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Behold this deliciously leveled-up easy breakfast pizza recipe made even easier by using fresh pizza dough and tastier with smoked mozzarella.
With much gratitude and appreciation, this recipe inspired by our friends at Food & Wine Magazine and Chef Justine Chapple!
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This fabulous breakfast food is serious nosh for any time of day. Around here lately, it’s been my lunch go-to because of how busy I am and how filling it is.
It differs from other homemade breakfast pizza methods I’ve experimented with in that it’s intensely flavored but with very few ingredients.
It also goes ‘full-on fresh’ by way of regular pizza dough versus the use of canned crescent rolls, a biscuit crust, or flattened hash browns for the base.
Do You Have What’s Needed to Whip Up a Smoky Breakfast Pizza Recipe with Perfect Sunny Egg? Check The List!
- fresh basil leaves
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
- fresh pizza dough which may be either store bought or homemade pizza dough
- cremini mushrooms
- smoked mozzarella cheese
- pecorino Romano cheese
- large eggs
How This Recipe Came About…
A person cannot visit Europe without returning home and acknowledging that they ate well while abroad. Fresh. Unprocessed. Full of vibrancy and flavor.
This goes especially for what I refer to as street food. No, not an Egg McMuffin, rather quick favorites in a convenient handheld form that are very fresh and very wholesome.
In France, street food can be anything from bakery fare to ham and butter baguette to a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg resting beautifully on savory pizza dough.
Okay, that last one was me stretching it a bit. I jumped from Croissants to a delicious breakfast pizza there, didn’t I?
Handheld versions of this fun way to enjoy breakfast are available in the airports, outside major train stations, in the streets, and oftentimes too, offered in the Brasseries.
It wasn’t until recently when I saw Justin Chapple of Food & Wine Magazine fame demonstrate his version of a smoky breakfast pizza, that I focused on turning an on-the-go breakfast idea into several new favorite breakfast recipes with fast Parisian street food in mind.
Consider a very adult breakfast pizza recipe that takes inspiration from smoked mozzarella, salty pecorino, and a fresh basil oil for a savory Springtime flavor experience.
Pizza For Breakfast…?
Cold day-after pizza. My Dad’s FAVORITE breakfast food next to his Cheerios.
He’s lucky these days if he gets a cold slice in the mornings given our habit of gobbling up the entire pie these days.
When I studied the different ways to throw eggs around in the morning, plenty of inspiration flooded page one of Google. What surprised me was the number of breakfast pizzas, presumably because they could be considered handhelds and eaten on the go.
Chef Justin Bazdarich of Speedy Romeo fame in Brooklyn, New York prepares his pizzas in a wood-fired oven. That smoky flavor that is imparted into the crust is what he refers to as his secret ingredient.
Couple that with his use of Béchamel, a creamy white sauce that is a base for additional toppings, and immediately there was motive for me to start to play around with the idea of pizza for breakfast.
Achieving Smoke Where There’s None…
Smoke is a delicious way to elevate any food imaginable. Seriously.
From smoked meats and cheeses to beer to bread, smoke is primal, and it is its own flavor profile with little else that compares.
Because I do not own a wood fired pizza oven (yet…) Justin Chapple’s use of an actual smoked cheese, smoked mozzarella, was an ingredient I was keen to try.
But because of supply chain issues, even Whole Foods did not have any smoked mozzarella for me to purchase. A real let down.
I turned to a high quality smoked paprika and mixed it with the mozzarella shreds. What I ended up with was a top of the crust ooey-gooey cheese masterpiece.
I also experimented with adding home-smoked crispy bacon to a stove top Béchamel, and though it was good, I was still looking for that super crispy crust with a soft center.
That crust needed to both support an egg while also being a handheld edible if I needed it to be.
How To Make a Smoky Breakfast Pizza Recipe with Perfect Sunny Egg?
This method makes two hearty pizzas, so rather than grabbing for a large skillet or pizza pan, pull out your largest cookie sheet and dust it with cornmeal liberally.
Alternatively, you can line the cookie sheet with parchment paper for the pizzas to bake atop. I go cornmeal and direct cookie sheet contact because I’m going for the seriously crisp crust.
So, About the Eggs…
Before I do anything else, I crack two eggs but into two individual tiny bowls. This allows them to not only come to room temperature quickly, but also makes it much easier to pour each one atop the pizza and shimmy the yolk right in the center.
A room temperature egg will also cook faster in the oven versus a cold egg. And to achieve that PERFECT sunny egg, you need firmly set egg whites and a golden runny yellow.
Basil and The Argument for Herbs…
If you have a mini food processor, this is a perfect task for it. Add in fresh basil leaves, chopped garlic cloves, olive oil, Kosher salt and some black pepper and let her rip.
Puree to a nice thin consistency and spoon into a serving bowl to be passed at the table. This sauce is Spring in a pretty bowl. Truly, do not miss tasting this condiment atop your pizza as it adds so much depth of flavor to an already spectacular lineup of ingredients.
Nine times out of ten I am using store bought fresh pizza dough. I find it in the refrigerated case in my grocery store deli.
If you want to stay homemade, here is a link to an easy pizza dough recipe.
Preheat your oven to 450°F and scatter some flour onto a clean work surface. Remove the pizza dough ball from the plastic bag and allow it to relax on the work surface for 20 minutes.
Assembling Some Pizzas!
Cut the dough equally in half and working with one piece at a time, work the dough with your fingers. Roll it, press it, stretch it. You want the finished piece to be abstract in shape and slightly smaller than a dinner plate.
