Delicious Breakfast Pizza

Is it Pizza or Focaccia?

This Breakfast Pizza is thick and chewy and truly a meal in itself- served with an egg, sausage pieces and a tomato sauce flavored with fire-roasted red bell peppers and a jalapeño chile.

I was inspired by this recipe after thumbing through Uri Scheft’s cookbook Breaking Breads. His recipe for focaccia shows the dough being shaped into a small round circle, instead of a large dimpled rectangle. “Hmm, this looks like pizza to me,” I said to myself. This got me thinking, “What is the difference between focaccia and pizza?”

It turns out that the ingredients for focaccia and pizza are basically the same: flour, water, yeast and a bit of olive oil. However, while pizza is usually rolled out into a thin crust, focaccia is pressed into a thick rectangular shape and allowed to rise before baked in the oven. Also, the ingredients for a pizza (pepperoni, etc) are usually placed on top of the crust while ingredients are usually pressed into the dough for focaccia.

For my recipe, I’ve decided to combine the best of both worlds: a pizza that has a thick and chewy dough like focaccia bread, served with a jalapeño- infused tomato sauce on top.  Whatever you call it- focaccia or pizza- you’ll be starting your day off with a delicious breakfast!

Ingredients

For the Pizza Dough:

  • 7 g dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 325 ml (1 1/3 cups) tepid water
  • 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 20 g (3 tbsp) semolina
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30 ml (3 tbsps.) olive oil
  • Black sesame seeds or poppy seeds for garnish

Directions:

Dissolve the packet of dry yeast in the tepid water. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, semolina, salt and olive oil. Mix with a large spoon until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead through a stretch and fold technique. First, grab a hold of 1/3 of the dough and stretch it away from you:

Then fold it back towards you so that the ends meet together. Do a quarter turn of the dough and then repeat for several more minutes.

Place the kneaded dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until the dough doubles in size. While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce (below):

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 can (14 oz) canned tomatoes
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • ½ jalapeno or red chilli pepper, diced
  • 1 fire-roasted red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: 1 egg + sausage slices for each mini pizza

Directions

Finely chop the onion, garlic cloves and jalapeño pepper. Add some olive oil to a fry pan and cook over medium heat for several minutes until the veggies become soft. Add the tomatoes and roasted bell pepper strips and salt; cook for around 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

While the sauce is thickening, place a pizza stone on the bottom of a cold oven and pre-heat at 425 F (210 C).

To assemble the pizza:

After the dough has risen, turn it back onto the floured work surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Stretch one piece of dough into a circle about 5-6 inches in diameter.

Spoon some of the sauce onto the dough, leaving a margin of one inch around the edges of the dough. Arrange 5-6 pieces of the sliced sausage in a circle, then crack an egg in the center. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds or poppy seeds around the edge of the mini pizza. Drizzle with olive oil and some coarse salt. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Place one mini pizza onto a floured ‘pizza peel’ and slide onto the pre-heated pizza stone (or you could cook two pizzas at a time). Cook for 10-15 minutes until the dough turns crisp and brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil and course salt.

Note: If you don’t have a pizza stone, place the pizzas on a pizza or baking tray and cook in a pre-heated oven at 425 F.

Thick and Chewy Breakfast Pizza

P.S. I’d love it if you would subscribe to my blog- it would make my day!!

Delicious Breakfast Pizza
Serves 6
A thick and chewy breakfast pizza topped with an egg and sausage
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For the Pizza Crust
  1. 7 g dry yeast (1 packet)
  2. 325 ml (1 1/3 cups) tepid water
  3. 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  4. 20 g (3 tbsps) semolina
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 30 ml (3 tbsps.) olive oil
  7. Black sesame seeds or poppy seeds for garnish
For the sauce
  1. 1 can (14 oz) canned tomatoes
  2. ½ onion, chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, diced
  4. ½ jalapeno or red chilli pepper, diced
  5. 1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into strips
  6. Salt to taste
For the garnish
  1. 1 egg (for each mini pizza)
  2. 5-6 slices of sausage
To make the dough
  1. Dissolve the packet of dry yeast in the tepid water. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, semolina, salt and olive oil. Mix with a large spoon until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface. Knead the dough for several minutes: first grab a hold of 1/3 of the dough and stretch it away from you, then fold it back over towards you so that the ends meet together. Do a quarter turn of the dough and then repeat for several more minutes.
  2. Place the kneaded dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until the dough doubles in size.
To make the Sauce
  1. Finely chop the onion, garlic cloves and jalapeno pepper. Cook in a fry pan over medium heat for several minutes until the veggies become soft. Add the tomatoes and roasted bell pepper strips and salt; cook for around 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
  2. While the sauce is thickening, place a pizza stone on the bottom of a cold oven and pre-heat at 425 F (210 C).
To assemble the pizza
  1. After the dough has risen, turn it back onto the floured work surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Stretch one piece of dough into a circle about 5-6 inches in diameter.
  2. Spoon some of the sauce onto the dough, leaving a margin of one inch around the edges of the dough. Arrange 5-6 pieces of the sliced sausage in a circle, then crack an egg in the center. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds or poppy seeds around the edge of the mini pizza. Drizzle with olive oil and some coarse salt. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  3. Place one mini pizza onto a floured ‘pizza peel’ and slide onto the pre-heated pizza stone (or you could cook two pizzas at a time). Cook for 10-15 minutes until the dough turns crisp and brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil and course salt.
Notes
  1. You can also add or substitute other toppings, such as sliced mushrooms or bacon strips
Adapted from 'Breaking Breads' by Uri Scheft
Adapted from 'Breaking Breads' by Uri Scheft
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Popovers + my 3-year blog anniversary

