Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pizza for Breakfast?!?!

During the week, our breakfasts are really boring.

Usually, we eat cheerios or oatmeal. If we're feeling really adventurous, we might slice a banana into our cheerios. Paul usually gulps his bowl while running out the door on his way to work; I normally stand at the sink eating as fast I can before Matthew can barrage me with yet another list of needs and demands.

However, we always have a special breakfast on Sunday mornings. I'm normally in charge of cooking while Paul whips up a nice batch of espresso to enjoy with our meal. This is high entertainment for Matthew - a super fancy coffeemaker!!

Last Sunday, we made a breakfast pizza inspired by a recipe seen on the Smitten Kitchen website. We pretty much did not follow the recipe at all - we used our own dough recipe (I had a half batch frozen from a previous meal), italian sausage instead of bacon, thinly sliced red onion, a handful of chopped parsley, and a mix of cheeses that we had in our fridge.

It was delicious. The runny egg provides a wonderful sauce that melds perfectly with the classic flavor combination of meat, cheese, and bread. If you do not like your eggs runny, you could definitely bake the pizza for a bit longer to ensure that the yolk is firm. Paul was in heaven. He immediately helped himself to half the pizza and doused it generously with some Frank's Red Hot Sauce. He has already requested that we make it for Easter morning. Too bad we already have something else planned.

Mr. Matthew even had a slice. Only he picked off the sausage and cheese and ate both the crust and the egg. As alluded to before, he is not yet a voracious carnivore like his father. He prefers carbohydrates like his mother.

Next time we make this, I plan to prepare the bacon and chive variation with perhaps some cheddar cheese.

Breakfast Pizza
from an idea seen on the Smitten Kitchen Blog

For the dough (enough for 2 large pizzas):
1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/4 cup water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, measure the warm water. Sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 5 minutes or until the yeast dissolves and swells. Add to the room temperature water and olive oil and stir to combine.

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and briefly mix with the paddle attachment to combine. With the mixer on low, stream in the wet ingredients. Once the dough comes together, switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 additional minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Once doubled, gently press the dough down to deflate. Divide into two pieces. At this point, the dough can be double-wrapped in greased plastic wrap, placed in a ziploc bag, and frozen for up to 6 months. To thaw, simply allow the dough to defrost in the fridge for 12-18 hours before you plan to use it.

If using the dough immediately, proceed with the rest of the recipe.

For the toppings:
2 large hot Italian sausage links, casings removed and cooked/crumbled
2 oz. shredded Parmesan
4-6 oz. shredded Mozzarella
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped fine

Preheat the oven with a pizza stone on the middle rack to 500 degrees for 30 minutes before baking.

Gently roll/stretch the dough into a rough 12-inch circle. Scatter some cheese, sausage, and onion across the surface, ending with a generous portion of cheese. Make four little pits in the toppings for the eggs. Carefully crack an egg into each pit. Transfer the pizza to the hot preheated stone and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is browning on the edges and the eggs are cooked to your liking.

Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with fresh parsley right before serving.

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