Honestly, WHAT is more perfect for 4th of July festivities than BBQ? It’s fun, it’s messy, it’s casual… it’s the essence of summer.
And BBQ Pizza?!? Well, in my humble opinion, the only way to improve upon juicy barbecued goodness is to add mounds of melty cheese and lots carb-y, perfect bread. That sounds just about right to me… yep!
Have you made BBQ Pizza before? There are many options out there to try, and all are heavenly. But my favorite combo features caramelized onions and turkey bacon. (Don’t knock it til you try it! I don’t make it this way to be healthy… I make it this way because it is dang tasty! Though I’d be lying if I said I’m not happy about the fact that my favorite toppings for BBQ Pizza also happen to be a bit healthier than some of their more mainstream counterparts.) Oh, and of course you could use regular pork bacon if you prefer, but I think there’s a subtle sweetness to turkey bacon that sends this pizza straight into “addictive” territory, so I recommend trying it.
You can make this process as easy or as difficult as you want on yourself! I personally think homemade crust is well worth the extra time... but no one would dare turn this pizza down if you went with a pre-made crust. So do whichever works for you! (Frozen bread dough is a nice compromise.)
I’m including the crust instructions in the recipe below for those who want them. It is not at all labor-intensive… just requires a little patience while the dough rises.
And now, here are a couple of other summertime favorites of mine that I think are perfect for a 4th of July table. If you need a few ideas for this coming weekend and you want to get more creative than potato salad, I hope these can provide some inspiration. I can personally guarantee that they are mind-blowingly delicious. (Links can be found below.)
And here is the printable recipe for that impossibly addictive BBQ Pizza! You’ll definitely want to try this one.
- For homemade sourdough crust:
- 1½ C. warm water
- 4 T. olive oil
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
- 3½ C. all-purpose flour, divided
- ¼ C. whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh rosemary
- Pizza Toppings:
- 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
- ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese
- 16 oz mozzarella cheese
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 pkg. turkey bacon
- small handful fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- few dashes hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
- For dough:
- In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, gently mix the warm water, oil, and sugar.
- With the mixer off, sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid, and allow it to sit for 2-4 minutes, until the yeast begins to bubble up.
- Add 2 C. of the flour to the liquid, and beat at medium/low speed (about a 4 on a KitchenAid) for 1-2 minutes. This incorporates air into the dough.
- Remove the paddle attachment from the mixer and allow this "sponge" mixture to sit and rise for 30 mins to 2½ hours. (2½ hours is ideal, but any length of time will improve the flavor of the dough.)
- After the sponge has risen, add in the remaining 1½ C. flour, the rosemary, and the salt. Fit the mixer with the dough hook at this stage, and mix/knead the dough on medium/low speed (about a 4 on a KitchenAid) for about 5 minutes.
- The dough will go from sticky/wet to smooth and elastic. If it still looks very wet halfway through the kneading time, sprinkle in the additional ¼ C. flour.
- After 5 minutes, the dough will have formed a smooth ball. Remove the dough hook attachment, drizzle or spray the dough with oil, and allow it to rise for at least 1 hour.
- After the dough has risen, divide it into portions (depending on how many pizzas you'd like to make.) Allow each portion to rest at least 15 minutes. Then stretch or roll each portion into a crust of your desired thickness and place on a sheet pan dusted with cornmeal. (If the dough resists being stretched, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes, then resume stretching.) Allow stretched/rolled crusts to rest at least 30 minutes while your oven pre-heats to 400.
- Lightly drizzle or spray each crust with olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt or Italian seasoning.
- Pre-bake crusts at 400 degrees for 6-10 minutes, then remove crusts onto a wire rack to prevent them from getting soggy while being topped.
- For BBQ Pizza:
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, then add sliced onions to the pan and allow them to slowly caramelize over medium/low heat for about 10 minutes. They should be a deep golden brown.
- In a separate skillet, fry turkey bacon in individual strips, but do not cook it crisp. (It will continue to cook a bit in the oven.) Set aside to cool, then chop roughly.
- Top pre-baked pizza crusts with an even layer of BBQ sauce. (Add a few dashes of hot sauce or cayenne at this time, if desired.) Then evenly distribute cheeses, bacon, and caramelized onion.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro over the top, if using.
- Return pizzas to 400-degree oven for 10-12 more minutes (using the broiler for the last 2 mins. for a bubbly top.)
- Place finished pizzas immediately on a wire rack after removing from the oven to prevent sogginess. Then slice and enjoy!
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