Monday, March 15, 2010
Kale Breakfast Pizza
I enjoy making my own pizza and have success with both homemade and store-bought dough. Come summer, you will see me tending gleefully to pizzas on the grill. This weekend, however, I was inspired by the lovely photography of the breakfast pizza featured on Smitten Kitchen. This is a recipe from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook, and the original boasted bacon and eggs on a pizza ... for breakfast! On my birthday last month, my husband and I ate at OneSpeed, East Sacramento's new Rick Mahan pizza joint. The crust is at once chewy and crisp, and the toppings are top-notch (and sometimes a little frou-frou - arugula and apples? Yes, please). I was intrigued by the option to add an egg to my potato and greens pizza for $1, but I was dissuaded when the server explained that the yolk is ... runny. You cut into it and it slips across the pizza, making a sort of impromptu sauce. I have my own issues when it comes to the done-ness of eggs; I would rather they be very dead than just a little alive. Though I will scarf down a veggie eggs benedict or huevos rancheros, mightily gooey and sinful, with reckless abandon. Go figure.
I also have been inspired by Molly Wizenberg's treatment of kale - the exotic (eye-roll) braising method that I learned in her kale and spaghetti recipe featured in Bon Appetit. It's tangy with lemon and the kale is succulent but still retains some structure. Just delicious with a bit of salty cheese - a perfect mate for my breakfast pizza!!
And so two recipe inspirations came together to form one crazy whole. I had a bit of trouble with the dough - mine dried out a bit too much and got crackly on the edges, and the whole thing was a bit too crackery for my taste. I prefer more chew, less crunch, in my dough. But I think this one is worth working with, especially when you want a light, thin crust that behaves very well on the pizza stone. I had a bit of trouble stretching it out and am wondering if I mis-treated the yeast in the first place ... my "is this the warmth of a spa?" method for determining when water is a lukewarm, happy-yeast temperature probably isn't ideal.
Here it is in all its wonky, tangy, cheesy glory... and, yes, the yolks were very done. And, no, we didn't eat it for breakfast ...
Kale & Egg Pizza
Adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook, via Smitten Kitchen, and Molly Wizenberg, via Bon Appetit (Spaghetti with Braised Kale)
Note that the dough recipe makes enough for two 12-inch pizzas, but this pizza recipe only makes one kale & egg pizza. Freeze one half of the dough, use it to make a different type of pizza, or double the kale and pizza assembly ingredients.
For the crust:
1/2 tsp dry active yeast
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour, plus additional for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
For the kale:
1 bunch of kale (I used Russian red), washed, de-ribbed/de-stemmed, and sliced into ribbons
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
garlic - I used 6 stalks of green garlic, trimmed and sliced into 1/4 inch slices. (Alternatively, you could use 4 to 6 minced garlic cloves)
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
To assemble pizza:
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup grated mozzarella
Prepare the dough
Make this dough at least 12 hours before you will need it, preferably overnight. Place 3/4 cup lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for five minutes. Add the flour and salt; mix on low speed for one minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Then increase the speed to high and mix for another 2 minutes, or until the dough comes together smoothly (note that for me this took a bit longer, and it never really coalesced around the hook). Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and split into two equal pieces, formed into balls. Put the dough balls on a lightly floured cookie sheet, and set the sheet inside a plastic trash bag. Tie it closed and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
Two hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and put in a warm (or draft-free) place to proof. Place a pizza stone in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
Freeze or use the second dough ball as desired.
Make the kale
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook for another 5 minutes, until onions are golden and browning slightly, stirring occasionally. Add kale, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir constantly until kale is wilted, about two minutes. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, cooking for 20 minutes until kale is tender. Stir occasionally and add a bit of extra water if it looks dry. Once the kale is finished cooking, add lemon juice to taste (about 1 teaspoon, more if you like) and add salt if needed.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough into a disk with your hands. Stretch and pull to form a crust 12 inches in diameter. You can do this by stretching and flattening with your fingers. Also try a steering wheel motion, holding the dough from the top to let it hang, then pulling down on the right side with your right hand to stretch, shifting the dough around the circle but keeping your hands and noon and three o’clock. Dust a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet lightly with flour. Place the stretched dough on the sheet. Spread the kale mixture over top of the crust. Sprinkle the mozzarella and parmesan on top of the kale. Crack three eggs over the top of the pizza, being careful not to get too close to the edge of the crust.
At this point, make sure that the pizza is not sticking to the peel. Open the oven and shake the pizza in one back-and-forth motion onto the pizza stone. You can use a spatula or other implement to help slide it onto the stone (don’t be tentative - just do it). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. When the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted, slip the peel or sheet underneath and slide the pizza back onto the peel. Slip it onto a cutting board (it will be nice and crisp), and wait a minute or two then slice to serve.