This breakfast pizza is quite simple to make from scratch with pizza crust loaded with bacon and eggs and cheese. Sounds like all the makings of a proper breakfast to us. It also seems like a pretty darn good reason to get out of bed.
What makes brioche different from other bread dough?
Chang relies on rich, buttery, ever so slightly sweet, indulgent brioche dough for this breakast pizza, which she allows to rest overnight in the fridge before she stretches and pulls it like pizza dough for this breakfast creation. Soft, pillowy, and golden, brioche is an enriched French dough that’s used for everything from artisan hamburger buns to seriously good French toast. What sets is apart from other breads is the amount of eggs and butter used in the dough. That is—a lot of butter and eggs. Brioche has a soft texture and a sweeter taste than a lot of other breads, making it an excellent choice for recipes like this one.
Though homemade brioche is lovely here, we’ve swapped it out for our most trusted pizza dough and we’ve heard no complaints. Either serves as a magnificent platform for a bacon pizza blanketed with cheese and baked until the eggs are barely set.
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 20 M
- Makes 8 pizzas
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C) and place 1 rack in the center of the oven and another in the top third of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the slices are about half barely crisp and half a little bendy. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape the pizza dough into a rectangle about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Using a ruler and a knife, divide the pizza dough in half horizontally and then divide it vertically into strips 2 inches wide. You will have eight 2-inch squares, each about 3 1/2 ounces. Stretch each square of pizza dough into a circle about 5 inches in diameter as if you’re making a small pizza.
Stretch the inner part of the circle so that it’s quite thin and shape the edge of the circle to create a rim that will contain the runny egg. The center should be almost paper-thin. Place the dough circle on 1 of the prepared baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough squares, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart and using both baking sheets.
Using the back of a spoon, spread 1 tablespoon crème fraîche over the base of each circle of dough, spreading it evenly over the base but leaving the raised rim bare. Cut the bacon slices in half and press 3 half slices bacon up against the rim of each circle of dough to create a reinforcing bacon wall just within the rim. Divide the caramelized onions evenly among the circles of dough, spooning and spreading the onions next to the bacon but leaving the center of the circle bare except for the crème fraîche.
Bake the pizzas for about 15 minutes, or until the edges of the pizzas start to turn light brown, switching the baking sheets between the racks and rotating them back to front about halfway during baking. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and carefully crack an egg into the center of each pizza. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup mozzarella on top of each pizza, covering both the egg and the exposed rim of dough.
Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes (again switching the baking sheets between the racks and rotating them back to front about halfway through baking) or until the cheese has melted, the edges of the egg are cooked but the yolk is still wiggly, and the edges of the pizza are golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let the pizzas cool for 8 to 10 minutes to allow the eggs to set up a bit before serving. Originally published February 5, 2014.
- Ham, Ricotta, and Parmesan Breakfast Pizza
Omit the bacon, onions, and mozzarella. Substitute 4 ounces sliced ham, 1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese, and 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Using about 1/2 ounce ham per pizza, tear the ham into small pieces and press them against the dough rim to create a ham wall. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta along the edges of each pizza next to the ham, leaving the center of the circle of dough bare except for the crème fraîche. Bake as directed, substituting 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan in place of the mozzarella sprinkled over the egg on each pizza. Let cool for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.
- Tomato and Cheddar Breakfast Pizza
Omit the bacon, onions, and mozzarella. Substitute 2 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced, and 8 ounces shredded or thinly sliced Cheddar cheese. Using 2 to 3 tomato slices per pizza, tear the slices into pieces and press the pieces against the edge of the dough rim to create a tomato wall, leaving the center of the circle of dough bare except for the crème fraîche. Bake as directed, substituting 1 ounce Cheddar in place of the mozzarella on the egg on each pizza. Let cool for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I absolutely LOVE this breakfast pizza. I used my favorite pizza dough recipe—the one from Jim Lahey. [Editor's Note: You'll find this recipe when you click on the link in the ingredient list above.] This recipe is simple and perfect. Do yourself a favor and don't rush the dough. You could certainly use other meats and cheeses, but if you love bacon and eggs, this needs nothing else. Using the bacon to dam the egg is a great idea and works as planned. Make extras, you'll need them!