Popover

I can’t believe that it’s been three years since I started my blog- time has really flown by! The experience has been so rewarding- the discovering of new recipes, the continual striving for perfection in my food photography (sometimes resulting in frustration), and pleasure in ‘meeting’ new people who follow my blog.

When I published my very first post Chocolate Fondant (Lava Cake) I had no idea what sort of things would lie ahead for me in the blogosphere. Would my posts be flung out into a dead Ethernet, would anyone at all be reading my posts? After posting a few times, I happily discovered that a few brave souls were indeed clicking on my blog to have a look.

The one thing I have discovered is that no matter how many new recipes and posts I publish, Profiteroles with Custard Cream and Chocolate Sauce has consistently been my most popular post. I guess that people just can’t get enough of chocolate cream puffs and spend lots of time searching the internet for that perfect recipe (thank goodness they land on my post)!

Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce- consistently my most popular post

(P.S. I would love it if you would ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page or subscribe to my blog!)

To celebrate my third anniversary, I would like to unveil my recipe for Popovers. Despite being a graduate of a famous Parisian culinary school, I had never heard of Popovers before- until I saw a recipe for them in Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook.

Popovers are a light hollow roll made of a simple egg and flour batter: the batter swells and ‘pops over’ the edge of the muffin tin- creating quite an amazing site as they first come out of the oven. A pocket forms on the inside of the roll, so you can either eat them plain, fill them with jam, scrambled eggs or any other goody that strikes your fancy. I even filled one of my popovers with guacamole and salsa in a Mexican restaurant as I waited to board an international flight back to Australia- yum!

Popovers filled with scrambled eggs

Popover

Popovers work best using a special Popover pan with steep sides, however you could also use a large muffin tin. I ordered my popover pan from Amazon, but I have also seen them for sale at Bed Bath and Beyond in the US.

Popovers are so easy and produce an amazing site first coming out of the oven!

Popover

Popovers
Serves 6
Light fluffy rolls with a pocket ideal for stuffing. You'll be amazed how beautifully they 'popover' the rim of the baking pan!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 large eggs at room temperature
  2. 2 cups whole milk
  3. 1/ tsp salt
  4. 2 tbsp butter, melted
  5. 1 ½ cups all- purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Lightly grease the insides of 6 popover cups (or muffin tins) with melted butter.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk and salt using electric beaters. With the machine running, add the melted butter and then the flour. Mix until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and transfer to a cup with a spout for pouring.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared popover or muffin tins, filling all the way to the top of each cup. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F (180 C). Bake for a further 10 minutes until the popovers turn golden brown and crown above the rim of the pan.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; best served hot or warm.
Notes
  1. You'll get best results from using a special popover pan, but muffin tins could also be used.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Strawberry and Cointreau Stuffed French Toast

French Toast

Well, we’re in the midst of political primaries in the United States where candidates are hurling slings and arrows at each other. Will it be Bernie, Hillary, or ‘the Donald’ who wins their party’s nomination? Only time will tell- stay glued to your TV set.

But while voters have been ‘stuffing’ their ballot boxes with votes, I have been whipping up my own kind of stuffing recipe: Strawberry and Cointreau Stuffed French Toast. This recipe expands on the usual French toast recipe by adding a stuffing of strawberries and Mascarpone cheese that has been flavored with a splash of Cointreau. Sounds like the perfect dish for a Sunday brunch!

After cooking the French toast on the stovetop, the recipe calls for popping the fry pan into the oven for a few minutes to finish the toast off into a crisp golden brown, This recipe should re-awaken your childhood memories of delicious French toast served on a Sunday morning, this time with an added ‘adult twist’!

