Jan
20

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

by

The wonderful thing about homemade pizza is that there are basically no rules. As long as you have pizza dough, you have the freedom to put whatever toppings you want on it, make the dough as thick or thin as you want, and bake it however you’d like. I’m a big fan of classic cheese pizza, but every once in a while I like to indulge and eat a greasy, thick-crusted pizza loaded with all the meat, cheese and veggies I can think of.

Recently, that all-too-familiar greasy pizza craving struck and my boyfriend and I couldn’t help but give in. We ended up making a homemade Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza that totally satisfied our craving. The toppings paired perfectly and the ranch dressing was a yummy change from your typical pizza sauce. For the dough, we came across a simple and easy-to-follow step-by-step recipe from the Food Network.

Homemade Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

Pizza dough ingredients*
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F.)
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for bowl

Pizza toppings
1 cup ranch dressing
2 medium-sized chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into small cubes
1 cup bacon bits (approx. 8 bacon slices, cooked and diced)
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup green onions, diced

Pizza dough directions (Courtesy of the Food Network)
In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water and stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, 5 to 10 minutes.

If you’re using a stand mixer, combine the salt and flour to the bowl and pulse a few times to mix. Add the yeast mixture, at the lowest speed, until the flour incorporates. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough gathers into a ball. This should take about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and pulse a few more times. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough as you’re making it by squeezing a small amount together between your thumb and fingers. If it’s crumbly, add more water, if it’s sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times, kneading until it’s smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a round and put it into a lightly oiled bowl, turning it over to coat the dough entirely with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e., over a gas pilot light) until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Pizza directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll pizza dough out and carefully place on a greased pan. Spread the ranch dressing evenly onto the dough and distribute the toppings evenly on top. (You can add the toppings in any order you’d like. We decided to pack all of our toppings in between the dough and the cheese to get a nice thick pizza and to prevent the toppings from falling off while eating). Finish off the pizza by curling up the edges of the dough to seal up the toppings and create a nice thick crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until the cheese has thoroughly melted and the crust has browned nicely. Remove and let sit for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

*Note: We altered the pizza dough recipe to make enough dough for just one medium pizza.

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