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Bee Sting Pizza

My favourite pizza restaurant is this place called Bread Bar, in Guelph Ontario. This is a copycat of their Bee Sting Pizza - it's everyone's favourite! They change their menu regularly with seasonal updates, and all their pizzas are amazing, BUT this pizza never leaves the menu. Apparently they get heck from their customers when they remove it! When I moved from Ontario to Quebec, I missed this pizza so much I started replicating it at home. It's my all-time favourite at home pizza to make. Here's my copycat recipe - it's the best homemade pizza recipe!



best homemade pizza

Growing up I thought I didn’t like pizza… can you believe it?! My mom would make it on this pre-made grocery store crust that tasted like they had made it stale ahead of time. Sorry, mom… she’s an amazing cook, and you’ll see a ton of her recipes on this blog, but the pizza was not one. I think it was that crust, or maybe too many raw onions. Mom loves raw onions, but they’re not my style, what can I say.


It wasn’t until I was through university, through the days of “bad late night decision pizza,” and in to my working years, that my food-loving friends and I would gather for dinner and they’d chose a pizza restaurant. I discovered wood-fired ovens, crust that was crispy around the edges but with centers that flopped over, just like how the Italians know how to do it. Plus, flavour combinations! Any pizza on a menu that has maple or honey drizzled on top, the word “truffle,” or interesting flavour combinations has my whole heart.


bee sting pizza

This one is probably my favourite I’ve ever ordered. It’s from a restaurant called Bread Bar, in Guelph, Ontario, right near where we used to live. We would go regularly with friends, but since we moved to Quebec I miss that restaurant dearly. They always had the most amazing seasonal pizza rotations on the menu, but this one was a staple. It was so popular, the restaurant would get heck from customers if they removed it. I sort of gave up on ordering the other pizzas, because nothing would compare to this one, and I’d just regret trying some other flavour! Anyways, when I moved to Quebec, I looked up the ingredients off their online menu and started replicating it at home. This is my rendition, and I honestly think it beats the real thing.


This pizza has a spicy kick from the cured salami, but has some honey drizzled on top, which is the most amazing combination of sweet and spicy. BUT, there’s more. The lemon ricotta and basil add such a fresh flavour element that meshes surprisingly and perfectly with the sweet and spicy. I mentioned above that I like interesting flavour combinations, and you can see how this would catch my eye on a menu. It’s SO heavenly, I promise it won’t let you down. I make it for guests all the time, even people who I know are a bit picky and I’m afraid to cook for ;) But it always gets rave reviews.

homemade pizza

Pizza as recovery food

There’s this concept in the world that pizza is bad for you. Okay, Pizza-hut or Dominos pizza probably is… it contains more processed cheese, and loads of the less healthy types of oil. However, pizza like the Italians make it, or made at home, is awesome recovery food! I use good old cheddar, olive oil, and local organic ingredients. It’s got lots of carbs, proteins and healthy fats – aka a well-rounded meal!



Sweet spicy pizza recipe

FYI, I wouldn’t say pizza is the easiest to make. I like to prep all my ingredients first. I put everything on the counter, then I do all my slicing of salami, mixing on the lemon-basil ricotta, and grating of cheese. Then, I’ll roll out my pizza dough and assemble.


The Dough: I buy store bought dough! My local grocery store actually sells really great fail-proof raw pizza dough balls in the freezer section. I can get two balls for $3, and I just leave it to thaw on the counter for half an hour while I prep the rest of my ingredients. I find making pizza enough of a process, once the clean-up and everything is done. I would make the dough if my store didn’t sell a good one, but I don’t feel the need to add another task. I just have to roll out the raw dough, but not actually plan ahead to make it. However! If your store doesn’t have pre-made dough balls, I’ve included a recipe for dough below that I used to use all the time and love (thank you, Kate!). Please, don’t buy the pre-cooked stale crust like my mom did ;) Pizza is all about the dough, so if your store doesn’t sell raw dough balls, I would totally take the time to make it! It is very easy!


Yummy Easy Dough Recipe: I wrote it out here. Thanks to Kate for the recipe!


This makes 2 dough balls/pizzas. If you double it, add a fifth cup of flour. For a whole wheat version, use half white flour and half whole wheat... you can use all whole wheat flour, but it makes it very dense. I usually make a double batch with 4 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat. Then I'll freeze two of the dough balls. They freeze and thaws well!


INGREDIENTS

Makes 2 dough balls/pizzas

- 1 cup warm water

- 1 tsp instant yeast

- 1 tsp granulated sugar or honey

- 1 tsp salt

- 2 cups all purpose flour


INSTRUCTIONS

Mix the 1 cup of warm water with the 1tsp yeast and 1tsp sugar (I use honey). Let sit 5 mins until bubbly


In big bowl, mix 1tsp salt with 2 cups all purpose flour. Make a hole in middle then slowly add/mix in liquids. Once mixed, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Rub olive oil all over your bowl, and leave the dough to rise for an hour or two, covered with a towel or big plastic bag. After it's risen, it's ready to make pizzas with!


Homemade pizza recipe

Pizza Tips!


To prevent sticking - When you’re rolling the dough, use a well-floured surface and rolling pin. Once the dough is rolled, I’ll dust my pan or pizza peel with rice flour, potato flour or cornmeal. If you use more all-purpose flour, you’ll find the dough sticks to the surface. Using an alternative form of flour like this prevents sticking. It’s because these types of flour take longer to absorb moisture, and something like rice flour is gluten free, so the gluten in your dough can't continue to form and meld in along with the rest of the dough. But we won't get in to that science just now!


