What are your favorite pizza toppings? This is the question I asked yesterday to any one who would humor me with an answer. The most popular answer? Goat cheese.
The most memorable pizza I've ever eaten did not contain goat cheese. It was a basic margarita pizza made right in front of us by a skilled pizza chef at Lucali in Brooklyn and cooked in a brick oven. This is no Dominos. This is the real thing. Thin crust. Limited toppings. Simple and beautiful pizza. Truth be told, there are only two items on the menu at Lucali: pizza and calzone. Talk about no frills Italian.
I came up with this recipe last night, and was pleasantly surprised. And don't even think about leaving out the green onions. They add a freshness and crispness that's balanced by the addition of bacon.
Goat Cheese and Bacon Pizza
1 batch of pizza dough (Available in most supermarkets, I recommend an incredibly elastic and classic dough is available at Trader Joe's for 99 cents. You can also buy these at your local pizzeria for about $3. If you have a 2-3 hours to spare, make your own.)
6 slices of bacon
6-8 green onions, chopped, white and light green parts reserved
7-1/4 inch slices low-moisture whole milk mozzarella ~2 inches in diameter each
1 small log of goat cheese
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tbs olive oil
Flour for dusting
Cornmeal for dusting
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and let your dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Precook your bacon in the microwave between sheets of paper towel for 4 minutes. Place on a cutting board, coarsely chop and set aside.
Roll out your dough on a well-floured surface. Roll it as thin as you can without creating gaping holes. Don't worry about making the dough into a perfect circle. As long as it fits onto your baking sheet or pizza stone, you're good to go. Any organic shape will do, and to be quite frank, can add a lot of character to your pizza.
With the backside of a spoon, spread tomato sauce evenly across the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch at the edges.
Add the slices of mozzarella, making sure that none are touching. Crumble goat cheese between and over the slices of mozzarella. The idea here is to ensure that the cheese will melt evenly across your pizza.
Sprinkle with green onions and chopped bacon. Brush the crust with olive oil.
Scatter a small handful of cornmeal onto your baking sheet. Carefully transfer pizza onto your baking sheet.
Bake for 14 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into the pizza. Because I do not own a trivet or cooling rack, I always turn a pyrex dish or a muffin tin face down on the counter, and let the baking sheet rest on top until cooled. Slice and enjoy!