Although it sounds like a bad Saturday morning commercial (Pizza?! For breakfast?!!), it turns out breakfast pizza is just a creative version of the classic bread-eggs-cheese-meat combo.

It makes an ideal dish for a brunch crowd and isn't difficult if you start with store-bought pizza dough. Our challenge was getting a crisp crust without overcooking the eggs. To get there, we pressed room-temperature dough into a lightly oiled baking sheet and parbaked it for 5 minutes to give the crust a head start before we added the toppings. The remaining minutes in the oven cooked the eggs just right.

The surprising addition of cottage cheese tethered all the ingredients together with a silky creaminess. Room-temperature dough is much easier to shape than cold, so pull the dough from the fridge about 1 hour before you start cooking.

BREAKFAST PIZZA

Servings: 6

Start to finish: 1 hour

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

6 slices bacon

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

4 ounces (1/2 cup) small-curd cottage cheese

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 pound store-bought pizza dough, room temperature

6 large eggs

2 scallions, sliced thin

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 F. Grease rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil.

Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate; when cool enough to handle, crumble bacon. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan in bowl; set aside. Combine cottage cheese, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon oil in separate bowl; set aside.

Sprinkle counter lightly with flour. Roll dough into 15-by-11-inch rectangle with rolling pin, pulling on corners to help make distinct rectangle. Transfer dough to prepared sheet and press to edges of sheet. Brush edges of dough with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake dough until top appears dry and bottom is just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Remove crust from oven and, using spatula, press down on any air bubbles. Spread cottage cheese mixture evenly over top, leaving 1-inch border around edges. Sprinkle bacon evenly over cottage cheese mixture.

Sprinkle mozzarella mixture evenly over pizza, leaving 1/2-inch border. Create 2 rows of 3 evenly spaced small wells in cheese, each about 3 inches in diameter (6 wells total). Crack 1 egg into each well, then season each egg with salt and pepper.

Return pizza to oven and bake until crust is light golden around edges and eggs are just set, 9 to 10 minutes for slightly runny yolks or 11 to 12 minutes for soft-cooked yolks, rotating sheet halfway through baking.

Transfer pan to wire rack and let pizza cool for 5 minutes. Transfer pizza to cutting board. Sprinkle with scallions and chives and drizzle with extra oil. Slice and serve.

Variation:

— Chorizo and Manchego Breakfast Pizza: Substitute 6 ounces chorizo sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices, for bacon and 1 cup shredded Manchego cheese for Parmesan. Cook chorizo in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool completely before proceeding.

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Nutrition information per serving: 492 calories; 250 calories from fat; 28 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 248 mg cholesterol; 1190 mg sodium; 36 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 26 g protein.