Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Egg and Pesto Breakfast Pizza

Weekend breakfasts are a treat for me. During the week, I do well to grab a Chobani yogurt cup on my way out the door because--as much as I like an elaborate breakfast--when given the choice between that and sleep, I’m going to choose sleep every time. So on weekends, I can have my sleep and eat yummy breakfast too.

This pizza did not disappoint. In fact, if I had had the stomach capacity to do so, I would have eaten the entire pizza in one sitting. And would have felt no shame. My pizza was actually a combination of three recipes from Naturally Ella (pizza), Faux Martha (no-rise crust), and Food Network (pesto). This pizza is definitely best for a leisurely morning when you have nowhere to be and no one to see, because there are quite a few steps—and you’ll get quite a few dishes dirty. But it’s so worth it!

It looks a bit like a face

This piece had two yolks. Heavenly!

Egg and Pesto Breakfast Pizza

1/4 cup water, heated to 110 degrees
1/4 Tbsp. sugar (yes, this is unusual to measure 1/4 Tbsp.)
1/4 Tbsp. olive oil
Heaping 1/2 tsp. rapid rise or bread machine yeast
1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt

Pesto: This will actually make about twice as much as you need for one pizza, but even this amount was almost not enough for my food processor. So just save the leftover pesto for something else.
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup walnuts
3-1/2 oz. Feta
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Pizza toppings:
1 cup grated mozzarella (approximately)
4 eggs
Freshly cracked pepper

Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with olive oil. Add the walnuts and toast for 5-6 minutes, until fragrant. Set walnuts aside to cool. While the walnuts cool, add the rest of the pesto ingredients (except the olive oil) to the food processor bowl, with the spinach on the bottom and everything else on top. Set aside.

Put pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees.

For crust, add flours, Parmesan, and salt to a single-serving size blender or food processor (such as a Magic Bullet). Pulse until combined and Parmesan is powdery.

Heat water and whisk in the sugar, oil, and yeast. (The recipe says to heat the water to 110 degrees. I don’t have a thermometer, so I just went for water that was hotter than my skin but cool enough that I could hold my finger in the water without discomfort.) Allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes.

While the yeast proofs, finish the pesto. Add the cooled walnuts to the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined. Turn the processor to “on” and drizzle in olive oil until pesto reaches desired consistency, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. I kept my pesto pretty thick. Taste and adjust herbs, pepper, etc., if needed.

Finish up the pizza crust. When the yeast is finished proofing, combine the liquids with the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Then knead into a dough. At this point, you can set it aside if needed, to finish up other steps. But the author of the recipe recommends going straight into rolling it out, so that's what I did.

On a floured surface, roll out pizza dough to about a 9-inch circle. Transfer to parchment paper. Spread with pesto and top with mozzarella. Moving quickly, remove pizza stone from oven and place on a wire rack. Put parchment paper with pizza onto stone, crack eggs over the top of the pizza, and put the pizza back into the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cheese and crust are browned and eggs are set.

Remove from oven and slide parchment paper with pizza onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper. Cut and dig in!

Yield: 3-4 servings (1 nine-inch pizza)

Results: Is it too dramatic to say that this pizza is life-changing? Seriously, though, I never knew you could take something as awesome as pizza and marry it to something as awesome as breakfast. My mouth was so unbelievably happy! The pesto alone was good enough that I could eat it with a spoon. Then you throw in a hearty crust, cheese, and eggs with rich, creamy yolks . . . be still, my heart! Make sure that each serving has a yolk on it, because the yolk takes this pizza from good to delicious. After 8 minutes in the oven, my cheese was very browned but the egg whites weren’t quite set. Next time I might decrease the oven temp to 475 and cook for a couple minutes longer.
Variation ideas for next time: Add sliced fresh tomato and/or fresh asparagus (1-inch pieces) to the pizza. I would put the veggies on after the cheese, before the eggs. Maybe garnish with some cooked, crumbled turkey bacon?

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to have to try this! We've been on a pesto/artichoke pizza kick the last few weekends.