Earlier this week I made Croque Madame Muffins from Rachel Khoo’s cookbook The Little Paris Kitchen. As I said before a Croque Madame is one of my favorite sandwiches and I’ve been thinking about these flavors all week. While I have all the ingredients to make another batch of these delicious muffins I have decided to mix it up just a bit. Since it’s Friday night and here lately I’ve been making pizza on Fridays it’s time that a Croque Madame meets the Best Ever Pizza Curst. Yep you guess it tonight I’m making a Croque Madame Pizza. Crispy pizza curst, creamy cheese sauce, salty ham all topped off with a runny fried egg…. This is going to be so GOOD! Oh and the leftover Croque Madame Pizza made for a fantastic breakfast on Saturday morning…. 🙂
Also since the Pizza dough recipe makes 2 large pizzas I’m also making what I call a “Man Pizza”. Man Pizza has a fresh marinara sauce and is topped with 4 types of meat, Hot Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Crispy Bacon and Ham. For the something “Green” I add fresh sliced jalapeño and for the cheese I do a blend of smoked provolone and fresh mozzarella cheese. This “Man” Pizza is Smoky, Spicy and just right for a Friday Night.
First start by making the pizza dough….
The Best Ever Pizza Dough
Adapted From David Rocco
2½ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1¼ Cups Lukewarm Water (105-110 degrees)
4 Cups of “00” Italian Flour or 4 Cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
½ Cup White Wine, at Room Temperature
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add the yeast to the lukewarm water and let it dissolve completely. Allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes until it starts to bubble up.
Add the Flour and Salt to the food processor and pulse a couple of times. Then with the machine running, slowly pour in the yeast and water mixture. Once that is incorporated, add in the wine and the olive oil, pulse a few more times until everything is combined and a ball of dough just starts to form in the machine.
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead the dough by rolling it back and forth, stretching it out with one hand and rolling it back with the other. Continue for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and has an almost spongy texture.
Then divide the dough out into the desired number of pizzas. This recipe makes 2 large pizzas, or up to 6 (9-10 inch) pizzas.
Place a damp dishtowel over the dough balls and let them rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
Or place the dough in a bowl greased with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to proof in the refrigerator for at least one day and up to 4 days. Proofing in the refrigerator will give the pizza dough more flavor and a chewier texture. The longer it sits the better it gets. When you are ready to use the dough punch it down and then cover it with a damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
While the Pizza Dough Rises… Time to make the Croque Madame Cheese Sauce
Mornay (Cheese) Sauce
From The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
Makes enough sauce for 1 Pizza
The Mornay (cheese) Sauce:
1 Tablespoon of Butter
1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup + 1 Tablespoons Milk, lukewarm
½ Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ Cup grated Gruyère Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
To Make the Sauce:
Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and beat hard until you have a smooth paste. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes, then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan back over a medium heat add the mustard and nutmeg and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently to stop the sauce burning on the bottom of the pan. Once the sauce thickens and has the constancy of a thick tomato sauce take off the heat. Add the cheese (keeping a little for garnish) and taste for seasoning. If the sauce is too thick add a little more milk. If it’s lumpy, pass it through a sieve.
Pre-Heat the oven or outdoor grill to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, make sure that is pre-heating as well.
After one hour, punch down the dough and form the pizzas on a pizza pan, or a well-floured pizza peel.
Croque Madame Pizza Toppings
1 ¼ – 1½ Cups good quality Ham (cut in to bite sized pieces)
1 Cup Grated Gruyère Cheese
2 Fried Eggs
1 Tablespoon of Butter
Once you have formed your pizza, drizzle on a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil then spread on a thin layer of the Mornay sauce. Top the pizza with a grated Gruyère cheese, 1¼ – 1½ cups of good quality ham cut into cubes or thin strips.
Cook the pizza at 500 degrees for 7-10 minutes. If cooking on an outdoor grill the pizzas might cook a little faster.
While the pizza is cooking melt one tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over low heat and crack in desired number of eggs and cook to desired doneness. Place the fried eggs on top of the pizza.
2 Hot Italian Sausage Links (cut into small pieces)
3 Strips of Bacon (Cut in to small pieces)
3/4 Cup Ham, (cut in to small pieces)
25-30 Good Quality Pepperoni Slices
1 Fresh Sliced Jalapeño
1 Cup of Marinara Sauce
1 Cup Smoked Provolone (grated)
1/2 Cup fresh mozzarella (grated)
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the “Man” Pizza I pre-cook all my meats while the Pizza Dough is rising. After the dough has risen, I punch it down and form the pizza. Drizzle on a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and then top with about a 1 cup of marinara sauce. (I pass my sauce through a fine mesh sieve to get out all the excess moisture.) Next sprinkle on a little cheese and then the meat toppings and the jalapeño, and bake.