Baking on a pizza stone - I love to bake my pizza on a pizza stone. I put it in the oven on the center rack, then turn my oven on to preheat. The stone heats with the oven. This creates that crust that’s crispy on the outside, but still floppy in the center, that’s signature to Italian pizza. I purchased mine at Canadian Tire (kind of like a Canadian Target/Walmart/Marshalls), but here is a good one on amazon.


Oven temperature – the hotter the better, and bake for a short period of time. This also helps to create the crispy edges and floppy center. I bake my pizza at 450°F for 10-12 minutes.


Rolling to prevent shrinking – Gluten strands in dough take a little while to relax. When you first start rolling it out, you might find it just wants to shrink back in to a ball, and you’ll be battling with it to make your dough big enough. Roll it a few times in each direction to flatten the ball, then let it sit there for about ten minutes. This will give the gluten strands time to relax. When you come back to it, it will roll out super easily!


Assembly made easy – While my pizza stone preheats in the oven, I assemble my pizza on my pizza peel! I roll it out on my counter top, using all-purpose flour. Then, I flour my pizza peel with an alternative flour like I mentioned above, to prevent sticking (potato, rice or corn flour). I’ll transfer my dough on to the peel, and pile all the toppings on here. Once my pizza stone is hot and oven pre-heated, I’ll pull out the pizza stone (using some good oven mitts, it will be HOT!). Then I can just slide my pizza from the peel on to the stone, and plop the stone and pizza in the oven to bake! I bought my pizza peel at Homesense (like a Canadian Marshalls), but again you can buy one on amazon.


Let’s make it!


Homemade bee sting pizza

 

Bee Sting Pizza


Serves: Makes 2 large pizzas

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Total time: 1 hour





PIZZA TIPS


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 frozen pizza dough balls, thawed. Or if you want to make your dough, here is the recipe I always use!

  • Flour, for rolling

  • Rice or potato flour to prevent sticking, optional

  • 1 small jar or can of tomato pizza sauce

  • 1 stick spicy dried salami. I chose a good charcuterie-style cured meat from the grocery store.

  • 6-8 oz good old cheddar cheese (like Balderson), depending on how much you like on your pizza

  • 1 475g tub of ricotta cheese

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 large packed handful of basil

  • Honey

  • red pepper flakes, optional

  • salt and pepper

  • More basil or arugula, for topping


INSTRUCTIONS


  1. If you're making your own pizza dough, start with that! I mention above that I use store bought dough balls from the freezer section of my grocery store, so I just have to roll them out. However, if you're making your dough, complete that process about an hour before you're ready to start this rolling and assembly process. Here is a great recipe for dough (thanks, Kate)!

  2. Preheat oven to 450°F. If you're using a pizza stone, put it in the oven to heat along with the oven.

  3. Get your pizza dough ready to roll out! Sprinkle some flour over a large work surface (I just use my countertop), as well as on your dough ball. Begin to roll your dough on the floured surface, doing your best to keep it formed in a circle. You may find it shrinks back on itself. After you've given it three or four good flattens with the rolling pin, leave it to rest for a bit. We'll come back to it. This will give the gluten a chance to rest, and it will be much easier to finish rolling in about ten minutes.

  4. Grate your old cheddar, and set it aside in a bowl.

  5. Slice your dried salami in to rounds (like pepperoni). Set them aside in a bowl.

  6. Mix your lemon ricotta. Transfer the tub of ricotta in to a large bowl. Grate the zest off your entire lemon, being careful to take just the most yellow parts and not the white pith underneath (the white is bitter, the yellow has all the flavour!). Add the lemon zest to your ricotta, as well as the juice. Finely chop your basil, and add it to the ricotta mixture. Finally, add about 1/2 tsp both salt and pepper, and give your ricotta mixture a stir. Set it aside until you're ready to assemble the pizza.

  7. Finish rolling your dough, adding flour to your work surface to keep it from sticking as necessary. I roll mine to about 12x12", but you can make it smaller with a thicker crust if you prefer, or even larger with a very thin crust.

  8. Flour your pizza peel with your rice or potato flour, and sprinkle a bit on the bottom of your rolled out pizza dough. Make sure to get right to the edges, so the dough doesn't stick to the peel! We want it to slide right off when we transfer it to the oven. Transfer the floured dough on to the pizza peel.

  9. Spread your pizza sauce evenly across the dough. Add your rounds of spicy salami. I try to place them so at least 4 or 5 will end up on each pizza slice. Use a spoon to dab spoonfuls of the lemon ricotta mixture around the salami pieces. Top the whole thing with a liberal sprinkle of grated old cheddar.

  10. Use good oven mitts to carefully take your hot pizza stone out of the oven. Slide your pizza off the pizza peel and on to the pizza stone... sometimes Ryan and I make this a two person job with the help of some spatulas, but if I've used enough rice or potato flour it will slide right off.

  11. Transfer your pizza on the stone back in to the oven, and bake it for 10-12 minutes. It's done when the edges look light brown and crispy, and the cheese is bubbling throughout.

  12. Remove your pizza from the oven and drizzle the honey over top! I use a fork to get a thin line of drizzle, but I try to get a little honey in each bite. Sprinkle over some arugula or basil, and slice to serve!


Bread Bar pizza

Best homemade pizza recipe






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