Roberta's Pizza with Guanciale and Egg
From the chef
This is one of the pizzas from the Roberta's cookbook. Bacon and egg on a pizza is obviously going to be delicious. On the crust from Roberta's just makes it that much better. I actually used their sourdough starter based recipe for the crust, but I'm sharing their yeast-based recipe so more people can use it. They also call for you to make your own mozzarella cheese, but, seriously? You can if you want, but you can also just use a good quality fresh mozzarella.
Makes one 12-inch pie
- 2 1/2 cups 50-50 blend of 00 flour and King Arthur all-purpose flour
- Scant 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- Scant 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
- 1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes
- Good olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 1 round of pizza dough
- 80 grams fresh mozzarella
- 20 grams guanciale, very thinly sliced (sub pancetta or bacon if you can't find guanciale - they wouldn't want me to give a substitute, but guanciale is not exactly easy to find everywhere)
- 1 large egg
- In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the yeast, olive oil, and lukewarm water. Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry mixture and begin mixing the two together with your hands, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet. The process will be more like mixing than kneading. After about 3 minutes, when the wet and dry are well combined, set the mixture aside and let it rest, uncovered for 15 minutes. This allows time for the flour to absorb the moisture.
- Flour your hands and a work surface. Gently but firmly knead the mixture on the work surface for about 3 minutes. Reflour your hands and the surgace as needed. The dough will be moist and sticky, but after a few minutes, it should come together in a smooth mass. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, shape them gently into balls, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours and up to 48, before using. This process, called proofing, allows for the fermentation that gives the dough structure - which means a chewy pliable crust - and flavor.
- To make a pizza, preheat the oven to the highest temperature - ideally at least 500°F. Place a pizza stone or four 6X6 inch unglazed quarry tiles on the middle rack of the oven. Let the oven heat up for 1 hour.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Using your fingertips, push down any bubbles in the dough. Then, use your fingertips to push down on the round of dough, from the center out to the perimeter, to encourage it to spread out. Don't push the dough out - and pushing or pulling you do will cause it to toughen, be gentle with the dough. Take your time. Spend a minute or two gently flattening the dough ball into a disc shape before you move on to the next step.
- Aim for a round that's no bigger than 12 inches across and no less than 1/8 inch thick in the center; it should be a little thicker than that at the edges. "Slapping out" the dough (yup, that's really what it's called) is basically letting the crust form itself. It lets gravity do the stretching and shaping of the dough. There are many ways to do this and you should find the way you're comfortable. The Roberta's guys do this: pick up the disc of dough and hold your hands parallel to the floor. Then, squeeze your fingers together and curve them so that your hands are like paddles. Drape the dough over one hand and flip it over to the other hand in a smooth motion. Continue moving the dough slowly back and forth, rotating it 90 degrees every few seconds so that you end up with a circle. (Clearly, based on the photo, I failed to follow this instruction adequately and wound up with a wobbly oblong pizza instead of a circle, but whatever.) After a couple minutes you should have a round of dough that's about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a well-floured pizza peel, preferably a metal one. Top and bake it immediately otherwise it will get soggy.
- To make the pizza sauce, drain the tomatoes and discard the juice. Ise a blender to puree the tomatoes until almost smooth. Add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt, blend until smooth and taste. Add more oil and salt to taste, but remember that the sauce will reduce a little when it's baked on a pizza, so be judicious with the salt. The sauce will keep in the fridge for a week or the freezer for 6 months. (Which is good because they only call for 3 Tbs. for a pizza.).
- Put 3 Tbs. of sauce in the center of the dough round and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the pizza, stopping about half an inch from the edge. Break the mozzarella into pieces and distribute them over the pizza, leaving a space in the middle where the egg will go. Distribute guanciale over the pizza in the same way. Give the pizza a small drizzle of olive oil and bake it in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown and bubbly.
- While the pizza is cooking, coat a saute pan lightly with olive oil and set it over medium heat. Crack the egg into the pan and cook it without moving it until the white just barely sets. The white should be set, but the yolk should still be runny. When the pizza is done, slide it out of the oven and put the egg on top.
- Pour yourself a glass of Uproot and Enjoy!