Happy Mornings

Polenta Breakfast Pizza

I have been toying with the idea of a breakfast pizza for awhile now and when I saw Bittman’s polenta pizza a few weeks ago, I knew that it might just work as a base for some breakfast action.

At first the idea of a polenta pizza didn’t really intrigue me. I like my pizza crispy and thin and simple. It seemed like it would be too thick for me. I was sort of right, but it was still pretty good.

Anytime I see a Bittman recipe online, I always like to cross-check it with “How to Cook Everything.” In the book, he usually provides lots of alternatives and suggestions for changes.

When I cross-checked this recipe, the preparation of his version of polenta pizza in the book was very different from the version he presented on the Today show and online. The online version says to bake the pizza crust for 20 minutes before topping it and the book version doesn’t give that instruction.

Guess which one I chose? Yep. The wrong one.

Polenta Breakfast Pizza

Just a moment please...

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Pizza for breakfast made with a polenta crust, bacon, eggs, and cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

Pizza:

1 Cup Coarse corn meal
1/2 Cup milk, preferably whole
2 1/2 Cups water
1/4 Cup olive oil plus a little for the pan
Salt and Pepper

Toppings:

Eggs (3 was enough for me. 4 would look more even I guess.)
Crumbled bacon
Cheddar cheese
Herbs (Optional. I used sage which was a bit overpowering.)
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Directions

1) Start polenta by bringing your water and milk to a boil and then whisking in your corn meal. Turn your burner down to low and keep whisking for 10 minutes or so. It will get to be the consistency of thick oatmeal.

2) Season with some salt and pepper and finally stir in your 1/4 Cup olive oil. Pour this out onto a lightly oiled baking pan.

3) After letting it cool slightly (maybe 1-2 minutes), put a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and start pressing it into shape. If you are using eggs, make little divets in the crust to hold the eggs.

4) I recommend baking the crust at this point at 375 for about 20 minutes to get it to firm up a bit. Then add your toppings.

5) Add toppings to pizza!

6) Bake this at 375 for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the eggs are set.

Polenta deconstructed.

Polenta deconstructed.

Start by bringing your water and milk to a boil and then whisking in your corn meal. You really do need to whisk it or there will be clumps. Turn your burner down to low and keep whisking for 10 minutes or so. It will get to be the consistency of thick oatmeal.

Like thick oatmeal.

Like thick oatmeal.

Hit this with some salt and pepper and finally stir in your 1/4 Cup olive oil. Pour this out onto a lightly oiled baking pan.

Pizza dough?

Pizza dough?

The next step is kind of a balancing act. You want to press the polenta into a pizza shaped object, but at first it will be much too hot to work with. However, if you wait too long then it will harden and you won’t be able to work with it at all.

After letting it cool slightly (maybe 1-2 minutes), put a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and start pressing it into shape. If you are using eggs, make little divets in the crust to hold the eggs.

Divets for eggs.

Divets for eggs.

If I were re-doing this, I would bake the crust at this point at 375 for about 20 minutes to get it to firm up a bit. Then add your toppings.

Also, my divets were not quite big enough for eggs. Turns out eggs have a tendency to run all over the place so this step was a bit messy. I just used three eggs because Betsy said she didn’t want eggs on her slice. She got some anyway though.

Three is enough I say!

Three is enough I say!

Then I topped it with a good amount of bacon and cheddar cheese and some chopped sage. In hindsight, the sage was maybe a bad choice. It overpowered the pizza I think. Looked pretty though!

Can't go wrong with cheese and bacon.

Can you find the eggs?

Bake this at 375 for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the eggs are set. Because I didn’t pre-bake the crust, it was still a bit soft. I didn’t want to burn the toppings though so I was stuck with it.

Yellow isn't even my favorite color. Not even close.

Was I drunk when I took this? Yellow on yellow! Great idea Nick.

In short, this was pretty much a great big FAIL but it still tasted alright! Things I would do differently if I remade this pizza:

  • Not use egg. They were pretty heavy.
  • Pre-bake the crust! This step was left out in the book, but it seems pretty essential to me.
  • Don’t use overpowering herbs.
  • Don’t photograph the darn thing on a matching background.

This is kind of a cool idea and making polenta is easier than making pizza dough from scratch. Too bad there were conflicting versions of this recipe. If you want to try it, learn from my mistakes!

5 comments on “Polenta Breakfast Pizza

  1. Still, it looks pretty tasty! Thank you for sharing your tips to improve these dishes. (Not being a photographic genius myself.. didn't even notice the yellow plate. Perhaps I"m too focused on the food).

    ;o}

  2. Maybe scallions instead of bay leaves? *shrugs I dunno ! lol

    It's green and has that yummy onion-like flavour!

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