Have you ever had pizza for breakfast? There are a couple of ways to do it. The first is the cold way, the leftover way — pizza straight from the fridge, cold and chewy, with cheese slipping off sideways. This is not a breakfast to be underestimated. It's fast and satisfying and who knows how many early morning college exams have been aced thanks to its brain-powering boost? But there's another way to eat pizza for breakfast. The hot, fresh-baked way, complete with gooey egg on top.
I first came to the breakfast pizza a few years ago, before I was married. My then-boyfriend and I had early morning plans, so I promised to show up with breakfast fixings. I had leftover pizza dough and toppings, and, knowing his love of runny eggs, a carton of large eggs too.
I shook out the dough, topped it with creamy ricotta and olives and herbs, and cracked eggs on top. The pizza turned out crisp and hot, with perfectly cooked eggs that had barely set whites and gooey yellow yolks with the consistency of lemon curd.
In my opinion, it turned out to be sort of the perfect way to eat an egg, with creamy ricotta or tangy tomato sauce underneath, and all that gooey cheese holding the egg in place on top of well-fermented pizza crust.
I didn't get a marriage proposal at that exact moment, but my now-husband likes to refer to it, jokingly, as an important point in our relationship.
I'm not so retrograde as to suggest that everyone in a relationship on the point of transition break out the breakfast pizza — surely we're a bit past the "way to the heart is through the stomach" and such simplistic fare. All I'm saying is that this pizza could do that, if you're feeling manipulative.
And it's always a way to show love, to wake up in the morning and toss a hot pizza in the oven. You can do everything ahead of time, except bake it, but that final pizza shaping has to be done right then and there. So you're serving a breakfast literally made by hand.
We had a few friends over last Sunday for breakfast pizza, and I tossed pizzas in the oven one by one as coffee was poured and the house warmed up with the morning sun. I piled a couple of the pies high with vegetables (pizza is a good way to get some extra veggies into your breakfast!). We cracked eggs together and sliced up pizza, starting off slow with just one deceptively small, thin pizza, but didn't push back until our friends were groaning and full. It's a breakfast that takes some time to prepare, and to eat, and that gives time to sit, talk, and start off the day together.
And whether you're doing that with just one loved one or with a pack of noisy friends, that right there is my favorite reason why pizza makes the best breakfast of all.
→ Get the recipe: Breakfast Pizza
What are your favorite toppings for a breakfast pizza? Do you embrace the egg? Or do you have other breakfast-y toppings you love more?
(Images: Faith Durand)