It is a truth universally acknowledged, that pizza makes a fantastic breakfast. Of course, leftover pizza is a boon, but even better is a hot-from-the-oven pizza made just for the purpose. The test kitchen put this one together with a light SoCal vibe in mind — not too light, of course, it’s got all the breakfast-y things.
If you were thinking about toast (always!), you might go with a thin crust for a breakfast pizza, but we took the opposite tack and used our Neapolitan crust. Its focaccia-like texture — thick and chewy with a wonderfully crispy bottom — is perfect for breakfast’s lush toppings. You can really load it up.
Which brings us to those toppings. At the base, a thin layer of ricotta keeps the pizza moist and ties all the ingredients together. On top of that, a little breakfast sausage, some delightfully smoky Gouda, and a handful of crispy bacon bits. Then we crack the eggs on top of it all, slide it into the oven and — once it bakes — finish it with a few tumbleweeds of frisée.
What a bite! We love how the egg yolks break over the pizza, mixing with the melty Gouda, chewy, salty-sweet meats, and crunchy bitter greens — so much texture, so much flavor! For extra oomph, we shake on a little hot sauce; for extra sparkle, we pair it with mimosas. (Of course, we’ve been yammering on about breakfast, but this pizza would make a stellar weekend lunch or dinner.)
Our tips: Be sure to roll the dough out to the full 12 inches so that it bakes up fluffy yet crisp. And, once you slide the pizza in the oven, let it bake a little bit longer than the average pizza — you want those egg whites cooked.
Yield: 2 12” pizzas
¾ lb Gelson’s breakfast sausage
8 strips Gelson’s bacon, cut into 2” pieces
½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese, divided
8 oz smoked Gouda cheese, grated, divided
10 large Gelson’s eggs, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground Gelson’s black pepper, to taste
Semolina flour, for dusting the peel
1 cup torn frisée leaves
Hot sauce, for serving
Special Equipment: pizza stone and peel
An hour before baking the pizza, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 550º with the rack in the second position from the top.
To cook the sausage: Pinch the sausage into bite-size pieces and place in a large, nonstick skillet. Heat over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels and wash the skillet.
To make the bacon: Add the bacon to the clean skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook until crispy, flipping halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Note: the bacon and sausage can be made the day before and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the pizza: Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes — letting it get up to room temperature will make it much easier to work with. Divide the dough in half.
Turn 1 of the halves out onto a lightly floured work surface, and use your palms to press it into a 6” round.
Using your fingertips, press the dough outward, dimpling the dough and stopping about 1” from the edge — this thicker edge will become your crust.
After dimpling, lift the dough off your work surface and stretch it over the backs of your hands, moving it in a circle to create an 8 to 10” round.
Return the dough to your floured work surface, and dimple it with your fingertips again, stopping 1” from the edge. After dimpling, pick the dough up again and stretch it over the backs of your hands. Continue to go back and forth like this until you have a 12” round with a 1” crust.
Spread the dough with ¼ cup whole milk ricotta cheese, leaving the 1” crust dry.
Scatter half the sausage pieces evenly over the ricotta, and then sprinkle on half the smoked Gouda cheese and half the bacon. Crack 5 eggs on top of everything, spacing them apart, and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
Using a pizza peel lightly dusted with semolina flour, transfer the pizza to the preheated stone and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the oven to broil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until the Gouda is bubbly and the egg whites are cooked through.
Using the pizza peel, remove the pizza from the oven, and allow it to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with half of the frisée and serve immediately with your favorite hot sauce.
Repeat steps 5 through 12 for the second pizza.