Growing up in post-farmland Long Island in the 1980s, Michael Bernstein never got his hands on really fresh eggs, and he had no idea what he had been missing out on. He never considered that eggs are special, and he thought of them as purely utilitarian and something you eat in the morning because who even knows why. Once he started going to farmer's markets in his 20s, he started getting fresh eggs and realized how incredible they can be. He understood why French pastry and Italian pasta are thinly veiled homages to the egg itself. The omelet became bewitching.
Michael’s in-laws have a farm in southern Maryland where there are hens that are free to roam wherever they please (including one named Henny Penny who thinks it’s a house dog and likes to beg for food at the dinner table). Those free hens lay amazing eggs. Seeing his five-year-old daughter come back from the hen house with her grandma, carrying eggs for pizza, is precisely what our book, The Pizza Book, is all about.
This breakfast pizza recipe combines potatoes, thyme, and a little bit of hard cheese, but the star of the show is the freshest eggs you can possibly find.
⅓ cup (50g) grated hard cheese (like mild cheddar or monterey jack)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Slice the potatoes ⅛-inch thick on a mandoline or with a sharp knife. If you’re using fresh baby potatoes you can leave the skin on. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems. Toss the potato slices with some olive oil and most of the thyme. Reserve the remaining thyme for garnish after the pie comes out of the oven. Grate the cheese and reserve.
Layer the pizza dough with olive oil, the sliced potatoes, cracked eggs, and cheese. Bake until the bottom is browned and the egg is set, about 7-8 minutes. You can check for pizza-doneness by gently lifting the bottom of the pie, which should look nicely browned and fully cooked.
Once the pie has come out of the oven and rested for a few minutes, top with the remaining fresh thyme. Slice and serve.
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