When is it NOT a good time for pizza? Never, if you ask me. It is the quintessential one-dish meal. All of the food groups can be present. This Kale, Bacon, and Butternut Pizza with Hot Honey Drizzle is my favorite version for the cold winter months!
If pizza is in my menu forecast for the week, I get super jazzed. I can remember growing up as a kid, the BEST Fridays were the ones that involved pizza. It really didn't seem like the weekend unless I had some! I'd have to say that, next to ice cream, pizza is my ultimate favorite food. And while the authentic Italian Neapolitan-style reigns as king of all pies for me, I've got a special place in my heart for allllll the pizza types. Chicago-style, New York-style, frozen pizza, Dominoes, cafeteria lunch lady pizza, if you offer me a slice, I will more than likely eat it!
This version of pizza is baked on a super thin and crispy whole wheat crust. There is no rise-time involved, so it can be ready in 30 minutes if you are in hurry and need some pizza stat! I will have to say, whole wheat pizza crust is an acquired taste for some. It's quite dense (especially if made with 100% hard red wheat flour, like this one) and can be on the chewy side. BUT it is so hearty and filling. And this combo of winter greens, squash, and smokey bacon really stand up well against the whole grain crust.
If you haven't had honey drizzled on a pizza - especially a spicy honey - then you haven't lived in my opinion. Spicy honey is the ultimate condiment to match the flavors of the rich, flavor-packed meats we tend to like on our pizza tops. The sticky-sweet flavor really brings everything together and makes for an ultra-satisfying meal! To get you started on the recipe, check out my video showing exactly how I cut a butternut squash:
If you are in need of more pizza inspiration, I am your girl! You MUST check out this Sausage and Roasted Grape Pizza, this BLT Naan Pizza, How to Host a Make Your Own Pizza Party, Pizza Baked Gnocchi, and this Peach BBQ Chicken Pizza. And it would totally make my day if you leave a comment below letting me know you have tried one, or uploading a picture to Twitter or Instagram and tagging @sweetcayenne5. I'd love to be included in your pizza-making memory!
Kale, Bacon, and Butternut Pizza with Hot Honey Drizzle
Hot honey drizzle:
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup very warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 2 ½ - 2 ¾ cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 slices thick-cut center cut, uncured bacon, sliced into thin strips
- 3/4 cup butternut squash diced into ¼’’ pieces
- 2 cups kale leaves torn into 1’’ pieces
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 14.5 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese
Hot honey drizzle:
- In a small nonreactive saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Honey will keep for up to 1 month.
- Preheat oven to 500????℉. If using, place a pizza stone in the lower ⅓ of the oven while it heats. Alternatively, you can use a baking sheet, but do not preheat it.
- In a medium bowl, combine the water, honey, olive oil, and yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should start to foam a bit and look creamy.
- Add 2 ½ cups of the flour, the Italian seasoning, and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine until the mixture starts to form a ball. Turn the mixture out onto a well floured surface and knead with your hands for a minute or so until the ball becomes smooth. If the dough seems too wet, add the remaining ¼ cup of flour by kneading it into the dough.
- Divide the dough in half. Place one in a freezer safe container and freeze for later. On a floured piece of parchment paper, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough as thinly as possible, or at least to a round the size of your pizza pan.
- Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon strips, and fry until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon grease from the skillet. Return the skillet to medium heat, and add the butternut squash. Saute until tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and smoked paprika, saute an additional 2 minutes until wilted. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Open the can of whole tomatoes into a medium bowl. Use clean hands to crush the tomatoes into the juice with your fingers. Stir in the salt and pepper.
- Use a spoon to place a thin layer of tomato mixture onto the prepare pizza dough. Tear off small chunks of mozzarella and distribute over the sauce. Evenly distribute the bacon, butternut squash, and kale over the pizza. Transfer the pizza on the sheet of parchment to your pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.
- Slice the pizza as desired and drizzle the hot honey over the top. Serve immediately.