Let’s get something straight: pizza is for all seasons. But there’s no denying that the most traditional versions feature all the produce stars of summer: tomato and basil, or peach and pesto? Delicious, yes, but not at all what I’m craving for the fall months. So, since tomorrow is the first day of October, it felt like the perfect time to roll out the bacon, apple, and sweet potato pizza I’ve been perfecting for y’all.
If you’ve hung around here for awhile, you know that I’m kind of into pizza, and very into experimenting with unconventional toppings. This one features sweet potatoes (quite possibly the world’s most perfect vegetable, IMHO), sliced thinly and roasted like yummy “chips,” plus thinly sliced apples, crispy bacon, pretty red onions, and that fried crispy sage that will be your new addiction. It all comes together for an autumnal pizza topping combo that’s a little decadent and a lot delicious, and I know you’re gonna love it. So, let’s grab our dough.
Let’s start at the beginning: my easy homemade pizza dough recipe. I’ve made the same one for the past 10 years, with just a couple of small updates along the way. Usually, I have a ball of dough in the freezer which I thaw in the fridge overnight, and then let rest on the counter for a couple of hours before it’s time to stretch. You want to get all the chill off of it so that the dough is perfectly pliable, without tearing.
Next, it’s time to stretch. Stretching your pizza dough, as opposed to rolling it out, allows you to form that delicious, chewy crust around the edges and allows me to create more of a round pizza shape. I follow the stretching technique described in the Gjelina cookbook:
“With your fingertips, punch the air out of the dough and press your fingers into the center and extend outward to shape the mass into a small disk. Continue to press your fingers and palm down on the center of the dough while turning with your other hand, pushing out the dough from the center but maintaining an airy rim around the perimeter. Continue stretching out the dough on the work surface with your hand by spreading your fingers as far as you can as you turn the dough… You are done stretching the dough when it is 10 to 12 inches in diameter and thin enough so that you can read a newspaper through it.”
Got that? I found it incredibly helpful to watch this Mario Batali video several times as I practiced. Don’t be afraid to use lots of flour, and remember, this technique takes some patience.
Yes, a sweet potato pizza is a bit unusual, and the key to keeping it flavor-packed and not at all heavy is to slice your sweet potato super thin preferably on a mandoline. I also echoed those super thin slices by using my mandoline to cut my red onion and apple paper thin. The end result is a pizza with layers of fall flavor and a surprising combination in every bite. Just add creamy goat cheese and mozzarella, and crispy, smoky bacon and fried sage, and we’ve basically moved into fall heaven territory.
Now for the pièce de résistance: fried sage leaves. I make these so frequently through the fall months that I might as well have a pan of hot olive oil going on the stove at all times. These dress up a plate of pasta, roasted butternut squash, or a whole roast chicken in one fell swoop, and they couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how to make fried sage:
- In a small sauté pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan by 1/2″. Heat over medium-high until it sizzles when you add a drop of water.
- Carefully place sage leaves in a single layer in the oil. Fry for 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the sage to a paper towel-lined plate. Top with another paper towel to press out excess oil. Eat as soon as possible while it’s still crispy and hot!
There’s something about goat cheese that feels very fall to me. Perhaps because it’s such a delightful complement to apples, pears, and winter squash, and here, it plays perfectly with all the cozy flavors. Even Adam (not the biggest goat cheese fan) didn’t take issue with it since the combination with creamy mozzarella tamps down the strength of its flavor.
And there you have it: the bacon, apple, and sweet potato pizza I’ll be devouring through all of October and beyond. Yes, you can use a store-bought crust if you’re in a pinch, and yes, you can use a gluten-free crust or cauli crust if that works better for you. As I’ve shared before, I’m a pizza lover through and through, and there are very few things you could do to a pizza that I wouldn’t love.
I literally can’t think of anything else to say about this pizza, but I need to show you a couple more images because it’s just too pretty…
Can’t wait to hear if you give this one a try, and be sure to rate and review, and tag us @camillestyles on Instagram so we can see your version. Speaking of which, we need an official Camille Styles Pizza hashtag! Any suggestions?
Scroll on for the recipe…