Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Frankly, I don't like pizza because it's often really greasy and I am not a big fan of melted, stretchy, sticky cheese. But! with a few tweaks and the addition of smoked meat — like bacon or chorizo, or you-name-it — I am hooked! Also, I changed the cheese to goat cheese, which you could spread on cardboard and I would eat. This recipe makes 4 individual pizzas.
Ingredients for crust
1 cup warm water (between 110°F and 115°F)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (about half of a 1/4-ounce packet)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus about 1/4 cup more for oiling the bowl and the baking sheets and for drizzling
Ingredients for topping
6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or bacon or Serrano ham or prosicutto or chorizo
4 tablespoons harissa
2 cups crumbled goat cheese or Feta
4 large eggs
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Place water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, sprinkle yeast on top, and let rest until mixture is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. When yeast mixture is ready, add flour mixture and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and mix on low speed until flour is moistened and dough starts to come together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and stretches 3 to 4 inches without breaking, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, coat a large bowl with oil. Transfer dough to the oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Alternatively, let the dough rise in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 days.)
Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange one rack in the middle and another rack in the lower third of the oven. Place pancetta in a single layer on two baking sheets and bake one sheet on each rack, rotating the sheets halfway through the cooking time, until pancetta is browned and crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove pancetta to several sheets of paper towels and let drain briefly. When cooled, break into small pieces and place in a small bowl; set aside. Wash the baking sheets and return them to the oven (one on each rack) to heat, at least 10 minutes, while preparing the dough.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface. Divide it into four equal pieces and cover with plastic wrap. Shape two of the pieces into 7-inch rounds. Remove the hot baking sheet from the middle rack (leave the other one in the oven) and drizzle with olive oil. Carefully place the rounds side by side on the baking sheet, not touching each other. Evenly spread 1 tablespoon of the harissa on each round, then scatter a quarter of the cheese and a quarter of the reserved pancetta over each. Bake on the middle rack until the dough just starts to puff and is barely golden in a few spots, about 5 minutes.
Remove pizzas from the oven, carefully crack an egg into the center of each, and drizzle with about 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil. Return the baking sheet to the middle rack and bake until pizza crusts are crisp and browned and egg whites are set, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle each with a quarter of the scallions. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.