Thursday, April 28, 2011

Breakfast Pizza

Everyone knows that cold, leftover pizza is the breakfast of choice for many 20-year-old college students, but what adult in their right minds would actually MAKE pizza for breakfast? Really, it's absurd.

Oh, right... WE have made pizza for breakfast... and possibly crossed whatever line separates merely liking pizza from being thoroughly obsessed.

It was so good there weren't even leftovers for lunch.
  1. Par-baked whole wheat crust (it's important to have fiber at breakfast, you know...)
  2. Drizzle of olive oil
  3. Yukon gold potatoes, sliced paper-thin, spread in a single layer over the crust
  4. Generous dusting of old bay seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder, along with a pinch of celery seed and black pepper
  5. Grated mozarella and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan
  6. Breakfast meat of choice, sliced and browned in a skillet ahead of time - we used chicken sausage, but pork sausage or ham or bacon would also be deeeelicious
Assemble all of those items and slide the pizza onto the stone in the preheated oven. Once it's in place, crack raw eggs (approximately one per slice) on the top of the pizza. Bake at 450 F for at least 11 minutes. The crust will get a little darker than usual, but the potatoes and eggs need the extra time.

If it doesn't seem like the egg whites are cooking enough, try gently covering the pizza with aluminum foil to trap some steam and help the top cook. The whites should be gelatinous, not runny, and the yolks will be a lovely over-easy. It's everything you've ever wanted for breakfast in one dish.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Guessing Game

WHAT is this ugly turd of a bread substance?

Anyone? Guesses?

Okay, fine, I'll tell you. Continuing the using-leftover-pizza-dough theme of the last post, this blob was originally cut off of a pizza crust to make that crust more attractively round. I smeared the uncooked dough with peanut butter, added a pile of chocolate chips, and obviously did not seal it adequately because the insides exploded out. But however hideous the outside, it was LOVELY on the tastebuds. Next time I would probably brush it with butter and a dusting of powdered sugar to make it even more desserty.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wrapped-up Pizza

I guess, to most people, the pseudo-pizza below probably resembles a calzone. In fact, it probably IS a calzone, but given its unplanned creation and utter lack of ricotta, I can't justify calling it that. When we're ready to post a calzone recipe, we're going to make some legit calzones and there will be no question as to what they are or what to call them.

However, these pocket/wrap/pie things were a hungry lunchtime attempt to use up some leftover pizza dough without making yet another pizza. So I'm calling it "wrapped-up pizza" because that fairly literal description applies to a broad range of dough-filling constructions. We used what we had on hand, which happened to be sausage and leftover sauteed bell peppers and onions, but I'm quite sure you could take almost any pizza recipe and accomplish something similarly tasty.

Assuming you've already made the dough, stop before the par-baking part of the recipe! Split one of the dough balls in half or even in thirds and roll each chunk out into a thin circle. Add cheeses, veggies, meats (already browned and/or mostly cooked) and just a little bit of sauce (too much will make it soggy) to half of each dough circle.
Fold the other half of the dough over the toppings and firmly crimp around the edges so that nothing can leak out. Bake on the pizza stone at 450 degrees F for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is nicely golden.

Serve with some extra tomato sauce for dipping. Ours didn't turn out as gooey and full as a true calzone, but it sure made for a tasty lunch.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spinach & Ricotta Pizza

Although we invent many of our own pizza topping combinations, we do occasionally refer to cookbooks for inspiration. In this case, we borrowed a recipe from the aptly titled cookbook "Pizza," by Diane Morgan. It is, in fact, the recipe pictured on the book's cover, so you know it has to be good.

It's a very simple layering of ingredients, spread evenly over the crust in this order:
  1. Par-baked whole wheat crust
  2. Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  3. Spread of tomato sauce (or our lazy version of Pomi crushed tomatoes with a sprinkling of Italian seasonings and salt)
  4. Sprinkling of grated Parmesan
  5. Two big handfuls of fresh spinach, torn into large pieces
  6. Two minced garlic cloves
  7. Grated mozzarella
  8. Dollops of ricotta
  9. Sliced fresh tomatoes
With three kinds of cheese, be careful not to over-top your pizza! The ricotta in particular is very moist and prone to cause sogginess, so a few strategically placed dollops are all that you need.

When it comes out of the oven, drizzle with more olive oil and shake on some crushed red pepper flakes. Eat at least three pieces...

Whole Wheat Crust

This recipe is basically identical to our very best pizza crust ever recipe, except that we substitute whole wheat bread flour to make it a little healthier and a little heartier. We recommend whole wheat bread flour if you can find it, but regular whole wheat flour will also work. I love the dense, earthy flavor of this crust and think it goes particularly well with vegetable-focused toppings.

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour 
  • 2 cups bread flour

  1. Mix together the two types of flour in a large bowl.
  2. In another large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in remaining sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until smooth. 
  4. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise in a warm location. Let rise until the dough has doubled in volume, about one hour. 
  5. Punch down dough. Separate it in half and reshape into balls. Cover again with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. 
  6. During the second rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, place the stone in the oven for preheating. If using a baking sheet, lightly flour it (but don’t preheat). 
  7. On a well-floured surface, roll out one ball of dough until it is approximately the size of your pizza stone or baking sheet. 
  8. Prick the surface all over with a fork to prevent bubbling in the oven.
  9. Par-bake the crust until barely brown and rigid, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the crust from the oven and let rest on wire racks to avoid sogginess. Top with your favorite toppings and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minute (depending on toppings), until the cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.
Recipe yields two crusts. Dough can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a month.