We’ve all heard the reasons why breakfast is so important — it boosts your metabolism for the day, helps curb cravings that could lead to poor food choices, helps improve memory and concentration, and can set your mood for the day. Let’s face it. Not all breakfast items make you leap to the table.
I’m going to give you a ready-to-take-on-the-day breakfast recipe that is cooked on the grill. The name alone is likely to bring your kids to the table easily too. Combine the versatility of a pizza with the shape, texture, and saltiness of a pretzel, I’m making my version of a breakfast pizza pretzel featuring Mediterranean flavors you’re going to love.
This is one of those fun recipes where you really can’t go wrong with the ingredients you select. Just keep in mind, that raw egg won’t necessarily be the best choice since we don’t have the same amount of dough surface to hold the raw egg until cooked. If you want to incorporate egg, do a boiled, fried, or scrambled egg. For my Mediterranean feature, gather the following ingredients:
- ½ cup of basil pesto sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 3 roasted sweet peppers, sliced (I prefer to wood fire the peppers first)
- 2 medium tomatoes sliced, with the slices cut in 1/2
- 6 large eggs, steamed for 13 minutes
- 5 slices of provolone cheese, cut into quarters
- 20 basil leaves
- 1lb. store-bought frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed and left to rise according to package directions
- fresh ground pepper
- coarse salt for the top of the pretzel
- 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water for the egg wash
- flour for rolling the dough
First step is to let your dough rise so make sure you either do this step a few hours before making the recipe or let the dough rise the night before. Follow the directions on the dough packaging.
If you want to include egg in your recipe, you’ll need to steam the 6 large eggs. I use a deep pot with a steamer insert, placing about two inches of water in the pot. Place the eggs in the steamer basket, put the lid on the pot, put the heat to high, and set a timer for 13 minutes. Prepare a bowl of ice water to immerse the eggs in once the timer goes off, which will halt the cooking process. When cool, peel the eggs and slice.
After the dough has risen, you’ll need to get a couple of items ready before starting the recipe. First, decide what type of grill you’re going to use for cooking. A gas grill will not take as much set up time as a charcoal unit. Either grill, you want to do a two-zone setup. For the gas grill, that means turning on only the burners on one half of the grill. Those lit burners will also hold the wood chunks for adding the wood flavor. For the charcoal grill, get a chimney starter of charcoal going. Once the embers are hot, pour into one half of the charcoal area and add a few wood chunks directly on the hot coals. I recommend starting the grill just before you assemble the pretzel.
A Tasty Trough
With our grill heating, our dough has risen, and our ingredients at the ready, it’s time to assemble the breakfast pizza and form into our pretzel. First, roll the dough into a 30-inch long rope. Roll the width to where the rolling pin can sit in the center of the dough and still have an inch of dough on each side of the pin. Taking the rolling pin, press it down the center of the dough forming a trough. Starting with the pesto, spread a thin layer down the dough trough. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the pesto, then layer the quartered tomato. The wood-fired pepper slices are next, followed by the basil leaves, egg slices, and provolone cheese quarters. Put a final sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to the inside and then we will seal the filling inside the dough.
Here comes the messy part! Carefully, bring the two sides of the dough together pinching off where the dough meets. Continue to seal the mixture contents all the way down the dough. At this stage, I like to move the filled dough to my parchment lined sheet pan or pizza stone to make shaping into the pretzel shape easier. Make your pretzel shape — make an upside down “U”; twist the ends over each other, then twist again and bring the ends up to center, pushing the holes open while you press the ends into the dough. Once shaped, brush the surface of the dough with egg wash and then sprinkle coarse salt and Parmesan cheese over the top. Note: you can make pretzel rods versus a traditional pretzel shape by rolling out 3–4 dough sections into 10-inch lengths, following the same directions as above on assembling.
With the pretzel on a parchment lined sheet pan or placed on a pizza stone, place on the unlit side of the grill, with a temperature of about 300°F. Close the lid and allow to cook for 15 minutes before checking. If you notice the side closest to the heat turning brown faster than the other side, simply rotate your sheet pan or stone. Total cooking time will be about 25 minutes until golden brown. Keep in mind, pretzel rods will likely cook a bit faster.
A Breakfast to Savor
Once cooked through, remove from the grill and allow the pizza pretzel to rest for 5 minutes. Cut pretzel rods on the diagonal and the twisted pretzel like you would a bundt cake; into slices. With the freshness of the pesto and basil, the sweetness of the tomato, and salty cheese, this is a substantial breakfast that will get you full of energy for the day.