Thursday, October 23, 2014

Egg on Pizza

I do not know the statistics, but I would assume that 99.9% of kids out there love pizza, at least in my house it is a meal that I will never hear a complaint about. With a family of 6, ordering pizza is a special occasion; instead I make it a fun meal and make it myself. I am currently on my second pizza stone, and I will soon need a new paddle when mine finally cracks. A few years ago I posted a whole-wheat pizza dough recipe, and sometimes I use that. Typically I go for the easy white flour version that I memorized from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It is easy, and doesn’t require a rising time for the dough. Instant yeast is a great resource and often is labeled pizza dough yeast. One of our favorite things to do it make individual pizza’s for the kids, then each child can top his or her own pizza with their preferred toppings. With all of the fresh veggies available during the summer you could find just about anything as a topping.

However, my favorite pizza topping is an egg. During my 18th year on this earth I had the privilege of living in Belgium as an exchange student. Each country has their own version of pizza toppings that are normal, from seafood to, yes even eggs. My favorite restaurant in Liège was a little Italian joint called Il Babylos, I spent many birthday celebrations there with my fellow exchangies, or after a night of drinking we would find ourselves laughing around a big table. Its central location in the main bar area of Liège is a huge draw. In the restaurant they have a huge pizza oven right out where you can see the pies be slid in to be fire roasted.  It was here that I fell in love with eggs on pizza. During this time in my life I wasn’t eating red meat, so I would order mine with pineapple and egg. If done correctly, the egg white is cooked perfectly tender mingling with the cheese and the yolk is hot and runny so that when you cut into it is melts all over the place which you then wipe up with your pie. After testing out the process in my own kitchen, I have come up with a technique that works, but there are a few factors that must be in line.

The Method

Your oven must be on the hottest it will go, mine is 550°F.
Your pizza stone must be preheated for at least 30 minutes ahead of time.

I form my dough out thin, so it will cook quickly and crisp up. I then shake cornmeal on my paddle and slide the dough around a bit to be sure it wont stick. I top the pizza right on the paddle with the last topping being an egg that I crack right on top. The pizza is then slid right into the hot hot oven where it will cook quickly. Be sure to keep a close eye on it and pull it as sure as it is done to your liking.  The egg may look a little under when you remove it, but if you let it rest then it will be completely cooked when you take a bite. It is important to let any pizza rest before eating anyway or all the toppings will slide off.

This is even a little over cooked, I was probably distracted during baking
I hope that this is comprehendible, of all my kitchen antics, this is the most difficult to explain because there really isn’t a recipe to go with it. When I returned to Liège with my then boyfriend, now husband in 2001 I took him to Il Babylos for a late 11pm dinner. It was as wonderful as I remembered, and completely memorable as always.

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