Having lost more than 10 pounds recently, and feeling ah-mazing, I tend to keep an eye on my diet. That said, I am a huge pizza buff. I have tried plenty, but my favourite has always been the vegetarian kind. I enjoy thin crust most of the time, but if you’ve good a killer thick crust filled with yummyness (like cheese), I am all for it, too!
But, a few days ago, I noticed a new kind (well, new for me) that was labelled as breakfast pizza. I made Eggs in Purgatory sauce and google-d thoroughly before-hand, and that’s when I stumbled upon this unique pizza that would not only satiate my yearning for Eggs in Purgatory but also a lovely crust.
And then i stumbled upon the term, ‘Breakfast Pizza’. Now, a person like me would love an excuse to have pizza in breakfast.
Eggs and tomatoes go very well, together. So a pizza sans cheese but eggs as topping would definitely lure me in. And so, I started putting together what I like to call a very very healthy pizza.
I used whole wheat to create the base, and my toppings compromise of fresh spinach, chopped oregano and an italian-style tomato sauce with onions, and of course, eggs.
I started with the base. I used half all-purpose flour and half whole-wheat. But you can always add more whole wheat if you want. And that’s my hand print.
Then, comes in the star of our dough, the yeast. There are plenty of types to choose from, bt I enjoy instant yeast that does not require proof-ing. Add one teaspoon per cup of flour. Also, do add half a teaspoon of salt to your mixture. If you wish, you can sprinkle some sugar if you are not very confident of your yeast, to give it a boost. Old packets of yeast may need that boost.
Add in warm water (never boiling, never cold) to the flour and slowly turn it from a sticky mess to a smooth ball of dough. Keep a spare cup of flour at hand while you’re kneading away, because you’ll surely need it to reduce sticky-ness.
Lightly coat your ball of dough in olive oil and cover it under a wet (but not dripping!) towel, to help it rise. The best place to make your dough rise is in a slightly heated oven. Turn on your oven on 180 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes and shut it off. Use the accumulated warmth to keep your dough in, so it rises to it’s full potential!
My dough took about 1 hour 20 minutes to double in size. Yours might take longer or lesser time, depending upon the yeast and weather conditions. I suggest checking in after 1 hour.
As seen above, my dough turned “brainy”. I’m a very proud owner of such a smart pizza dough!
Give it a punch to let out all accumulated air and burst most bubbles, roll it up and oil it well again, and give it a second rise in the same manner as before. This time, let it rise for 30 minutes at least.
While the dough is busy rising, I started at chopping all the necessary vegetables for my topping and sauce. Use the freshest produce available. Nothing like fresh spinach, but wash it good to remove pesticides and dirt.
Chop up onions and tomatoes that would be used as topping.
All the pretty colors in the kitchen need to go in my pizza.
While you are at it, wash and submerge 5-6 fresh and large tomatoes in a pot of water. That would be to loosen the skin so you can remove it, and cook it into an amazing Italian sauce.
My idea of Italian sauce for pizza is tangy yet zesty, with oregano and garlic, sautéed onions and olive oil. I let my peeled tomatoes cook in the open-lid pot, because no tomato sauce deserves to suffocate like that. Let the sauce reduce, and mash the tomatoes with a hand masher to make sure the consistency is even and saucy.
I suggest you finish the sauce before you touch the dough; the dough should have doubled again by the time you are done with the sauce. Take a pizza stone or a very large metallic tray and dust it with flour. Roll out your dough to the thickness you desire; I was aiming for a thin crust so my dough was flattened significantly with the rolling pin.
Once flattened and rolled, lightly brush olive oil and start with the sauce, then top with spinach, and then some more sauce to hold down the spinach. I added a lot onions too, because browned onion crescents are my weakness in a pizza topping (along with mushrooms and olives, that I won’t be adding… sigh).
Apologies for such a bad handy-work on the crust – I was running out of time. My family wanted me out of the kitchen right away and I was hogging the counters.
If I could go back and re-do anything, I would put more effort in beautifying the crust only, because the topping turned out fine.
Pre-heat oven at 220 degrees celsius for 10 minutes and bring it down to 200 degrees celsius when the pizza goes in. It will take about 20 minutes to cook the crust and for sauce juices to aroma-tize your kitchen. Once the crust feels hard but not chewy (since this is thin-crust), turn off oven and turn on the oven broiler (the grill on top) and crack an egg.
The egg will have a mind of it’s own and slips and slides till it finds a nice crevice to relax in. I don’t mind an egg on any corner of my pizza but if you wish to place it right in the middle, or place more than one egg, you can always landscape your own pizza and ‘create’ a depression in the middle for the egg to stay put.
Slide the pizza back in and allow the top grill to bake your egg(s) and brown your toppings and crust. Nothing more than 3 minutes, I’d say. If you like runny eggs than maybe nothing more than 2 minutes. But sit close by and monitor the progress so nothing comes out of the oven, unexpected. The “sitting close-by” position was the best exercise I did that week for my legs. I was squatting for minutes, working my hamstrings and quads, and the heat in the kitchen truly played out the whole gym scenario for me.
This should be your final result. But the slice looked phenomenal and smelled even better.
Let’s just say I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.