To assemble 1 open-faced sandwich, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F or turn the broiler to low.
Set the focaccia on a baking sheet or in an ovenproof dish. Dot it with dollops of ricotta, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the pesto, and top with pecorino and the prosciutto cotto.
Either crack the egg directly on the top and bake until the egg is set, about 10 minutes, or prepare a sunny-up and bake the pizza bianca separately until slightly crisp on the edges, then lay the egg on top.
To finish, top the egg with remaining 1 tablespoon pesto, plenty of pecorino, and a pinch of chile flakes. Cut it in half if you intend to share, but don't feel bad if you scarf this down solo.
Measure 275 grams of water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and add the yeast. Disperse with your hand, then add 25 grams olive oil, the flour, and sugar. Mix briefly on low speed to combine the ingredients, then let rest (autolyse), covered, for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with the kosher salt and add the remaining 25 grams water. Mix on speed 1 (low speed) for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough begins to pull from the sides of the bowl and appears shiny and smooth.
Turn the dough out onto a greased baking sheet and cover loosely with well-oiled plastic. (The easiest way to oil a sheet of plastic is simply to drag it across the greased baking sheet.)
Let the dough rise for 1 hour; it will be quite puffy and fill nearly three-fourths of the baking sheet. (This first rise on the baking sheet uses gravity to help spread and stretch the dough.)
Gently remove the plastic and use well-oiled fingertips to poke the dough and stretch to fill the pan. (This step fulfills the same purpose as a punch down or pre-shape in some of our other breads. You're taking away some of the gas while encouraging the dough to take its final shape.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover the focaccia with well-oiled plastic, and let it proof for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the dough fills the entire pan. Gently remove the plastic and give the dough one last well-oiled poke.
Sprinkle with the oregano, rosemary, and fennel pollen (if using). Drizzle with the remaining 15 grams olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Sprinkle with the Maldon salt.
To make the ricotta, in a large saucepan, combine the milk and cream and bring to 180 degrees F over medium heat, being very careful not to let it boil. Add the salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest 10 minutes.
Set a colander over a large bowl and line the colander with cheesecloth. Using a measuring cup or a large ladle, give the pot another good stir. You will see that the curds and whey have separated. Gently ladle the curds into the colander. If you're going for ultimate richness, try not to break up the curds as you make this transfer.
Let the ricotta drain in the fridge for about 2 hours, then remove it from the cheesecloth and store it in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will last for 7 days. (If you like, drain some of the whey from the bowl and reserve it for another use, such as a great probiotic lemonade.)
In a blender, puree the olive oil and basil at high speed. Do not let it go too long or the heat from the blender will turn the basil brown. Add the pine nuts and puree another 1 minute, or until smooth. Pour the basil puree into a bowl and stir in the pecorino, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic. Season with salt to taste and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 30 days.
Adapted from"Egg Shop: The Cookbook" by Nick Korbee © William Morrow Cookbooks 2017. Provided courtesy of Nick Korbee. All rights reserved.
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