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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pizza is the most important meal of the day

Say good morning to pizza. I don’t mean cold, leftover pizza from the prior night’s delivery. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. No judgments here.

I mean authentic breakfast pizza. A truly delicious use of that supermarket pizza dough you keep stashed in the freezer. What’s that you say? You don’t keep supermarket pizza dough stashed in the freezer? Why the heck not? It doesn’t take up much room, it’s easy to use, and it’s the beginning of so many yummy things, like calzones, breadsticks, garlic knots, flatbread, pizza (duh, or should I say, doh) (sorry), and…

Breakfast Pizza!
Of course, a teeny bit of advance planning is required (other than obtaining the ingredients). You do have to defrost the dough, which means moving it from the freezer to the fridge the night before. Some frozen dough also needs to rest on the counter for an hour or two before using, which is more advance planning than I can usually manage, so I either (a) try to buy the kind that doesn’t require this extremely arduous step or (b) don’t bother doing it.

You could also serve Breakfast Pizza for lunch or dinner, in which case you'd have to change the name.

I’m not going to offer an actual recipe, because I am too lazy to measure all the ingredients I used there are so many different ways you can do this, and I wouldn’t want to limit your creativity. If you must have an actual recipe, you can start with this one. But please add some creativity of your own. Don’t be afraid, it’s really hard to ruin Breakfast Pizza.

Here’s a version I recently made:
Start with the dough, stretching and pulling it gently into the shape you plan to use, which could be the traditional round, or, if you don’t own a pizza pan, rectangular, in which case you would use a cookie sheet. Very lightly oil the pan or sprinkle it with flour or corn meal so the dough won’t stick. 

Then make a pretty layer of thinly sliced tomatoes, sprinkle with chopped garlic, top with crumbled crisply cooked bacon, grated or crumbled cheese (my favorite is chevre, but you can use whatever is on hand; gruyere and cheddar and mozzarella are all good). Bake in a very hot (450 degrees is good) oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and it’s starting to bubble. 

Now here's the breakfast-y part. Take it out and gently break 4 (or more, if you’d like) eggs on top and slide it back into the oven. Bake another few minutes until the egg whites are firm but the yolks still runny. Top with chopped basil or chives. Let it cool for a bit to firm up, then cut into wedges (I use a kitchen shears) and serve. Such a good morning!

Breakfast pizza is very welcoming to creative variations. Some possibilities: chopped spinach, arugula, asparagus (blanched first), caramelized onions, cooked sausage, mushrooms, scallions, whatever you can think of.

Or you could just go here.

Good morning!

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