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British B&B Breakfast Pizza | Sortachef

British B&B Breakfast Pizza

At Brighton the bus turned west and set off onto a wide sweep of headland. Here and there white chalk cut into fields and stood starkly against the green shrubs and close-cropped grasses that filled our view. At Southampton a low swath of land dropped to reveal the Solent and the sea beyond.  As I gazed upon yellow September light that tinged the Isle of Wight in the distance, my heart was in my mouth. All that I’d imagined about England – villages, hedgerows, even the occasional thatched cottage – was around me. This was different. This was real.

Mullion Cove with Penzance in the distance

We skirted the strangely named New Forest, long devoid of trees, and headed out toward Cornish coastal towns. At Falmouth, famous for assisting the British navy in blockading the French during the Napoleonic wars, we took a local bus farther south.  Towns fell beneath the wheels: Mabe Burnthouse, Jobs Water, Trevenan Bal, Goonhilly Downs. We landed at Mullion Cove, tucked against the shore like some smuggler’s lair carved into the Lizard.

Inside a converted farm building we dropped our heavy packs beside the smoky fire. A beefy man in a worn green jacket propped open a window to let in the seabreeze, welcomed us with a few spare words and, tucking our pound notes into his pocket, went out smiling. The place wasn’t much to look at, but for our unimaginably tight budget it was more than ample: a few beds in a loft, a tiny kitchen and a cozy nook in which to put up our boot-tender feet. On a Cornish night that was blacker than black we fell asleep listening to the soft whinny of a nearby horse and seemingly in an instant low sunlight was streaming in again on the wattled walls.

Knuckling sleep from my eyes I negotiated the dewy lawn to arrive at what the farmer had called the ‘dairy’, a stone kitchen at the back of the farmhouse. Through its fogged windows I watched a woman jauntily clanking pot lids who gestured me in and pushed a mug of milky tea into my hands. On her face was a broad morning smile. She wiped her hands on her apron, pulled a warm plate from the oven and busied herself for a moment at the massive Aga. Then she put before me a plate heaped with unusual breakfast offerings: locally made sausages, slices of sautéed mushrooms and broiled tomatoes.

When I made this lovely pizza last week, it took me right back to that British B&B breakfast, the first I ever had. I can see my friends bustling into that warm stone kitchen to join me around the table, rubbing cold from their hands, grabbing at chairbacks. Steaming plates of food, set before them in a jiffy, made their eyes go wide. Could we make it all the way out to Penzance along the cliffs? How far was it? How good the trail? We fell to fortifying ourselves for adventure and – afterwards – patted our full bellies and went out to greet the brilliant English day.

British B&B Breakfast Pizza

Makes a 12” pizza

12 ounces of pizza dough (click Here for our favorite)

3 ounces of cremini mushrooms

1 teaspoon each butter and oil

2-3 links of cooked breakfast sausage

20 cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves

2 ounces of shredded mozzarella

1 Tablespoon of good olive oil

Salt, pepper and oregano to taste

 

For woodfired pizza: Build a fire in the center of your oven. By the time the pizza goes in, the fire should be at least 2 hours old and the walls of the oven should be turning white. In the last 30 minutes, move the fire side to side to heat the floor tiles. Move the fire to the back and sweep the floor before putting in the pizza.

For baking in a conventional oven: Line the center rack of your oven with a pizza stone or quarry tiles and preheat for 30 minutes at 450º.

Prepare the ingredients: Slice the cremini mushroom and sauté for 5 minutes in the butter and oil. Cook the sausage according to package directions and cut the links into small pieces. Make a 12” dough blank for the pizza. (For more on making pizza dough, see Making Great Pizza Dough.)

Assemble the pizza: Put the dough blank onto a floured peel and make sure it can ‘slip’. Sprinkle half a tablespoon of olive oil and all of the mozzarella onto the dough blank. Distribute the mushroom slices and the sausage pieces on top of the cheese and then dot with cherry tomato halves. Sprinkle salt, pepper, a bit more oil and some oregano onto the pizza.

Bake the pizza: Slip the pizza directly onto the pizza stone or the floor of the woodfired oven. Depending on how hot your woodfired oven is, the pizza will take 4 to 7 minutes. In a conventional oven it will take 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the pizza around halfway through baking.

Now, put on a silly English accent and pour yourself a cup of tea. It’s a fine morning. Walkies, anyone?

Trekking on the Lizard in southern Cornwall

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At Woodfiredkitchen.com, Sortachef takes you on adventures in the kitchen and beyond, with tales to suit. Many of his offerings are woodfired - a flaming good recipe for pizza, bread, or something different. All recipes are original and tasty. Enjoy!
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