Breakfast pizza

“Pizza for breakfast?” I can remember Regan querying, in the communal Waveney Terrace kitchen where I was sitting with my brother eating an early lunch. Those pizzas were tiny English ones bought from a Norwich deli. Now, almost 50 years later, I am finally making proper breakfast pizzas.

  • Ingredients for the base: 300g/10oz flour, approximately 1tsp dried yeast, about the same of salt, several slugs of olive oil, warm water.
  • For the topping: 2 or 3 shallots, finely sliced. One or two green chillis, several small tomatoes, a handful of mushrooms, 2 or 3 slices of bacon, eggs, halloumi cheese, black pepper, olive oil.
  • Method: First make the pizza dough by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and adding water until you can form a ball, then kneading by hand for 7 minutes or more until the dough is very soft and springy. You might need to add more water or flour in small quantities as you go along. Then place the dough ball back in the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. Knock back and leave to rise again (in my case I left it in the fridge overnight). Knock the dough back then stretch or roll out thinly to fit a suitable container (metal baking tray /cast iron casserole/ pizza stone).

Grill the bacon until cooked. Break the slices into bite size pieces and set aside until needed. Add some olive oil to a non-stick pan and heat on a medium setting. When warmed, introduce the sliced onions, chillis and black pepper. Cook until the onions are softening and put in the tomatoes (halved) and sliced mushrooms. Stir them gently and continue to cook until everything is softening but still whole. Cool.

Arrange the topping ingredients on the pizza bases. I have made two types here: the first with bacon, eggs, vegetables and halloumi cheese. The second without eggs. The ingredients are placed in order: bacon pieces, onion chilli mushrooms, tomato halves, halloumi and finally the raw eggs (make a well in the topping and spoon in the egg.) Decorate with a few more chilli rings then leave while the oven heats up. This gives the dough a chance to rise again.

Cook in a pre-heated oven at about 220°C until the eggs are fully cooked and the base is crusty. It won’t take long. You might need to make adjustments – turning the oven up or down, grilling for a minute or two, or perhaps taking the pizza out of its container and placing directly on the bars in order to fully cook the bottom. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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