.
Place back in oven for another 15-18 minutes, or until edges of pizza crust are browned.
This pizza was the perfect hearty dinner after a long day, and the other half of it sat very nicely overnight. Since the dough recipe that I provided makes two crusts, I suppose I’ll just have to make another one tomorrow (oops).
If you’re a food blog and you have any homemade pizza recipes that you would like to share, feel free to leave a link to them in the comments below. I’m all about giving people options, so if my recipe doesn’t float your boat, I would love to help you find one that does.
Until next time, kick up your heels and grab a slice of pizza.