Now this is a BLT!
White Pullman bread (1) sliced by you (not pre-) to a genial thickness somewhere between ¼- and ½-inch thick. Batard is an acceptable alternative. You want something that is not obnoxiously thick, but not so brittle that it pokes you in the mouth. And you want it to fry up nicely. Because you are not toasting it. You’re frying it. In mayonnaise. Fry the bread on one side so there’s a crisp exterior and a nice pillowy interior that can soak up a bit of tomato juice—and more of that mayo.
About that mayonnaise (2): Use store-bought, something good made with real egg yolks if you can find it. Doctor it up with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of lemon zest and nothing more.
You can buy a tomato (3) year-round, but really you should be making this now when the summer fruit is singing. Consider a Brandywine or Cherokee purple variety or whatever calls to you at the market. Cut along its equator using a serrated knife. Make ¼-inch slices. Salt early to draw out some juice then dry out on paper towels.
We love thick-cut bacon (4)—just not here. Thin bacon makes for a feathery, light bacony presence on the sandwich. Go to a good butcher and ask them to slice their slab of quality, applewood-smoked bacon about as thinly as they can. Cook it in the oven until it’s uniformly crisp but hasn’t gone brittle and dry.
Iceberg is the classic, but it’s watery and distracting. Sure, you could go fancy with arugula or mizuna, but why bother? Butterhead lettuce (5)—or its variants, Boston or Bibb—lays flat, tastes good and works well. The key here is to wash your greens and then dry them well. The worst thing that can happen to a sandwich is wet greens.
A note on assembly: You want lettuce touching one piece of bread and tomato touching the other. Bacon is cossetted between the two, alternating give with crispness and crunch. A great sandwich is well-balanced: Adjust the number of tomato slices and bacon to the size of your bread and do not overstack.