All Day Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast for dinner is surely the ultimate treat? Of course, if it were solely up to me, I would chose waffles or pancakes but Hungry Hubby can’t get his head around having sweet stuff as the main event so I have to get inventive with the savoury options instead, which is really only right in any case.  Hungry Hubby is a little bit addicted to sausage butties for breakfast of a weekend to the extent I’ve occasionally had to stage an intervention to stop him going overboard for the sake of his health but once in a while as a treat, I’ll cook up some sausages under the grill and hide a couple of them to turn into this All Day Breakfast Pizza the next day. It makes up for the slight sausage deficiency at the preceeding breakfast 😉 

This is the sort of pizza we forgo the side salad which we would otherwise consider essential, slice into 6 or 8 pieces and cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie with whilst we eat. Napkins at the ready, warm snuggly blanket on our knees. A proper Sunday night cosy, greedy feast. The fact that it is topped with some delicious breakfast sausages (pork and leek, black pepper and nutmeg or Cumberlands are our favourite sorts) and then a few bits and pieces of leftovers such as a couple of mushrooms, a handful of cherry toms and a few rags of Parma ham makes it feel special yet thrifty for using up these odds and sods. I change up my usual sauce by using parsley in place of the usual basil, which works better with this breakfast-cum-dinner dinner and freeze what I don’t use for future dinners.

Eggs on pizza are utterly fantastic although the more common way is to do it Florentine style, with a hen’s egg cracked in the middle. I prefer the cuteness of quail’s eggs – I would have used more in the particular All Day Breakfast Pizza pictured but we’d run out. Top tip – take the time to crack each teeny quail’s egg into a tiny bowl (like a pinch pot or mise en place sort of bowl) or even a teacup, so you can rapidly transfer them onto the partially cooked pizza before the oven loses too much heat. And as I always recommend with homemade pizza making – don’t be scared to get your oven as hot as hell and do think about investing in a Welsh bakestone , allowing it to preheat with the oven as it will cook the base to perfection for those of us without our own wood fired pizza oven!

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All Day Breakfast Pizza
Breakfast for dinner is one of the best ways to eat and when you turn leftovers from a weekend brunch into pizza, you are in for one winner dinner!
Servings: 2
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
For the pizza base
  • 300 g tipo 00 flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 7 g dried yeast
  • Approx 200ml water
  • A little extra flour and 1 tbsp fine polenta to dust with
For the sauce*
  • 1 can canned tomatoes about 400g
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to season
For the toppings
  • 2 cooked breakfast sausages sliced as thick as pound coins
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto or parma ham torn into rags/shreds
  • 2 button or chestnut mushrooms thinly sliced
  • About 6 cherry tomatoes whole
  • 1 small ball of mozzarella well drained
  • 3-5 quail's eggs as liked must be at room temperature
  • Plus a little extra parsley to garnish at the end
Helpful equipment
  • A pizza stone or Welsh bakestone
  • Reusable silicone sheets if not, baking parchment
  • A ladle
  • Small little bowls or teacups to help get the eggs onto the pizza pinch pots are a good size
Instructions
  1. Make the dough by combining the flour, yeast and salt (don't put the latter two directly on top of each other) then pour in the olive oil and rub it in well. Pour in the water slowly, mixing by hand or with a spatula until you have a shaggy mess (that's the official term). Bring together to a smooth dough, adding water cautiously but with pizza, the wetter the better is the way to go - it should be like a very thick, stiff batter rather than a dough.
  2. If kneading by hand, knead for 10 minutes and make use of a dough scraper to work the dough. It should be smooth and when gathered into a ball, will flow slightly to take the shape of it's container. If using a stand mixer, 5 minutes should do it but do it on the lowest speed and stop every now and again to scrape the dough down as most domestic mixers can't take this volume of dough and it won't mix thoroughly otherwise.
  3. Place in a large, oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to prove for up to 24 hours in a cool kitchen. If it is hot, put it in the fridge until needed.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, take the dough and roll it around from cupped hand to hand until it forms a nice, smooth, taut ball. Place on a sheet of reusable silicone paper (sold as Bake-o-glide in a lot of shops) or baking parchment which you have lightly dusted with flour and then sprinkled with polenta - the latter helps the dough not to stick. Cover with a large upturned bowl and leave the rest for an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven as hot as it will go (usually about 240˚C in domestic ovens) with a shelf positioned half way down with either a pizza stone, welsh bakestone or a second (heavy duty) baking sheet on the shelf to preheat. We're going to cook hot and fast - it's the best way by far to make pizza in a domestic oven.
  6. Blitz the canned tomatoes, garlic, parsley, olive oil and a little seasoning with a stick blender or in a food processor and use a third to spread thinly onto the pizza base, leaving 1-2 cm uncovered at the edge. Freeze the rest in a couple of food safe plastic bags for another day.
  7. Spread with tomato sauce onto base using the back of a spoon to get it evenly distributed.
  8. Distributed the sliced sausages, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes evenly around the pizza then tuck in little rags of the ham in between. Bare in mind you'll need space for the eggs.. Rip up the mozzarella ball and likewise, distribute around the pizza.
  9. Now to bake. You are going to scoop the pizza, still on it's silicone/baking parchment onto the metal baking tray without a lip (if yours is lipped, turn it upside down) then shunt it onto the hot bakestone. It's the poor man's version of using a pizza peel! Just be careful when opening the oven door as it is super hot so stand back and do use an oven glove to protect your hand.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes until almost fully cooked. Meanwhile, crack however many quail's eggs you want into individual pots (believe me, they are fiddly enough to crack - do it now then the oven wont lose too much heat when you top the pizza with the eggs).
  11. Open the oven door carefully, use a ladle to create enough dips in the partially cooked pizza base as you have eggs and pour them into these shallow depressions. Quickly season with sea salt, black pepper and a little extra parsley then shunt back into the oven to cook for 2 minutes more to set the whites but leave the yolk rich and creamy. Eat immediately!
Recipe Notes
*= makes enough for three pizzas - freeze the leftovers in small plastic food bags (labelled!) for another day.

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