Here we go: It’s the next installment in our Cook from the Book series. Because when we get a cookbook in the office that makes us salivate—like “America’s Best Breakfasts” by Lee Brian Schrager and Adeena Sussman (now on sale) does—we can’t resist giving a recipe or two a whirl.
We know and love Lee—the frontman of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals—because he is a tireless promoter of chefs and great food and making sure fun is had in the process. He knows food because he’s constantly searching America for the best to include in these top tier food festivals. We adore Adeena because she is a pro all the way. If Adeena is behind a recipe, you know it will actually work for you at home. (And we have tried lots of cookbooks that don’t, so take our word for it, it’s good info to have.) Plain and simple: she rules.
In “America’s Best Breakfasts,” Lee & Adeena scoured the country for creative morning dishes inspired by all sorts of cultures. Many of the dishes are spins on American classics—pancakes, waffles, and biscuits—but there’s a healthy dose of international flair, too. Think pho, shakshuka, congee, and croque monsieur. We couldn’t resist making the Breakfast Pizza from LA’s Pizzeria Mozza.
Note from Lee Brian Schrager: Securing a seat at the counter at Nancy Silverton’s pizza palace is a challenge, and for good reason. Pies, made to order, come out of the smoldering oven supported by the most masterful crust we’ve seen: pliant, puffy, crispy-edged, and slightly doughy—everything you could want and more. The revelation of breakfast pizza, which Silverton unearthed from her recipe archive for us, was the panna—salted whipped cream used to prime the dough’s surface before topping it with a flurry of cheeses, meats, and potatoes. The instructions may seem exacting, but following them to a T will make you the most experienced pizzaiolo for miles around. Of course, store-bought pizza dough is an option if you’re pressed for time or looking for a shortcut when entertaining.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Semolina or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel (optional)
- Pizza dough
- All-purpose flour, for dusting the work surface
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes (1½ cups)
- 9 ounces Sottocenere al tartufo or other truffle cheese, shredded
- 3 ounces Fontina, cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ cup)
- 12 scallions, white and green parts included, thinly sliced on an extreme bias
- 3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, steamed, cooled, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 6 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3 large eggs
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel
Whip the cream and salt in a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, on medium speed until it reaches soft peaks just stiff enough to spread. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the racks from the oven and place a pizza stone or a heavy duty baking sheet, underside facing up, on the oven floor. Preheat the oven and stone to 500°F for at least an hour. Dust a pizza peel with semolina or cover with a 10 × 10-inch piece of parchment paper. (If you don’t have a peel, use a flat cookie sheet.)
Place 1 round of dough on a generously floured work surface and dust it lightly with flour. Using your fingertips as though you were tapping on piano keys, gently tap the center of the dough to flatten it slightly, leaving a 1-inch rim untouched. Pick up the dough, ball both your fists, and with your fists facing your body, place the top edge of the dough on your fists so the round stretches downward against the backs of your hands, away from them. Move the circle of dough around your fists like the hands of a clock so the dough continues to stretch downward into a circle. When the dough has stretched to about 10 inches in diameter, lay it on the prepared peel or baking sheet.
Brush the rim of the dough with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season the entire surface with kosher salt. Brush the surface with ¼ cup of the whipped panna. Scatter one-third of the cheeses over the surface of the pizza. Scatter one-third of the scallions over the cheeses, arrange one-third of the sliced potatoes on top of the scallions, and sprinkle the potato slices with kosher salt. Cut 2 of the bacon slices in half crosswise and lay 1 piece on each quadrant of the pizza. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves over the pizza.
Place the pizza in the oven by sliding it with one decisive push from the pizza peel onto the stone (or sliding the pizza from the flat baking onto the preheated baking sheet in the oven). Bake for 5 minutes, or until the pizza is halfway cooked. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, remove the pizza from the oven, and slide the egg onto the center of the pizza. Return the pizza to the oven until the crust is golden brown and the yolk is still slightly runny, 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the pizza from the oven and cut it into quarters, stopping at the edge of the egg so it stays intact, and making sure that each slice of pizza gets a piece of bacon. Sprinkle the egg with sea salt, sprinkle ½ teaspoon thyme leaves over the pizza, and serve immediately. Repeat the process with the remaining 2 dough balls.