When I was in high school, I worked at the same pizza restaurant for 3 years– Valentino’s. Valentino’s was my favorite pizza restaurant growing up although we rarely went there. I remember the one in Seward, Nebraska being amazing. The ones in Lincoln, Norfolk and Grand Island are good too. Josh and I recently ate at the one in Fargo, North Dakota. The person that runs that one should get his franchise license or whatever taken away because it was pretty terrible and a big disappointment. We were 1 of 3 tables in the place on a Friday night at 7pm which should have been our first clue.
Anyway, one of the pizzas they offer(ed?) is/was a cheeseburger bacon pizza. When we first started offering it I thought there was no way I would eat anything like that. But out of desperation or possibly a dare, I tried it one night and was surprised at how good it was.
I served this pizza with another regional favorite- Vernor’s Ginger Ale. Anybody from Michigan is probably familiar with Vernor’s. It was invented by a Detroit-based pharmacist in 1866. The recipe requires the soda to age for 4 years in oak barrels. Sadly, the Vernor’s family sold their recipe in 1966. It’s changed hands a few times and is now part of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group which is sad. It’s not as special when you know your money is going to a large conglomerate and not a family-owned business based in a city that has been plagued with major economic difficulties. If the company had stayed in Detroit, think of what kinds of jobs it might be providing now. Anyway, we buy it because it is a superior-tasting product.
The Cheeseburger Bacon pizza and Ginger Ale are great compliments. The sauce of this pizza is very zesty. It is a mix of mustard and ketchup and I only had spicy brown mustard so my pizza was even zestier! One other thing I wanted to mention . . . This was the first time making pizza dough since buying my new Mixer and the quality is soooo much better and I only had to do half the work. The dough was crispy yet soft and not hard to chew like my crusts sometimes were before. Not only can I make more things now that I have my mixer and save time but the quality of everything I have made has greatly improved.
Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
1 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups (maybe more) flour
Put yeast in bowl. Cover with water. Stir and let stand for 2-3 minutes to dissolve yeast. Add sugar, salt and olive oil. Add flour and mix with electric mixer or knead for about 8 minutes. Put dough in lightly greased bowl to rise for 1 hour. Punch down and form into circle or mold into pan the shape you want your pizza. Use a fork to poke small holes in the dough to prevent over-proofing. Let your dough rise for 10-30 minutes.
Mix equal parts ketchup and mustard
cooked ground beef
cooked crumbled bacon
Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on. The dough should be lightly browned and the cheese not overly melted.