Place each dough piece atop the cornmeal dusted cookie sheet. Shred some smoked mozzarella.
If you are unable to find smoked mozzarella in your grocer’s cheese carousel, add about a half to one full teaspoon of smoked paprika to shredded mozzarella and toss with your fingers.
Both shred and break up into bits some pecorino Romano cheese and scatter both cheeses atop the doughs.
Then top with thinly sliced fresh cremini mushrooms, leaving an open field in the center where the egg will go. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove.
The Pièce de Résistance, the Perfect Sunny Egg
Now comes the best part, the perfectly sunny egg. By now, each egg in its own tiny bowl has achieved room temperature. Take the bowls one at a time and gently pour and guide the raw egg into the field left open for it in the middle of the pizzas.
Pop the cookie sheet back into the hot oven for 7 to 9 minutes. Begin checking the eggs at 7 minutes. You’re looking for non-jiggle whites and a creamy yellow yolk.
Cook times will inevitably vary based on the temperature of your eggs before they hit the oven and also based on your oven. This is why I recommend checking for doneness beginning at 7 minutes.
Now, the choice here is yours. I like a runny yellow, but I also prefer a mildly set yellow (only slightly runny) if I intend to enjoy as a handheld. Depending on YOUR preference, leave in longer for a more well-done egg.
Remove from the oven once the whites have set and use a large metal spatula to lift the pizzas from their large baking sheet to plates. Drizzle liberally with the basil oil and dig in with knife and fork or enjoy as a handheld.
Modifying The Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average…
So, the sky is the limit here, hampered only by a lack of imagination. First off, anything that is already a fabulous breakfast food that can also double as a delicious pizza topping is on the table.
Breakfast pizza options include caramelized onion, sausage crumbles, creamy sauce such as a Béchamel, green pepper, red peppers, smoked turkey sausage, green onions, bacon bits – YOU NAME IT! It’s ALL on the table as far as excellent options.
Don’t like runny egg yolks? Fluffy eggs like soft scrambled eggs may not work well as part of a handheld but do offer another aspect of deliciousness to these individual breakfast favorites.
Be creative with any breakfast pizza recipe and stick by what your eaters will eat. Always the perfect rule of thumb. There’s always a ‘next time’ to experiment and get wild on them!
Can This Smoky Breakfast Pizza Recipe with Perfect Sunny Egg Be Made Ahead?
Yes and no. I specify the purchase of a single fresh pizza dough from your local grocer’s deli department. However, and if you prefer to assemble your own homemade pizza dough, then yes, THAT MUCH may be made ahead.
Everything else from the basil oil to the breakfast pizza itself, must be made fresh for the absolute best result. Trust me, you want this FRESH.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you may also like:
Smoky Breakfast Pizza Recipe with Perfect Sunny Egg
- grater or micro plane
- mini food processor or blender
- large sheet pan
- large wide metal spatula
- ½ cup basil leaves fresh and loosely packed
- ⅛ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic
- Kosher salt to taste
- black pepper freshly cracked to taste
- 1 pound pizza dough fresh store-bought dough from your grocer's deli department or your favorite homemade pizza dough
- all-purpose flour for dusting work surface
- cornmeal for dusting baking sheet
- 1 ½ cups smoked mozzarella cheese shredded; see NOTES for alternate preparation if you are unable to locate smoked mozzarella
- ½ cup pecorino Romano cheese finely grated on a micro plane
- ½ cup cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
- crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 extra large eggs each cracked into individual tiny bowls and sitting at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
- Crack the eggs individually into 2 very small bowls and let them sit on the countertop at room temperature for at least 30 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients. NOTE these bowls should be small enough so that you will be able to accurately shimmy each egg into a premade 'well' or dip you will create in each dough.
- Remove the pizza dough ball from its packaging and place on a lightly floured work surface to rest for 20 minutes while you make the basil oil.
- To the barrel of a mini food processor or chef prep, add the loose basil leaves, olive oil, and a small garlic clove and process until smooth. Taste for the need for salt and pepper and add if necessary. Process again to combine. Transfer to a pretty serving bowl with spoon or a creamer.
- Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third position. Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal and set aside. Use a bench scraper or long sharp knife to cut the now rested dough in half to equal two portions. Flatten and press and roll and stretch one piece at a time to a large oblong about 1/4-inch thick and around the size of a small dinner plate and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Sprinkle doughs evenly with shredded smoked mozzarella, the finely planed pecorino, and some mushroom slices, leaving a small round-ish well in the middle of each and a 1/2-inch border for the crust. The idea behind the well is that this is where the egg will reside, so make the well wider than deep and abstract if round does not conform. Sprinkle pizzas with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Bake in preheated oven until crusts are puffed and starting to brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Remove pizzas from oven. Using the back of a spoon, enhance the well in center of each pizza by gently pressing down. Take each egg and guide it into a dough well while shimmying the yolks to rest in the center. NOTE if your well is not wide enough, the whites may run over the sides of the pizza, and while this is okay, ideally, you want it to stay confined to the well.
- Carefully return pizzas to oven and bake at 450°F until egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, 5 to 7 minutes. A good way to tell if your whites are set is to jiggle the baking sheet. If the whites are set, you should see little to no jiggling. NOTE if you plan to enjoy this as a handheld, consider the doneness of the yolk and bake until only slightly runny.
- Use a large, wide metal spatula to remove each pizza to a plate. Serve with basil oil. Allow eaters the choice of a knife and fork or simply go in with both hands like I do!
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.