Grilled Bacon and Potato Leek Pizza
Grilling season is right around the corner and there is nothing better than a grilled pizza. I must chuckle when saying that because I’m actually not much of a pizza fan. If it’s pizza night, make mine with extra sauce and I like a lot of veggies, but I don’t dream of pizza with extra toppings and cheese like many do. Put the pizza on the grill and I’m all in. This Grilled Bacon-Potato-Leek Pizza was a challenge at first but it has won me over. With alfredo sauce, a generous amount of gruyere and loaded with potatoes and snappy flavor from leeks and chives, I promise to save you a savory slice! Of course, grilling isn’t necessary and this could be made in the oven (baked at 400 °F for 18 to 20 minutes after pre-cooking the potatoes and leeks) but the flavor from the grill makes all the difference.
The first time we ever made this recipe was summer 2020. After a long day working in the yard, we spent the afternoon in the pool. We decided at 8pm to fire up the grill and try this recipe out. It was The Great Quarantine and much like everyone else, we had time to kill so why not take the evening and try out something new? Well, after working with this very convoluted recipe, specifically the pizza dough, we sat down to dinner at around midnight. Strenuous and full of trial and error with the dough, yet entirely worth the wait. I’m not sure where we initially found this recipe (if I remember, I will gladly share) but we have made it quite a few times since and each time, we have been able to simplify the process. The key to making this pizza a success is to prepare the dough in advance and have the remaining ingredients prepped beforehand as well. You will need a little time for this pizza, but this is about cooking and enjoying the moment and isn’t that was grilling season is for?
Let’s get grilling!
Grilled Bacon and Potato Leek Pizza
1 recipe homemade pizza crust (recipe below)
1 1lb Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 small to medium sized leeks, sliced
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 10-ounce jar or homemade alfredo sauce
3 cups shredded gruyere cheese
6 slices crispy cooked bacon
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
For the pizza dough:
In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 ¼ -ounce packet of active dry yeast and 1 tablespoon of honey. Let the yeast mixture stand for 5 minutes until it becomes foamy. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 ¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, ¼ cup whole wheat flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir in yeast mixture along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the flour mixture and combine well (the dough should be tacky but not runny). Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until dough becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough is still too sticky, add a bit of flour until it can be molded well. Shape dough into a ball shape and place lightly in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Punch the dough down, turning on a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Return the dough to greased bowl, cover and let rise again until it’s doubled in size (about 40 minutes).
Punch the dough down for a third time and divide into 6 portions. Cover and allow to rise for another 10 minutes. Invert a large baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. Place pizza doughs onto the back of the baking sheet(s) and spread them out to flatten them into 8-inch pieces. *If you plan on using the dough later note that is can chill in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.
To prepare the pizza:
Scrub potatoes and cut into ½ -inch slices. Brush both sides of potato slices with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Next, trim the root ends and the green tops of leeks. Rinse leeks thoroughly to wash away excess grit or dirt. Quarter each leek lengthwise. *Placing a wooden pick or bamboo stick cross-wise into each leek quarter will help to keep them in place while on the grill.
For a charcoal or gas grill, place potatoes and leeks directly on a grill rack over medium heat. Cover and grill leeks for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly charred. Grill the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes until brown and tender. Remove from grill and when the potatoes and leeks are cool to the touch, give them a rough chop.
Brush the bottoms of the pizza crusts with olive oil and place crusts directly on the grill rack over a medium to low heat. Cover and grill for up to 2 minutes until the dough has become puffed up and firm. Using tongs, transfer pizza crusts back to the lined baking sheet.
Brush grilled crusts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread each crust with about 3 tablespoons of alfredo sauce. Top each pizza with ½ cup of cheese, ⅓ cup potatoes, and ¼ cup leeks. Next, crumble one slice of bacon onto each pizza. Transfer pizzas back to the grill rack, covering and grilling for up to 5 minutes or until the pizzas are crisp and the cheese is melted. Remove pizzas from grill and sprinkle with chives. Repeat this process until all 6 pizzas are cooked.