Runny egg yolks? Check. Cheese? Double check.

By Bridget Hallinan
March 16, 2021
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After kicking off this season of Mad Genius: Home Edition with some seriously crispy, cheesy breakfast burritos, our Culinary Director-at-Large, Justin Chapple, has another brunch superstar for you to try—smoky breakfast pizzas. We're talking smoked mozzarella, fresh homemade basil oil, and bright, sunny eggs all on one pie. And they come together in just under an hour, too. The recipe was inspired by Chef Justin Bazdarich's Kind Brother pizza at Speedy Romeo in Brooklyn, and Justin Chapple demonstrates how to make his version step-by-step in this week's episode. Read on for his method and follow along with the video above.

Make the Basil Oil

Justin says that the basil oil that finishes these pizzas adds a "vibrant, zingy, summer kind of flavor." All you need is fresh basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and one finely grated garlic clove—after a quick blitz in the food processor and some seasoning, it's ready to go.

Stretch Out the Dough…and Don't Forget to Grease the Baking Sheet!

You can use either fresh prepared pizza dough or store-bought pizza dough for this recipe, like Justin does in the video. You'll need about four ounces of dough for each pizza, and you want to stretch the pieces out into roughly seven-inch circles (it doesn't have to be perfect). Before you place them on the baking sheet, grease the pan with olive oil so the dough doesn't stick.

Top and Bake

The toppings for these pizzas are simple, but bring big flavor: shredded smoked mozzarella (for smokiness, naturally), salty pecorino Romano, and thinly sliced fresh mixed wild mushrooms, which Justin says are optional. The recipe also calls for crushed red pepper flakes, for heat—Justin likes to add a lot so that the pizzas are spicy, but feel free to tailor to your preference. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and bake the pizzas at 450°F for seven to nine minutes.

Add the Eggs and Bake Again

After an initial bake (look for puffed crusts that are starting to brown), it's time to add the eggs to the pizzas. Justin recommends cracking them in a small bowl so that they're easy to slide right onto the pies. Then, place the pizzas back in the oven for another five minutes. Ultimately, you want the whites to become firm while maintaining runny yolks.

Smoky Breakfast Pizzas
Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Enjoy

The pizzas come out with a crisp crust and bright, sunny yolks. With a drizzle of the basil oil and some more crushed red pepper, you're all set to eat.

"I'm so glad we have two cheeses, because you get a nice salty bite from that Pecorino," Justin says as he tries the pizza. "But let me tell you, that smoked mozzarella just took this to the next level."

Get the Recipe: Smoky Breakfast Pizzas