We are eating pizza for breakfast!!
Oh, but not the cold, lackluster pizza of days gone by, when your roommate with no respect for your shared refrigerator left the remains of her questionably-topped pizza uncovered and limp, for the following morning’s make-shift breakfast.
No, we are talking about breakfast pizza. The kind of early morning pizza eaten by responsible adults who do their own laundry and only sometimes eat cereal for dinner. We are grown, well, sort of. But if nothing else we make our own darn pizza.
This is my go-to crust lathered with lemon-infused olive oil. This zesty olive oil plays the role of sauce in this lightened-up pizza situation.
Yes, in a pinch, you can buy pizza dough, but this crust is so good and it will do all the work rising on its own, offering you a perfect opportunity to try out that new mindfulness app, so what do you have to lose?
If you do not have a pizza stone, make the purchase. It is one of the best and most-used tools in my kitchen. This is the one I own and I love it.
The stone is heated in the oven before we pile on the good stuff which allows the crust to get really crisp and form a sturdy foundation for our plentiful toppings.
Toppings consist of crispy pancetta and garlic, wilted spinach, whole milk ricotta, cracked pepper, sea salt and whole eggs. The eggs will be dropped onto your par-baked pizza halfway through the baking process so as not to over-cook.
The eggs will still be a bit jiggly when you pull your pizza from the oven. It’s a runny-egg-lovers dream, or my husband’s worst nightmare.
Depending on your view of the great egg debacle, you may wish to drop your eggs on the pizza before any baking time begins, resulting in a fully-cooked yolk. Everyone can win here.
Sure, this is a far cry from marinara and mozzarella, but it is one of the best breakfasts around and knocks cold leftovers right off their feet.
Congratulations, you’re now the queen of brunch.
Breakfast Pizza with Pancetta & Ricotta
for the crust
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
Combine warm water and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle yeast over the top; stir just to combine. Allow the mixture to sit, untouched, for five minutes. The yeast should look frothy.
Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment, then add olive oil and kosher salt to the yeast mixture. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly incorporate the flours. When the dough has just begun to come together, increase the speed to medium and knead for five minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, forming a rough ball.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead several times, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a tight ball and place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, dry place to rise for one hour.
While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings.
for the toppings
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the pizza stone
1 large lemon
2 ounces pancetta
1 clove garlic, minced
two large handfuls baby spinach
2/3 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and place a pizza stone on the center rack.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the very outer peel of the lemon, forming several, long curls.
Pour olive oil into a small saucepan and toss in lemon peel. Place the pan over medium heat and heat until the lemon peel just begins to brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a small jar. Allow to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Place pancetta in a large, nonstick frying pan and set over medium high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the pancetta is crisp. Reduce heat to low and toss in minced garlic and spinach. Once the spinach has wilted slightly, remove the pan from the heat.
When the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a clean countertop and use your knuckles to stretch the dough into a large, 12-inch round.
Brush the heated pizza stone with a bit of lemon olive oil and place the crust directly onto the preheated stone.
Use a pastry brush to cover the crust with a thin layer of lemon olive oil. Spread the spinach mixture over the crust and dot with ricotta.
Bake the pizza for five minutes. Then, slide the pizza out of the oven and crack the eggs over the face of the pizza. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bake for an additional five minutes, then remove from the oven and brush the edges with an additional coat of lemon oil.
Allow the pizza to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.