Recipe 5.5: Crispy pizza with ricotta, spinach, and bacon
Dough recipe from Giada DeLaurentis
You will want to make this recipe on a day when you have a few hours; the dough takes about 3 ½ hours (only ½ hour of active prep time) and you’ll need to wait until it is completely done to make your pizza. You’ll make more dough than you need for this recipe. Wrap it tightly in saran wrap (double-wrap it) and then place in a large Tupperware and put in the fridge or freezer. We will use the remaining dough in recipe 6.1!
1 ½ cups warn water, 100 to 110 degrees F, plus extra as needed
1 (¼-ounce) packet active dry yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
Olive oil, for drizzling
½ cup ricotta cheese
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 tbs. salt
3 cups baby spinach, washed
8 strips bacon
Non-stick cooking spray
1 tbs. cornmeal
Put the water in a small bowl. Add the yeast and stir until dissolved.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a little extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. With floured hands, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drizzle the inside of a clean bowl with olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Using a fist, deflate the dough in the center and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces. Form the dough pieces into 3 balls and put into 3 oiled bowls. Cover each bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 1 hour. Remove the dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Once you are about 30 minutes away from the dough being ready, start bacon. We like to cook our bacon under the broiler, as it doesn’t smell up the house the way stovetop cooking does. Preheat oven to 35o, then lay your bacon on a foil lined baking sheet and place on middle rack in oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until bacon reaches desired crispness. Lay on paper towels to drain. Once cooled, slice bacon into ½ inch strips.
While bacon cooks, heat a medium frypan over medium heat. Add 2 tbs. olive oil, heat, then add garlic to pan. Stir until soft and fragrant, then add spinach to pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Allow to wilt, 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Heat oven to 425. Prepare pizza crust. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and use paper towel to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Take one ball (wrap the other two and store in fridge or freezer, depending on how many days will pass between use) and spread onto baking sheet. Stretch dough as much as you can allow to cover sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and use a fork to poke multiple holes in the crust. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove, and sprinkle bacon, spinach, and garlic over crust. Dollop with ricotta cheese, then drizzle again with olive oil. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and crisp. Slice and enjoy while hot.