Pizza for Breakfast
Most of us have had an omelet or other sort of "breakfast for dinner." But what about pizza for breakfast? And no, not cold pizza from the fridge on a Saturday morning. Hot and crispy homemade pizza, with handfuls of herbs and scoops of soft ricotta cheese, topped with an oozing egg -- this is a breakfast in its own right.
On a recent Saturday morning, I was crunched for time but needed to put a hot breakfast on the table; there was a long day ahead, and fruit and toast wouldn't do. I had made homemade pizza the night before, and I had saved a couple balls of dough in the fridge. In the morning, I decided to take the dough out and bring it up to room temp.
I shook it out thin and slathered it with ricotta cheese and fresh herbs from the garden. The first pizza had basil and a little leftover tomato sauce, plus some green olives and plenty of Parmesan. I cracked three eggs on top and baked. Delicious! The yolk spilled out golden goodness all over the other toppings.
The second pizza was simpler; I rubbed the dough with ricotta and a little good olive oil, then chopped basil, thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley and sprinkled it on. I baked this for several minutes, then added the eggs. Two more eggs, with salt and pepper, baked just until golden runny.
I cut it into big pieces, folded them over like egg sandwiches and served it hot with coffee.
So good! The advantages to this breakfast are that most of it can be made ahead. Have guests? Just set out the pizza dough and toppings in the morning, and then pop into the oven for five minutes. These are so thin that they don't take long to cook at all.
One more idea: Substitute tiny quail eggs for the larger chicken eggs.
Makes two pizzas.
1 recipe thin-crust pizza dough (see recipe below) or store-bought dough
Red or white pizza sauce (see recipes below) or ready-made variety
1 (16-ounce) tub whole milk ricotta
Several handfuls of fresh herbs
4-6 eggs (2-3 per pizza)
Salt and pepper
Any other toppings you would like
Heat the oven as high as it will go -- hopefully at least 550 F. Shake out each ball of dough on a sheet of parchment (as directed below). Top with everything except the eggs. Put in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until it just begins to brown. Crack the eggs into a cup and slip them onto the pizza. Shake on a little salt and pepper and put back into the oven for another 5 minutes or until the yolk is just set and golden.
Let cool for five minutes then eat!
Homemade Thin Crust Pizza Dough
(This recipe is from
Makes 2 pizzas
3/4 cups (6 ounces) of water
1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast (if using instant yeast, you don't need to dissolve it during the first step)
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, heat the water until it feels barely lukewarm when you test it with your finger (if the water is so hot that you can't leave your finger in it, wait for it to cool down). Add the yeast to the water and use a fork or whisk to stir it into the water. Set this aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve. It's OK if the yeast doesn't bubble, but it should be entirely dissolved and the mixture should look like thin miso soup.
Measure out the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and use your hand or a whisk to combine.
Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together.
When it comes together into a cohesive ball, turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn't yet gotten worked in.
Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch -- about five minutes. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it's sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it's smooth and silky.
Use a bench scraper to divide the dough in two. If you're leaving overnight to cook the next morning, mist with spray oil and cover (no need to refrigerate).
To shape the dough: Tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Work one piece of the dough in your hands and form it into a large disk. Lay the disk of dough on the parchment paper.
Working from the middle of the dough outwards, use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. You can also use a rolling pin for this part. This makes free-form pies; if you'd like a circular pie, you can trace a large circle on the back of the parchment to use as a guide.
Repeat with the second piece of dough.
Note: The dough will stick to the parchment paper, making it easier for you to roll out. You'll bake the pizza right on the parchment paper. As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment, and you can slide the paper out before serving.
White Parsley Pizza Sauce
Makes 3/4 cup, enough for three 10-inch pizzas
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup cream or half and half
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Whisk the ricotta and cream together until blended. Fry the minced garlic in a little olive oil until golden, then add the parsley and cook just until wilted and soft. Add to ricotta and season with salt and pepper.
Makes about 5 cups, enough for up to six to eight 10-inch pizzas
10 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Lightly saute the minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until golden. Add the tomato paste and fry with the garlic. Add to the rest of the ingredients and blend.
This keeps up to a week in the fridge and much longer frozen. Freeze in individual bags, then defrost overnight, snip off a corner and squeeze out the sauce.
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Pizza for Breakfast - Recipe
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