After weeks of drooling over The Cooking Photographer‘s beautiful photographs of her weekly pizza creations, I finally broke down and made one myself, basing it off of her Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Bacon.
She actually recommended that I use my smoked cheddar for a pizza when I went to her for suggestions (after purchasing it on the fly with no plan in mind), and I commenced in sifting through her zillions of pizza photos on a Where’s Waldo hunt for those containing smoked cheese. There were several but I was still undecided as to which one to use until she posted her bbq pizza recipe and I thought it would be perfect for a smoky cheese. And it was.
LOL-she calls her recipe a bastardization and I bastardized it even further! If you want to make this, I’d recommend using Laura’s recipe (click the link above) and just subbing some smoked cheddar for one of the cheeses she uses. You’ll most certainly end up with a better pizza (dang it, I wish I’d had scallions!), but I think if you stick to the basic formula (bbq sauce + chicken + bacon = dynamite!) then there’s not much chance you’ll go wrong, no matter what other variations you incorporate.
I used my favorite pizza dough, Kraft original barbecue sauce, yellow onion, red, green and yellow peppers (all precooked & salted), canned mushrooms (drained well), grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon, smoked cheddar & mozzarella. I prebaked my crust at 350 for 10 minutes, layered everything on (probably in the wrong order–does cheese go first or last?) and baked it at 450 for 10 minutes–which was just a tad too long-and dug in. Yup. Dynamite!
Next time I might try using the whole block of smoked cheese by itself to kick the smoky flavor up a notch, but at least this way I can make another pizza with the other half. :)
I made this pizza again, this time using a higher quality barbecue sauce, bacon, chicken cooked in the bacon grease, scallions & smoky cheddar only. I used a doughmakers large size pizza pan and did not prebake the crust. I baked it on the bottom rack at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes and it was perfect–soooooooo much better than the first time.