Thursday, February 21, 2013
Growing up, I loved enjoying a sweet breakfast - pancakes or waffles with syrup, chocolate chip pancakes or muffins, cinnamon buns - dishes only made better by salty bacon on the side. But as I have grown up, my tastes have evolved and I crave a certain combination of savory items for my weekend breakfast.
This pizza has all of those flavors, which is why I consider it to be the most perfect breakfast food. Eggs, salty bacon, melty cheese, shallots, chives, scallions - all on top of a deliciously flavored, crispy thin pizza crust. Good salt and pepper brighten the whole dish and make the flavors jump in your mouth. And I'm not the only one who finds this flavor combination is divine - Mike could hardly wait for me finish photographing the pizza this weekend so we could dive right in.
Adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook
Makes 2 pizzas, serves 4 to 6 people
This pizza contains all of my favorite flavors of breakfast. Be sure to allow the pizza dough to rise in the refrigerator for two nights, the resulting flavor is incredible and worth the wait. If you have a pizza stone, be sure to use it as it will create a very crisp crust. But not to worry if you don't have a pizza stone; my oven is too small to hold one and the crust still crisps up very nicely.
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cornmeal, for dusting
Bread flour, for dusting
6 bacon strips
Pizza dough (recipe above)
Olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
Fresh mozzarella, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
Make the pizza dough: Place 3/4 cup lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Rain in the yeast, stir, and set it aside to activate for 5 minutes.
Add the flour to the beast mixture and sprinkle the salt on top. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment, and combine on slow speed for 1 minute, until all the ingredients start to come together. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Then increase the speed to high and mix for 2 more minutes.
Immediately turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Roll each half into a tight round. Place the balls on a floured baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in a large plastic bag and tie the bag loosely. Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 nights.
Make the pizza: The next day, about 1 hour before baking the pizzas, pull the baking sheet out of the refrigerator and leave it in a warm area until you are ready to use the dough. You do not want the dough to become too warm, as it will be difficult to shape.
Meanwhile, if you have a pizza stone, place it on the oven rack to warm. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously dust the surface of a pizza peel (or baking sheet if you do not have one) with cornmeal.
Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon strips, and pan-fry until crisp. Put the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels, let it cool, and then crumble into bite-size pieces.
Lightly dust a work surface with bread flour. Working with one ball of pizza dough, dip your hands and your dough in the bread flour to make them less sticky, and pat the dough down into a disk shape with your fingers. Once the disk is large enough, drape the dough over your fists and carefully start stretching and expanding the dough from underneath to form a round that is 10 to 12 inches in diameter.
Place the dough on the prepared peel or baking tray. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough and, using your fingers, brush the dough evenly with the oil. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan over the dough, followed by a few slices of mozzarella. Crack 3 eggs over the top and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake the pizza for 10 to 16 minutes, checking on it after 5 minutes and rotating it if necessary to ensure that it is baking evenly. When the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the egg yolks are cooked to medium. Carefully transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Let it cool for 2 minutes and sprinkle with half of the shallot and chives and scallions. Slice and serve immediately. Prepare your second pizza the same way.