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Carbonara Pizza
dough ball
2 ½ oz
uncooked bacon, cut into 1- to 2-inch slices, or substitute pancetta or guanciale
¼ c
plus 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano
3 oz
fior di latte mozzarella
freshly cracked black pepper
eggs, cracked into a small bowl, yolk intact
extra-virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
Carbonara Pizza

Ken Forkish’s The Elements of Pizza breaks down every aspect of pizza-making, from dough to cheese to oven settings. 

You made pizza on Saturday night, and now it’s Sunday morning and you have an extra dough ball in the fridge. Don’t wait in line for brunch—it’s time for breakfast pizza.

Carbonara is a classic, simple Roman pasta dish with eggs, cured pork, cheese, and plenty of black pepper. This pizza is an obvious riff, and the trick is timing the egg to be baked all the way at the same moment the rest of the pizza is done. (Goldilocks inhabits my world frequently. You know you are going to time it just right, so somebody should make you a perfect Bloody Mary as a reward to go with this pizza.) Since your oven may not bake exactly like my oven does, you need to keep your eyes on it during the last couple of minutes. Crack the egg(s) into a bowl ahead of time. Then, after 4 to 5 minutes of baking, you pull the rack with the pizza steel or stone out from the oven far enough to carefully pour the egg(s) onto the middle of the pie. Bake until the egg is properly done with a runny yolk, and there’s your sauce.

Although this recipe is Italian-inspired, I’ve never heard of anywhere in Italy serving pizza for breakfast. Welcome to America! This is a challenging pizza to slice because you’d lose the yolk on the cutting board if you cut through it, so use directional slicing that avoids the yolk. And use two eggs if you are sharing.

4 servings

  1. If you use a dough recipe that calls for refrigeration, remove your dough ball from the refrigerator about 60 to 90 minutes before baking pizza. Put your pizza steel or stone on an upper rack in your oven no more than 8 inches below the broiler. Preheat the oven to 550°F for 45 minutes. 
  2. In a skillet on a stovetop, sauté the bacon to medium doneness; drain and set aside. 
  3. Set up your pizza assembly station. Give yourself about 2 feet of width on the countertop. Moderately flour the work surface. Position your wooden peel next to the floured area and dust it lightly with flour. Have the cheeses, pepper, bacon, the bowl with the cracked egg(s), oil, and lemon zest at hand. Switch the oven to broil 10 minutes before loading the pizza. 
  4. To shape the pizza, put the dough ball on the floured work surface and flip to coat both sides moderately with flour. Transfer the disk of pizza dough to the peel. Run your hands around the perimeter to relax it and work out the kinks. 
  5. Spread the grated cheese over the pizza, followed by the bacon pieces, then the sliced mozzarella. Finish with black pepper to taste. I prefer an aggressive amount of pepper. Turn off the broiler, then gently slide the pizza onto the pizza steel or stone. Close the oven door and change the oven setting to bake at 550°F. Bake for 4 minutes, until the rim is golden. Pull the oven rack holding the pizza steel or stone out toward you to give enough clearance, then tip the bowl to slide the egg(s) onto the pizza. Slide the rack back into place and close the oven door. 
  6. Change the oven setting from bake to broil and let the pizza finish until the egg is perfectly cooked, about 2 minutes (check it after 1 minute to be safe). The rest of the pizza should be finished, too. Use tongs or a fork to slide the pizza from the pizza steel or stone onto a large plate. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and the lemon zest. Serve, carefully slicing around the yolk.

Reprinted with permission from The Elements of Pizza, copyright © 2016 by Ken Forkish. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

The Elements of Pizza

Ken Forkish

Book Cover