"Big Sur is the California that men dreamed of years ago, this is the Pacific that Balboa looked at from the Peak of Darian, this is the face of the earth as the Creator intended it to look"
He put back the center console so I could scooch in a little closer as his truck hugged the winding curves of Highway 1. With the city fog in the rearview mirror, we looked out on the fields speckled with cows, the blue waves crashing on the steep, steep mountainside. I breathed deep the pure smell of pine needles mixed with the salt air. So warm.
Big Sur is a special place. It was there that I fell in love with California and my man.
Richard met us on the dirt road at the base of his canyon. We loaded up into his utility truck and went even deeper off the grid. Home for the next few nights was an airstream trailer and private bath house in our very on piece of the canyon. Off in the distance, we could watch the whales breach and spout air. Days were longer, spent completely outdoors, and at night I would fall into the deepest sleep I've ever known. This is the way living should be. Sometimes, we would hike back to our truck to drive to town for a drink at Nepenthe or for one of those perfect pastries at Big Sur Bakery. And every morning, there'd be a handful of fresh laid eggs outside our door.
Big Sur Breakfast Pizza
adapted from the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook
makes two pizzas
For the dough (make the night before)*
- 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
- 2 cups plus 2 tbsp bread flour (more for dusting)
- 3/4 cup water
- Kosher salt
For the Pizza
- 6 strips of thick cut bacon
- 1/2 of a leek, sliced only the light green parts
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
- some fresh thyme
- 6 large eggs
- freshly ground black pepper
- minced basil
*Or substitute the dough recipe for pre-made pizza dough, like from Whole Foods.
Make the dough the night before: place 3/4 cup of lukewarm water in bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir and let sit for five minutes. Add flour and one teaspoon of salt and mix on low for one minute. Do not add salt with or before the yeast, it will slow the yeast's reaction. Increase the speed to medium and mix two minutes, then to high and mix until a smooth dough forms, roughly two more minutes. Turn the dough only a lightly floured surface and cut into two pieces, and roll into a tight ball. Tie loosely into a plastic bag (like a garbage bag) and refrigerate over night.
One hour before baking, place the dough in a warm spot. Adjust the oven rack to the top position and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
Saute the bacon in a pan over medium high heat until crisp. Cool on a paper towel lined plate, then chop.
Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll and pinch into a flat disc with your fingers, then drape over your fist and stretch until its roughly 12" wide. Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured sheet pan. Place half of the cheeses, thyme, leeks and bacon on the pizza. Cook for 4 minutes then remove from the oven. Crack 3 eggs on the pizza, and some black pepper and cook roughly 6 minutes, or until the egg whites are set. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with basil before serving. Repeat with the remaining dough for second pie.
Big Sur, I'll be seeing you.