Mark Bello’s Pancetta, Egg and Fried Sage Pizza
(makes 1 approximately 12″ pie and 3 extra balls of dough for more pies)
What you’ll need:
a pizza stone, preheated for half an hour at 500 degrees
a wooden pizza peel (not necessary, but makes quick sliding in and out of the oven easier)
semolina flour (to sprinkle on the bottom of the peel, for easy sliding and crisp bottom crust texture; can be substituted with all-purpose flour)
for the fast-rise dough:
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 1/2 firmly packed cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher or sea salt
two pinches sugar (optional, to encourage a fast rise)
about 1/4 lb pancetta, thinly sliced and torn into strips
about 1/4 cup grated aged pecorino
handful sage leaves
1/2 cup olive oil (to fry the sage)
Combine the yeast with the warm water and stir to break up lumps. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until yeast starts to become foamy and separate. Combine the flour, salt and oil. Fold in the proofed yeast mixture until the dough just comes together and turn it onto a well-floured surface. Knead for at least five minutes. Divide dough into 4 even-sized balls and pinch any folds shut for a seamless surface. Let sit at room temperature in a tighly sealed container to rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven with the pizza stone inside at 500-550 degrees (as high as it will go). Place dough onto a well-floured surface. Press around the edges until you have a roughly 5″ round. Pick up and carefully stretch out the dough with your hands until it’s roughly 12 to 14″ in diameter. Dust surface of pizza peel with optional semolina flour and carefully place the dough round on top.
Arrange the pancetta pieces evenly throughout the pizza. Sprinkle the grated pecorino on top all the way to the edges of the crust. Quickly open the oven to slide pizza onto the stone and shut (to retain heat). Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan until it begins to crackle. Add the sage leaves and cook about one minute, turning once. Remove from oil and let cool on paper towels. Crack the eggs into three separate bowls.
Once pizza has been in the oven for about four minutes, quickly open the door, slide the rack out, and pour the eggs on top of the pizza one at a time. Carefully push the rack back in and close door as quickly as possible. After 2-3 more minutes, check on the pizza. If the whites are all cooked through, remove pie from oven with the peel and slide onto a tray. Top the pizza with the sage leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and an optional grate of black pepper.