French Toast

Strawberry and Cointreau Stuffed French Toast
Serves 2
Thick pieces of French Toast, stuffed with stuffed with strawberries and Mascarpone cheese flavoured with a splash of Cointreau.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 pieces sliced French bread
  2. 8-10 sliced strawberries
  3. 2-3 tsps sugar
  4. 4 ounces Mascarpone cheese
  5. 1 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  6. 3 eggs
  7. ½ cup milk or half and half
  8. 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
  9. Orange zest (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 360 F (180 C). Slice the strawberries into thin pieces; sweeten with 2-3 teaspoons sugar to taste.
  2. Slice the French bread into four pieces about 1 inch thick. Mix the Cointreau into the Mascarpone cheese and then spread the mixture thickly onto one piece of bread. Add some strawberries on top, then close the second piece of bread on top. Repeat with the other two pieces of bread.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla flavoring and orange zest (optional). Soak the two ‘sandwiched’ pieces of bread in the mixture, turning them over so that both sides are fully coated.
  4. Heat some oil and a little butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Add the French toast and cook about 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another few minutes until the toast becomes a little crispier. Garnish with strawberries and blueberries and serve with maple syrup.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

 

 

Mile-High Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Muffins

I baked these Blueberry Muffins with a crunchy streusel topping and I loved them so much, I couldn’t help gathering them up in my arms and giving them a big hug. In fact, I gave these muffins a little bit extra ‘crunch’ by adding a pinch of praline (nougat) topping from my previous post Frozen Chocolate Nougat with Sour Cherry Coulis.

Muffins

I was inspired to make these muffins because my hubby, Len, eats a Blueberry Muffin every morning, rain or shine. He buys his muffins from the supermarket and I was curious to see if I could make mine better.

I followed a standard muffin recipe but I added plain yoghurt instead of milk, which helps to give the muffins a nice moist velvety texture. The buttery streusel topping sends you into that phase of saying, “I’ll have another one, please!”

One tip in making these muffins: be sure to gently fold in the wet egg/sugar mixture into the dry flour mixture, rather than beating it with the electric mixture. This helps to retain the light fluffy texture of the muffins. I also like filling the batter all the way to the top of each muffin tin, in order to give them that Mile-high appearance

And the verdict: Len said my Blueberry Muffins were definitely better than the supermarket ones. There’s no turning back now- looks like I’ll have to supply Len now with his daily muffins for the rest of his life!

 

Mile-high Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
Yields 8
A light velvety Blueberry muffin with a buttery crumb topping
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For the Muffins
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 3 tsp baking powder
  3. ½ tsp salt
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. ¾ cup sugar
  6. 1 cup plain yogurt
  7. ½ cup butter
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1 ½ cups blueberries- fresh or frozen (thawed)
For the Streusel Topping
  1. ½ cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp cinnamon
  3. ½ cup brown sugar
  4. 4 tbsp softened butter
  5. Optional: crushed praline (nougat) topping
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C (400 F) and line a muffin pan with muffin wrappers (patty pans). Alternatively, you can choose not to use the wrappers and instead butter the insides of the muffin tins to prevent sticking.
  2. To make the streusel crumb topping, combine the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar. Add the softened butter and rub the mixture between the palms of your hands until it becomes crumbly. Set aside.
  3. To make the muffins, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until the smooth. Continue to beat in the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Gently fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until blended. Now fold in the 1 ½ cups of blueberries (being careful not to over-mix the ingredients).
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling the batter all the way to the top of each tin.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel topping generously on top of each muffin. For an added for optional ‘crunch’, sprinkle a little crushed praline (nougat) on top of each muffin (see my previous post on how to make crushed nougat).
  6. Place the muffins in the oven and immediately reduce to 185 C (375 F). Bake about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for several minutes and serve.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

 

 

 

Croissant French Toast Casserole + my blog 2 – year anniversary

 

French Toast

Today happens to be Valentine’s Day, so if you haven’t already given chocolates or red roses to your special person, here’s an alternative: Croissant French Toast Casserole. These buttery croissants are filled with lemon-flavored cream cheese and are sure to warm your sweetheart’s heart at breakfast.

Make them the day before and pop them in the oven and serve the next day. You can have them plain or top with a delicious blueberry compote. They’re not only great for breakfast, we also served these for dessert after serving chilli for dinner.

Today also happens to be my second blog anniversary. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed and how rewarding it has been. The most rewarding experience has been meeting new people through blogging and the support and encouragement you have given me over the years.

