Sunday mornings for me are ideally spent curled up on the couch binge watching my TV show of the moment (currently Rizzoli & Isles) and enjoying a carb filled breakfast. This ritual usually extends two or three episodes while I nurse my morning coffee.
Inspired by a Sunday morning craving for Eggs Benedict and a feeling of dread when it came to poaching eggs, I remembered a Food Network Episode I saw many years ago where they put eggs on a pizza. When cut through the center of the eggs, the yolk oozed out and created almost a “bonus sauce”. This Eggs Benedict Brunch Pizza hits the spot whether you’re carbloading for a busy day of lounging around, or hosting brunch.
Bread flour, yeast, water, salt, sugar and olive oil come together to form the dough. I use bread flour in pizza dough because it gives the crust a chewier texture than all purpose flour. After the first rise, the dough is divided in half and rolled out into a roughly 8″ circle. This will yield a thicker crust pizza, so roll it out a little bit bigger if you prefer a thinner crust.
After rolling out the dough, brush olive oil on the edge of the crust about 1-1/2″ to 2″ towards the center.
Grate some gruyere, and chop center cut pork shoulder bacon into roughly 1/2″ x 1/2″ squares. I used a European Style center cut pork shoulder bacon, which is meatier than “normal” bacon, but regular bacon, canadian bacon, turkey bacon or even deli meat will work.
Spread a thicker version of hollandaise sauce on the pizza, leaving about 1″ of crust, and add cheese and bacon on top. Using a thicker sauce prevents the pizza from getting soggy, and the sauce from running over the edges of the pizza. To finish the pizza off, crack an egg in the center of the pizza. I recommend cracking the egg into a small bowl and then gently “pouring” it onto the pizza. It’s less likely that the yolk will break than if you were to just crack the egg on top of the pizza.
Bake on a preheated pizza stone at 450°F for about 12 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling, and the egg whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. Baking the pizza on a preheated pizza stone will give the bottom of the crust the perfect amount of crunch. Cut into 4 pieces with a sharp knife. Make sure you cut straight through the yolk. I found that a sharp knife works better than a pizza cutter here, as the pizza cutter will drag the egg around. Enjoy!
Eggs Benedict Breakfast Pizza
For the Crust
-1 cup lukewarm water
-1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
-1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
-660 grams (about 5-1/2 cups) bread flour
-1-1/2 teaspoons salt
-1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Hollandaise Sauce
-2 egg yolks
-8 tablespoons butter, melted and hot
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-pinch cayenne pepper
-2 ounces Gruyere
-2 ounces center cut pork shoulder bacon, uncooked
- To make the crust: Dissolve sugar and yeast in the lukewarm water and allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together bread flour and salt. When the yeast has bloomed, pour the yeast mixture in the flour, and add olive oil.
- With a stand mixer on low speed, use a dough hook to mix the dough. Scrape down the mixer bowl as necessary to ensure all of the flour is incorporated into the dough. When all of the flour is incorporated, increase mixer speed to medium and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. Form a ball with the dough, and return to the mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rise for an hour to 1-1/2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface. Knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, and divide into two equal halves. Roll each half out to a roughly 8″ circle. Place on a piece of parchment paper, and brush the edges of the crust with olive oil, about 2″ towards the center.
- To make the hollandaise sauce: Using a blender or immersion blender, blend egg yolks. Slowly drizzle in the butter while continuing to blend. Once all of the butter is incorporated, blend in the lemon juice, salt and cayenne.
- To fill the pizza: Preheat oven to 450°F, with a pizza stone inside.¹ For each pizza, spread the hollandaise sauce to taste. Distribute one ounce of Gruyere and one ounce of bacon evenly on the pizza. Crack an egg into a small bowl, and gently place in the center of each pizza, careful not to break the yolk.
- Remove the pizza stone from the oven, and transfer the pizza with the parchment paper still under it to the pizza stone. Place the pizza back in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the egg whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, and slice into 4 pieces before serving.
¹Baking the pizza on a pizza stone gives the bottom of the crust a nice crunch. If you don’t have a pizza stone, baking the pizza on a preheated, inverted cast iron skillet yields similar results.