Life has taught me that weekend mornings are for food treats. As a little girl (and even as a teenager) my mom used to make her famous blueberry banana pancakes on Saturdays. Sometimes, after sleepovers, my friends parents would take us to the donut shop (chocolate long johns! bear claws!). Later, as a young adult living in San Francisco, my friends and I spent many a Sunday morning at brunch with bottomless mimosas or Bloody Mary’s. Bref, in my life, weekends are for food indulgence. They are not for practical, well-balanced meals that will get us through the school or work day.
My older siblings also taught me that leftovers are brilliant the next morning with a fried egg on top. This concept applies to almost anything: Chinese food, Mexican food, pasta, and, of course, pizza.
It was with all this in mind that I awoke with the idea that for breakfast on this particular Sunday morning I had to have pizza with fried eggs on top. I didn’t have leftovers languishing in the fridge from last night, because, lucky me, I got to eat at L’Atelier, a quaint and delicious new bistro in nearby Langoëlan.
Having anticipated my Sunday morning too-much-wine-the-night-before munchies, I had made tomato sauce and pizza dough the night before, so all I had to do was roll out of bed (looking like a hungover nut) and assemble it to put in the oven.
from Mario Batali (notes from me in parentheses)
1/4 cup light red or white wine (I used cidre, being in Brittany and all…)
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast (if you don’t have fresh, sub in 1 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast)
1 tablespoon honey (when I haven’t had honey I’ve used golden syrup and maple syrup with success)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
Place wine (or cider!), water and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well to combine. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of the flour and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, incorporating as much flour as you can with the wooden spoon.
Bring the dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and firm (or, if you’re lazy like me you can use your mixer instead). Place dough in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl, using remaining tablespoon of oil and cover with a towel. Let rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes (I left mine by the fire overnight).
For individual pizzas or calzones, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and knead into rounds. For one large pizza, knead into 1 large round. For either, let rest for 15 minutes.
From Marcella Hazan (Notes by me in parentheses)
2 cups tomatoes, with their juices, for example, a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.
Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.
Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta (No! Instead of discarding the onion, I blend it into the sauce! Or I cut it up and eat it a top grits. Never waste a delicious onion!)
This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.
Now that you have your dough and your sauce you’re ready to roll, literally. Roll out that dough, add whatever toppings you like and bake that pizza in the oven at 400 F until the pizza is crisp and lightly brown around edges. Cooking time depends on how thinly you roll the dough (If you’re anything like me, the thinner the better).
Bon appétit! Enjoy your weekend indulgence.