When I first started out blogging, only 1 or 2 people would visit my blog each day, and sometimes I had no visits at all (how sad)! Now I am visited by many people each day and it is so rewarding. So THANK YOU!!

 Here is my very first blog post: Easy Chocolate Fondant Cake

Chocolate-Fondant-Food Gawker

 And here is my post on my first blogging anniversary: French Crab Bisque Soup

Crab Bisque

 And now for the Croissant French Toast Casserole recipe: (adapted from Our Best Bites):

Ingredients

  • 5 – 6 Croissants
  • 1  8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered (icing) sugar, divided
  • juice and zest from two lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

For the Blueberry Compote:

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

 Directions

  •  In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the powdered icing sugar and the juice and zest from one lemon. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Croissant 1

  •  Slice each croissant in half lengthwise using a serrated bread knife. Spread some of the creamed cheese mixture on the bottom half of each croissant.

Croissant

  •  Replace the tops and then slice the croissants in halves or thirds.

French Toast

  • Arrange the pieces evenly in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.

French Toast

  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, juice and zest of the second lemon and the remaining 1/2 cup of powered sugar. Pour the mixture evenly over the croissants, cover with foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
  • When ready to serve, pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Bake covered with foil for about 20 minutes (fan-forced oven) or 30 minutes convection oven. Remove foil and let bake for another 10 minutes or until the croissants turn golden brown on top.
  • Serve plain or with blueberry compote.
  • To make the blueberry compote: Combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently.

 French Toast

Soft Ricotta Pancakes with Honeycomb Butter

 

 Ricotta Pancakes New  Cropped

 Pancakes as soft as pillows- really?  Yep, it’s the Ricotta cheese in this recipe that makes them so soft and delicious. And the Honeycomb Butter adds a ‘gold-flecked crunch sensation’ to this breakfast (lunch or dinner) meal.

I adapted this recipe from Bill Granger’s Bills Sydney Food cookbook- but hey, pancakes don’t only belong to Australian ‘Sydney-siders’, do they? (I thought they were invented by the Americans).!

Don’t swallow these pancakes too fast- you’ll want to savor the combined flavors of the pancakes, bananas, honeycomb and strawberries. And if there is any honeycomb butter left over, you can freeze it and later use it on your toast.

 Ricotta Pancakes New second photo

Method for making the Honeycomb butter

Ingredients

  • 50 g (2 tbsp.) honeycomb
  • 125 g (4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Step 1 – Prepare the Honeycomb

For the honeycomb, I used the chocolate-covered honeycomb candy that you buy at the supermarket. First, remove the chocolate coating from the honeycomb  (but you could leave this on, if you want some extra ‘decadence’).

Honey Combe cropped

 

Step 2 – Crush the Honeycomb using a rolling pin

IMG_7639

 

Step 3 – Place the softened butter, crushed honeycomb and honey in a blender and combine until smooth

Then shape into a ball or log shape and place in fridge until hardened.

IMG_7641

 

Soft Ricotta Pancakes with Honeycomb Butter
Yields 8
Soft Ricotta pancakes that will roll off your tongue - crowned with a dab of golden crunch honeycomb butter
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For the Honeycomb Butter
  1. 125 g (4 oz) softened butter
  2. 50 g (2 heaping tablespoons) crushed honeycomb candy
  3. 1 tbsp. honey
For the Pancake Batter
  1. 1 1/3 cups ricotta
  2. 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
  3. 4 egg yolks
  4. 4 egg whites
  5. 1 cup plain flour
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. pinch of salt
To serve
  1. 1 sliced banana
  2. Several strawberries
  3. Honeycomb butter
  4. Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the Honeycomb Butter (see instructions above). Form into ball or log, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 1 hour to chill.
For the Pancakes
  1. Combine the ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and mix with electric beaters or large wooden spoon.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the ingredients and mix until smooth.
  3. In separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold the egg whites into the batter, using a large spoon or spatula.
  4. Lightly grease a non-stick fry pan or griddle with butter. Drop 3 - 4 tablespoons of batter for each pancake onto the pan, cook on medium heat for several minutes until the underside turns golden brown and small bubbles appear on the top of the pancake. Flip the pancake over and cook the other side until golden brown.
  5. To serve, slice a banana in half length-wise. Arrange the slices on a plate, along with 3 - 4 pancakes. Place several dabs of the Honeycomb butter on top of the pancakes. Garnish with several strawberries and some maple syrup (optional).
Adapted from Bill Granger's 'Bills Sydney Food' cookbook
Adapted from Bill Granger's 'Bills Sydney Food' cookbook
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/
 Ricotta Pancakes New Yes LR