Sheet Pan Breakfast Pizza with Whataburger Sauce
I’ve been making a lot of pizza dough lately. Frankly, I’ve been making a lot of pizza dough over the past year.
Homemade pizza started off as a release of anxiety and a sense of normalcy when pandemic lockdown began over a year ago. This pizza distraction evolved into a weekly tradition, and then a personal mission.
There is great reward in making pizza: From the first mix of ingredients to the slow rise of the dough to the final oven bake, there is satisfaction seeing flour and water turn into something irresistible.
However, what I came to realize is that there can be great disappointment if the dough isn’t right.
The dough makes the pizza.
With each new recipe tackled — whether from a renowned baker or an online 5-star recipe — I kept running into problems. Too wet, too dense. No flavor, too much flavor. Too much time to rise (I blame this last-minute behavior on myself) or it didn’t rise enough.
Dough is a delicacy. While the caveat will always be that individual kitchen environments and ovens will affect the outcome, reliable recipes must exist. Pizza, playful in nature and its all-around lovableness, should have an element of ease to its construction and should be void of nervous expectation.
My breaking point came this fall when, once again, I found myself scribbling in too many notes on a pizza dough recipe I had made too many times. I was trying to correct what the author deemed acceptable. I had had enough. It was time to make my own dough.
While the recipe developer in me cringed to set upon a task to create a recipe that was not my claimed area of expertise, the home-cook in me cried for justice.
The task before me was simple: Make an “everyday” pizza dough that is easy, flavorful and versatile.
“Everyday” Pizza Dough can be made in under 20 minutes with a stand mixer. Note that there is no hand kneading in this recipe and no fancy pizza technique. This recipe is about achieving one goal: easy, good homemade pizza dough. And to the purists out there, I tip my hat to you in respect for the efforts and research you put forth in making your homemade pizza dough. Please do not judge the non-baker in me: I just want a basic and satisfying dough.
* can be used immediately. Granted, the flavor won’t be as developed and the texture will be a bit dense. However, it’s edible and bakeable and well, pizza-able. If used immediately after forming, expect to roll out 1 14-inch round pizza or 1 10×15-inch sheet pan pizza.
* can benefit from a one- to two-rise process to be used the same day. Waiting the 2 to 4 hours results in a flavorful, light pizza dough that is easy to handle and bake. It will yield 2 12-inch round pizzas or a 10×15 inch sheet pan pizza.
* can be stored in a large sealable plastic bag to be placed in the fridge to be used in several hours or up to 5 days later. Once ready to bake, remove the dough from the bag and let rest on a floured work surface for about 20 minutes. The most hands-off approach, this is the path I typically choose not only for its ease but also for its overall flavor. This dough is best used within 48 to 72 hours. It will yield 2 12-inch round pizzas or a 10×15 inch sheet pan pizza.
The good news about this dough is that it isn’t limited to pizza. Keeping it stored in the fridge can also create an assortment of bread delights. Breadsticks! Garlic Rolls! Pretzels! Shape the dough into whatever you’re craving and pop into a warm oven to bake until done. Its adaptability is also part of its appeal.
Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Pizza Dough
Author note: I prefer to use a mesh pizza pan. It makes for an even bake and a crispy crust. I found mine at Ace Mart Restaurant Supply.
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (from the tap works great)
3 cups all-purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, salt and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour.
Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix the dough on low for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
Once the dough is pulling from the sides of the bowl, increase the speed to medium-high and knead for 8 minutes.
Once the dough is elastic, slapping the sides of the bowl and slightly tacky to the touch, remove the dough from the mixer (it should stick to your hands a bit). Form into a ball and choose your next step.
At this point you have three options:
- If you plan to use immediately, place the dough ball onto a floured surface and roll out the dough to fit a 14-inch pizza pan or into a 10×15 sheet pan. Move on to the baking instructions.
- If you plan to use the next day or later in the week, place the dough ball into a sealable plastic bag. Place into the fridge to let cold proof for several hours. For best results use from 24 to 72 hours later. The dough can be stored up to 5 days in the fridge.
- If you plan to use in the next few hours, place the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then place a towel over the bowl. Set in a dry warm spot and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I place mine into the oven and use the “proofing” option. This can also be achieved by placing into an oven set at a temperature at about 100 F. At this point, there’s another set of options.
- If you don’t have time for a second rise, skip this next step and move on to the baking instructions.
- For a second rise, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough ball into two. Form two balls and place seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl. Let rise again, covered at room temperature or back into the oven for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 550 F (if your oven does not go up to 550, heat to 500 and bake a few minutes longer). If your oven has a convection option, use this feature.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough ball to fit the desired baking pan.
Add desired toppings and bake for 8 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and cooked through. This will vary based on the temperature of the oven as well as the type and size of pan used. Keep a watchful eye for best results.
Makes 2 12-inch round pizzas, 1 14-inch round pizza, or 1 10×15 inch sheet pan pizza.
Sheet Pan Breakfast Pizza
Author note: Be creative with the condiment used for the sauce of this pizza. Grocery stores have a plethora of options to choose from, like Whataburger to Chick-fil-A Sauce to Sir Kensington’s Everything Sauces. Use what you have in the fridge or what catches your eye at the market. Have fun! If your oven has a convection capability, convect bake this pizza for the best results. Keep in mind that the size of the pan will determine how long the pizza will bake.
1 recipe Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Pizza Dough
Creamy Pepper Whataburger Signature Sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese
6 eggs, scrambled
Cooked bacon or sausage, chopped or crumbled
Spray a rimmed 10×15 sheet pan with canola oil and lightly flour.
On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to fit a 10×15 inch sheet pan. Place the dough onto the sheet pan.
Top the dough with a generous smear of Whataburger sauce. Evenly distribute a light layer of Parmesan cheese on top of the sauce. Add the scrambled eggs and the bacon or sausage. Top with mozzarella.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Serve warm topped with additional Whataburger sauce.
Makes 1 10×15 sheet pan pizza (about 4 to 5 servings).
Gochujang Chicken Pizza
Author note: For a sheet pan pizza or 2 14-inch pizzas, use 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken and a little more than 1/3 cup of gochujang sauce. If your oven has convection capability, convect bake at 550 F for 8 to 9 minutes.
1 recipe Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Pizza Dough
White Sauce (recipe follows)
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped
1/3 cup Gochujang Sauce (recipe follows)
Chopped fresh cilantro or basil, for topping
Heat the oven to 550 F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to fit the size of a 12-inch pizza pan. Add a few spoonfuls of White Sauce on top of the dough and evenly spread. Then top the sauce with a small handful of Parmesan cheese.
Mix rotisserie chicken with 1/3 cup Gochujang Sauce. Evenly distribute 3/4 cup on top of Parmesan cheese. Top with the desired amount of mozzarella.
Place into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and drizzle with Gochujang Sauce and cilantro or basil. Repeat these steps with the second dough ball.
Salt to taste and serve warm.
White Sauce: In food processor, puree 1 1/2 cups cream, 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup chopped shallots and a pinch of red pepper flakes until the cream is thickened and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute. Store in the fridge in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Gochujang Sauce: In a medium size bowl, stir together 1/4 cup gochujang, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey and 1/4 cup soy sauce until well combined. Store in the fridge in an airtight container up to two weeks.
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.