For this breakfast pizza recipe I made the crème fraîche, bacon, caramelized onion, egg, and mozzarella version using brioche dough. I would suggest that instead of cutting the dough into 8 squares, it might be easier to weigh the dough and then divide it into 8 pieces of equal weight.
I tried to cook the egg so that the yolk was still runny, but didn't manage to do so. The additional 8 to 10 minutes baking was inadequate to cook the egg, though by then the brioche crust was a bit overdone. Therefore, I would suggest giving the crust less than 15 minutes initial baking time and adding the egg sooner, and then continuing to cook until the egg white has set.
However, I really enjoyed these pizzas. I thought my brioche dough added a nice sweetness, and I would definitely make them again.
This brioche breakfast pizza was the perfect Sunday night dinner indulgence. We worked together as a family to make them, which added to the feeling of satisfaction when we sat down to a different and delicious dinner.
The brioche dough was buttery and rich, encasing a beautifully cooked egg and crisped bacon. We liked the combo of egg, bacon, and crème fraîche. We used mozzarella on some and sharp white Cheddar on others. We greatly preferred the cheddar – the mozzarella was too mild. We'll definitely be making these again.
The pizzas are not a simple endeavor, though if you're used to making your own pizza crust, they aren’t much more work, just more time-consuming. The pizzas are definitely not a quick weekend breakfast or weeknight dinner. They're more of a weekend project, but one worth doing. I used the link in the recipe above to the Sarabeth Bakery brioche. That recipe called for 8 egg yolks, which I conveniently had in the freezer, leftover from angel food cake. There are steps that are easy to do ahead, and I would recommend working ahead as much as possible. Be sure to make the sides of the brioche crusts tall, but not overly thick. Some of ours were too thick and bready, but they also weren’t tall enough to contain all the egg.
The whole family helped keep up with the dirty dishes, which made a big difference. It took an extra 10 minutes in the oven to set the egg whites fully. I will certainly be making the brioche again, both for more breakfast pizzas and just to have as brioche (and maybe some brioche cinnamon rolls).
This breakfast pizza is time-intensive recipe if using brioche dough, but with some planning, this can make a really nice weekend breakfast or brunch when you're likely to be moving at a more leisurely pace.
I made the brioche dough the day before. The dough looked like slightly wet bread dough. As I continued to mix, it became tackier and shinier. Although it may look like it's too wet and won't come together, I was able to pull it all out in one piece and transfer the dough to a bowl. (I had taken the tips from other brioche recipes I had and resisted adding more flour. I had read that the high butter content is what makes it appear wet.) When I took out the dough the next morning, the recipe didn't indicate that it needed to come to room temperature before using—though other doughs that I proof in the fridge usually do. I was a little torn on what to do because it had taken so much time but decided to proceed as directed.
I made half the pizzas using the carmelized onions and bacon and the other half with ham, ricotta, and Parmesan. The onions were done overnight via the slow cooker, so that saved lots of hands-on time. It was kind of tricky making the bacon and ham walls to keep the cracked egg in, so I had a little egg spill over. (Make sure the bacon slices overlap, and try to press the slices into the dough for more support.) We definitely liked the bacon and carmelized onion pizzas better—the ham, ricotta, and Parmesan could have used some herbs.
My husband and I found the pizza dough to be too dense and crumbly. I'm wondering if it would have helped if the dough was allowed to come to room temperature and rise a little before handling it? I didn't get a chance to retry but will do it and report back...I like the idea of the brioche dough better than a standard pizza dough, but given the work required, I might opt for pizza dough next time.