Breakfast has always been the best start of the day on a camping trip. Everyone is excited to get the day started but still tired from the late night campfire and conversation. The camp cook is already up and has coffee and orange juice ready for the first risers of the morning. The campfire is stoked and cutting the early morning chill as the sun lingers momentarily on the horizon. Camp cooks always find quick but delicious recipes to feed the campers and this one is no exception. Breakfast pizza is a great way to quickly prepare enough breakfast for 6-8 people and even works for a quick lunch or dinner. That is if any is left over. Once you learn this recipe you’re not far from many other recipes such as shepherds pie or pot pie.
1 pre-baked pizza crust
1 package of sausage
2 cups of sausage gravy
1 bag of shredded cheese
1 Green bell pepper
½ cup of milk
Optional: Salsa, hot sauce and sour cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
The Crust: There are several ways to make a pizza crust. I used a pre-made pre-baked pizza crust for this recipe but you can make your own with crescent rolls, just lay the triangles point to point in your pizza pan and bake until slightly browned. If you prefer to make your own pizza crust from scratch here is a simple recipe that does not require rising.
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Directions for homemade crust:
In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and oil until smooth. Let rest for 4-6 minutes. Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a round, keeping the size to match your pizza pan. Transfer dough to a lightly greased pizza pan and bake for 5-10 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
The sauce: Once you learn this recipe you are not very far from many other recipes such as shepherds pie or pot pie. The sausage gravy is the sauce of the pizza. You can use dry gravy mix or canned to keep it simple and quick. Heat the gravy until fairly thick. This is so it does not run all over your crust. The gravy should be thick enough to spread all over the bottom of your pre-baked pizza crust.
The toppings: Brown your sausage in a skillet and set aside in a bowl with paper towel to soak up any excess grease. All of the toppings can be prepared the night before and refrigerated. I like to heat the toppings back up in the microwave or over the fire before adding them to the crust. This helps shorten the cook time for the pizza in the morning. You could also make this pizza the night before and heat it up in a microwave or dutch oven.
This recipe calls for bell peppers but you can add anything you desire. I prefer not to saute’ the peppers just to add a little crunch to the pizza but if you like your peppers a little softer by all means saute’ them and set aside.
The eggs are next. Crack 8 eggs in a bowl and add ½ cup of milk. The milk really helps the eggs fluff up. Do not cook the eggs completely. I stop cooking when the eggs are firm but still a little moist. They will cook further in the oven and if you cook the eggs all the way first they will dry out in the oven.
Last but certainly not least is the shredded cheese. The cheese binds the whole thing together and keeps everything in place when you cut it into servings. I like extra sharp cheddar to give the pizza a little more flavor but the rest of my family prefers mild so we compromised and use medium sharp for our breakfast pizza. You can serve the salsa, hot sauce and sour cream on the side for those that like to doctor theirs up a bit.
Putting it all together: Now that all of your ingredients are ready you can build your pizza. First spread the gravy evenly on the bottom of your crust. Next spread your crumbled sausage evenly over the gravy. The eggs are next on top of the sausage then place the peppers evenly on top. Now sprinkle your shredded cheese all over the top and your done. Put your pizza in the oven for about 15 minutes and it’s ready.
The toppings for your pizza are personal and anything will work so create a pizza that you and yours will enjoy. You can add crispy bacon and mushrooms. I have even seen this breakfast pizza made with sunny side up eggs as a topping. You can even leave off the gravy or use something else all together like hollandaise sauce for a Benedict style pizza. The possibilities are endless and this recipe is a short leap to creating many others like pot pies and shepherds pie. This recipe can also be prepared in a dutch oven adding more fun to cooking this great campsite recipe. Enjoy.
Ken McBroom is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer based in Indiana. For more information please visit www.ramblingangler.com