I like to cook in batches. Even though I am generally cooking for just one or two. Some stuff just makes sense that way: big pots of stock, beans, a roast hunk of meat that can become 4 dishes in the day after, pizza. One big bowl of dough will keep well if you let it rise gently overnight in the fridge. And you can eat it for every meal that day. And you really can, you know? Or you can have a pizza party.
This morning as I looked at the bowl of dough that I had just retrieved from the fridge I was thinking, oh yes, egg & lardo pizza. Because you know those are two of my very favourite things. I quite like to cover my egg yolks with lardo anyway. And I have lardo in the fridge. (Lardo? Cured gorgeous pork fat, mouth melting and divine. Not lard. Which is also great but for different reasons). But I have something even better too. Guanciale! Roman cheek bacon, the very best bacon there is. I consider myself an expert after all the testing that I did for my next book Project Bacon (which is in the final stages, and I know I have said that before but it really is).
I didn’t have a meat slicer (and oh how I want one!), and what I really wanted was a thin sheet of guanciale, rich with fat and weak with a quiver of pink meat. It would protect and coat the egg as it roasted in the most gorgeous way possible. It drives me crazy when an egg on a pizza hardens and blisters as it roasts. I tried my food processor and it did well enough. All systems go, pizza for breakfast was going to be a thing.
I am lucky, I have gorgeous Roman tomatoes, bursting with ripeness. If they could speak they would be exuberant and you might not want to sit next to them, but as a tomato they are a perfect thing. Chopped into large enough dice so that they still had personality and texture and shape, they were the first layer on my breakfast pizza. Thrown cautiously over a carefully teased piece of dough, shaped into a careless circle with my fingers. On top, a little chopped fresh rosemary. I cracked an egg into the centre where there was enough of a lack of tomatoes to hold an egg, with a wall of tomatoes around it. On top, three carefully placed slices of guanciale joy.
Into the oven at its highest setting, and about 6 minutes later there it was. My perfect breakfast pizza, bacon and egg at its most joyful. You must make it. I promise it is worth making the dough. Have a breakfast pizza party!
- 450g strong flour
- 10g dried yeast
- 300ml just warm water
- 25ml extra virgin olive oil
- a generous pinch of sea salt
- 1 good tomato, chopped into dice or a couple of tablespoons of good tomato passata
- a little fresh rosemary or thyme
- three thin slices of guanciale, bacon or lardo
- 1 egg
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper