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Video: Whip up kid-friendly pizza for breakfast

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    >>> this morning in today's kitchen, getting your kids to lend a hand with easy and fun recipes.

    >> joann is chef in boston and shares her secrets in a new cook book flower, too.

    >> your background is in math and science?

    >> math and economics.

    >> how did you get into this.

    >> i decided to follow my heart. cooking and bake as good where i spent my free time. so i left consulting and the business world and ended up working as a pastry chef and cook and opened my own place.

    >> baking is all about math and science in itself.

    >> it is. there's so much chemistry in baking that i feel like i'm back doing what i was doing in school.

    >> breakfast pizza.

    >> yeah, this was made last night but you can also buy pizza dough. stretch it out as if you're making a pizza and make the bottom thin and there's a little rim.

    >> now if it's a little sticky what do you do?

    >> there's a little bit of flower just flower your fingers and this say great thing for the kids to help with too if you have kids at home and you want them to help in terms of making breakfast.

    >> like it's a little cup.

    >> yeah it's going to hold all the ingredients. i have suggested fillings but dig on in. what you want to do is like you would with pizza sauce , use that or the ricotta and spread it on the bottom and then ham or bacon or onions and then we're going to make a little wall of filling.

    >> a wall of filling.

    >> so i'll show you.

    >> add the bacon now.

    >> yeah.

    >> that's what you want.

    >> make it a little while all around the edge.

    >> here i'm going to use the tomato and rim the edge right there just with the tomato. eventually we're going to crack an egg on top of the whole thing.

    >> that's the breakfast part.

    >> a wall of bacon.

    >> close enough.

    >> perfect. beautiful. now these go into the oven for a little bit to set and bake the fillings and then we have this and now, at this point -- so these have been in the oven for a little bit and then you want to crack an egg right on top.

    >> so this is after it has come out of the oven.

    >> exactly. they're par baked.

    >> you can put an egg on this one too.

    >> there we go.

    >> the pizza always needs cheese. sprinkle a ton of cheese on top.

    >> and you have parchment paper lining this so it doesn't stick all over the pan.

    >> yeah it helps with clean up. if you have your kids helping it will be messy so anything you can do to help with clean up.

    >> absolutely.

    >> all of these go into the oven and then this is what they look like when they come out.

    >> hello, how are you.

    >> nice to see you.

    >> yummy.

    >> these are tomato and cheddar and bacon and caramelized onion and ham and these are roast beef sandwiches with crispy onions.

    >> could you put butter on this and grill it.

    >> that would be excellent.

    >> i like the way you think al.

    >> just saying.

    >> if you buy the pizza dough it doesn't take long.

    >> if you buy the dough it's easy. you can do whatever you want in terms of fillings.

    >> you can even freeze it probably except for the egg.

    >> right and then bake it and add the egg.

    >> great idea. fun with the kids in the morning.

    >> we're back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc.

    >>> we're going to keep playing that.

    >> we are never leaving this kitchen.

    >> coming up next, kathie lee a test test

TODAY recipes
updated 6/17/2013 4:25:51 PM ET 2013-06-17T20:25:51

Recipe: Breakfast pizza

Ingredients
  • Breakfast pizza
  • 1/2 batch basic brioche dough (see separate recipe)
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 12 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Caramelized onions
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 medium or 3 large onions, halved and sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place one rack in the center and one rack in the top third of the oven. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the brioche dough into a rectangle about 8 x 4 x 1 inches. Using a ruler and a knife, cut the rectangle into 8 2-inch squares by first dividing it in half horizontally and then dividing it vertically into strips 2 inches wide. Each square of dough should weigh about 3 ½ ounces. Stretch each square into a circle about 5 inches in diameter as if you are making a small pizza. Stretch the inner part of the circle so that it is quite thin and shape the edge of the circle to create a rim. The center should be almost paper-thin, and the finished circle should look like you are making the crust for a mini deep-dish pizza. Place the brioche circle on one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough squares, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart and using both baking sheets.

Using the back of a spoon, spread 1 tablespoon of the crème fraîche over the base of each brioche circle, spreading it evenly over the base but leaving the rim bare. Cut the bacon slices in half. For each pizza, press three half slices of bacon against the brioche rim to create a bacon wall. Divide the caramelized onions evenly among the pizzas, spooning and spreading the onions next to the bacon and leaving the center of the circle bare except for the crème fraîche.

Bake the pizzas, switching the baking sheets between the racks and rotating them back to front about halfway during baking, for about 15 minutes, or until the edges of the pizza start to turn light brown. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and carefully crack an egg into the center of each pizza. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the mozzarella on top of each pizza, covering both the egg and the exposed rim of brioche. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, again switching the baking sheets between the racks and rotating them back to front about halfway during baking, or until the cheese has melted, the edges of the egg are cooked but the yolk is still wiggly, and the edges of the pizza are golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let the pizzas cool for 8 to 10 minutes to allow the eggs to set up a bit before serving.

Bacon:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet and bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until the slices are half crispy and half still a little bendy. Remove the bacon from the oven and set aside

Caramelized onions:

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 50 to 60 minutes, or until the onions are completely soft and caramelized. They will look dark brown and mushy. Remove from the heat and add the salt, pepper, and thyme and mix well to combine. The onions will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Ham, ricotta and parmesan variation: Omit the bacon, onions and mozzarella. Substitute 4 ounces sliced ham, 1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese, and 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Using about ½ ounce ham per pizza, tear the ham into small pieces and press the pieces against the brioche rim to create a ham wall. Spread 2 tablespoons of the ricotta along the edges of each pizza next to the ham, leaving the center of the brioche circle bare except for the crème fraîche. Bake as directed, substituting 2 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan in place of the mozzarella sprinkled over the egg on each pizza. Let cool for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.

Tomato and cheddar variation: Omit the bacon, onions and mozzarella. Substitute 2 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced, and 8 ounces cheddar cheese, thinly sliced. Using 2 to 3 tomato slices per pizza, tear the slices into pieces and press the pieces against the edge of the brioche rim to create a tomato wall, leaving the center of the brioche circle bare except for the crème fraîche. Bake as directed, substituting 1 ounce of the sliced cheddar in place of the mozzarella sprinkled over the egg on each pizza. Let cool for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.

Serving Size

Makes 8 pizzas

Recipe: Basic brioche

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 3 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs, plus 1 large egg for the egg wash if making loaves
  • 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 to 12 pieces
Preparation

Using the stand mixer, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, 5 eggs and 1/2 cup water and beat on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all of the ingredients have come together. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the flour has been incorporated into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes longer. The dough will be stiff and seem quite dry.

Still on low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough. After all of the butter has been added, continue mixing on low speed, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, for about 10 minutes. It is important to mix all of the butter thoroughly into the dough. If necessary, break up the dough with your hands to help incorporate the butter.

Once the butter has been completely incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for another 15 minutes, or until the dough becomes sticky, soft and somewhat shiny. It will take some time for it to come together; it will look very shaggy and questionable at the start but in time will turn smooth and silky. When that happens, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute. You should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Test the dough by pulling at it; it should stretch a bit and have a little give. (If it seems wet and loose and more like a batter than a dough, add 2 to 3 tablespoons flour and mix until it comes together.) If it breaks off into pieces when you pull at it, continue to mix on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until it develops more strength and stretches when you grab it. It is ready when you can gather it all together and pick it up in one piece.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl or plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the dough. Let the dough proof (that is, expand and develop flavor) in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. (At this point the dough may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.) If you are making a brioche treat, proceed as directed in the individual recipe.

Line the bottom and sides of the loaf pans with parchment paper, or butter the pans liberally.

Divide the dough in half, and press each half into about a 9-inch square. (The dough will feel like cold, clammy Play-Doh.) Facing the square, fold down the top 1/3 toward you, and then fold up the bottom one-third, as if folding a business letter. Press to join the three layers. Turn the folded dough over and place it, seam-side down, into one of the prepared pans. Repeat with the second piece of dough, placing it in the second prepared pan.

Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm (78-82 degrees Fahrenheit) area to proof for 4 to 5 hours, or until the loaves have nearly doubled in size. They should have risen to the rim of the pan and have a rounded top. When you poke at the dough, it should feel soft, pillowy and light, as if it were filled with air – because it is! The loaves have finished proofing and are filled with yeast air pockets. At this point, the texture of the loaves always reminds me a bit of how it feels to touch a water balloon.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the center of the oven.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg until blended. Gently brush the tops of the loaves with the beaten egg. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tops and sides of the loaves are completely golden brown. Let cool in the pans on wire racks for 30 minutes, then turn the loaves out of the pans and serve warm or continue to cool on the racks. The bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days (if it is older than 3 days, try toasting it) or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Serving Size

Makes about 2 loaves

Recipe: Roast beef with horseradish mayo, crispy onions and tomato

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2-2 pounds beef roast, top or bottom round
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices Flour focaccia
  • 4 cups loosely packed mesclun greens
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Crispy onions
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Horseradish mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
Preparation

The night before, rub the beef all over with the salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap or place in a container with a tight-fitting lid, and let rest overnight in the fridge.

The next day, take the beef out of the fridge and let rest for about 1 hour at room temperature.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to roast the beef, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Put the roasting rack on one of the baking sheets and put the roast on the rack. Roast the beef for 50 to 60 minutes for a 1 1/2 pound roast or 65 to 75 minutes for a 2 pound roast, or until the meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Start checking after 45 minutes. Once the temperature hits 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the cooking goes quickly, so check every 5 minutes or so. When the temperature reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the roast from the oven and let cool. Let the roast rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Remove the well-chilled roast from the refrigerator and slice it against the grain as thinly as possible. Set the slices aside.

Lay the bread slices out on a clean, dry counter and spread them evenly with the horseradish mayo, using about 1 tablespoon for each slice. Top four of the slices with the greens, dividing them evenly.

Top the greens with the tomatoes; if using fresh tomatoes, sprinkle evenly with the salt. Top each sandwich with 5 to 6 ounces of the sliced beef, and top the beef with the onions, dividing them evenly. Close each sandwich with a second focaccia slice, mayonnaise-side down, cut in half and serve.

Crispy onions:

Line the second baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Pour the vegetable oil to a depth of about 2 inches into a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit on the deep-fry thermometer. While the oil is heating, slice the onions as thinly as possible. Scoop the flour into a large bowl. Add the onions and toss until thoroughly coated.

When the oil is ready, remove about half of the onions from the flour bowl, shake them to remove the excess flour, and carefully drop them into the hot oil. As soon as you immerse the onions in the oil, the temperature of the oil will drop, so turn the heat to high to bring the oil back to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the onions, stirring constantly with a slotted spoon to avoid overbrowning, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the onions to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoons of the salt. When the oil has returned to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, cook the remaining onions the same way, then transfer them to the baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoons salt. The onions can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Horseradish mayonnaise:

In a small bowl, stir together the horseradish, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and wholegrain mustard until well combined. The mayonnaise can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Serving Size

Makes 4 sandwiches

Recipe: Flour focaccia

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Small handful of cornmeal for sprinkling on the baking sheet
Preparation

In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups tepid water and the yeast and let sit for 20 to 30 seconds to allow the yeast to dissolve and activate. Dump the all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar and salt into the water. Carefully turn the mixer on to low speed and mix for about 10 seconds. (To prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl, turn the mixer on and off several times until the flour is mixed into the liquid, and then keep it on low speed.) When the dough is still shaggy looking, drizzle in the olive oil, aiming it along the side of the bowl to keep it from splashing and making a mess.

With the mixer still on low speed, knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it is smooth and supple. The dough should be somewhat sticky but still smooth and have an elastic, stretchy texture. (If it is much stiffer than this, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons water; if it is much looser than this, mix in 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour.)

Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap or a damp lint-free cloth, and place in a draft-free, warm (78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal) area for 2 to 3 hours. An area near the stove or in the oven with only the oven light on is good. The dough should rise until it is about double in bulk. (This is called proofing the dough.)

Once the dough has risen, flour your hands and the work surface and turn the dough out onto the work surface. Press the dough into an 8-inch square and fold the top edge of the square down to the center of the dough. Fold the bottom of the square up to the center of the dough and press the seam firmly with your fingers. Now fold the right side of the square into the center and the left side into the center, and again press the seam firmly. Turn the dough over, seam-side down, and shape the dough with a tucking motion so that it is about 6-inch square. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, generously flour the top of the dough, and then cover the dough loosely but completely with a damp lint-free cloth or a piece of plastic wrap. Place in a warm area (78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit) for another hour or so, or until the dough rises a bit and gets puffy and pillowy. (This is proofing, again.) If making hot pockets, egg sandwiches, or turkey burgers: Split the dough in half and reserve half of the dough for another use. Proceed with the desired recipe as directed. These recipes can be easily doubled, in which case use the entire batch of dough and proceed as directed.

Preheat the oven to degrees Fahrenheit, and place a rack in the center of the oven. Sprinkle the baking sheet with the cornmeal and set aside.

When the dough is ready, remove the cloth or plastic wrap. Using all 10 fingers, press and poke and elongate the dough three or four times along its length so that you press and stretch it into an almost-square log that is about 10 inches long, 8 inches wide, and about 2 inches tall. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until completely golden brown on the top and bottom. Lift the loaf and make sure the underside is browned before pulling it out of the oven, or you will end up with a soggy loaf. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, or until cool enough to handle, then cut into slices 3/4-inches thick for sandwiches. The focaccia loaf will keep in a closed paper bag at room temperature for up to 3 days, or tightly wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. If using day-old bread kept at room temperature, I suggest toasting it in a toaster to refresh it. If using bread that has been previously frozen, thaw it at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours and then refresh it in a 300 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 5 minutes.

Serving Size

Makes about 1 loaf

Recipe: House-made raspberry seltzer

Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cups soda water for each drink
Preparation

In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, vanilla sugar, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour.

Transfer the raspberry mixture to the blender and purée. Strain through the sieve placed over a small bowl to remove most of the raspberry seeds. Add the lemon and lime juices to the raspberry syrup and stir to combine. (The syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

For each drink, put 3 tablespoons syrup in the bottom of a tall glass, fill the glass with ice, and then pour in 1¼ cups soda water. Using a long spoon, stir until well mixed, then serve.

Serving Size

Makes about 9 drinks

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