Pizza is absolutely my favorite dish. I LOVE pizza. I love making the pizza dough, I love making my own pizza sauce, I love to prepare the ingredients (no, this is not my Valentine’s Day post!)… But most of all, I love to bake pizza on my pizza stone. About a year ago, I bought a pizza stone. I wasn’t sure about it really, at first, but having seen so many cooking shows where the host raves about his or her pizza stone, you can see why I had to get one. And, boy am I ever glad I did! I mean, I had baked pizza at home before, but I was always disappointed with the crust. It didn’t puff up the right way, it wasn’t the right color. I tried different dough recipes, different pizza pans, nothing worked. Until the pizza stone. When I cut through the first pizza I baked on my new stone, I was amazed that the crust wasn’t soggy in the middle. When I tasted my first slice I knew I had made the best pizza ever. All homemade! That is an incredible feeling. Whew! Who knew pizza could stir up so much emotion!
I usually like my pizza pretty traditional: tomato sauce, very thin pepperoni slices, diced red onions and green peppers, grated mozzarella cheese and LOTS of fresh mushrooms on top. For my first ever blog-event though, I wanted to do something different. With the dough recipe I made 4 small thin-crust pizzas. I made two with thinly sliced tomatoes, strips of prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. OK, those two weren’t very different ingredient wise, but I rarely put tomato slices on pizza and I must say, with the thin crust, it worked quite well.
The other two were topped with a caramelized onion, fig and white port “jam”, for lack of a better word, tiny strips of prosciutto and firm goat cheese, grated. Once they were baked I shredded a few arugula leaves on top for contrast. The sweetness of the figs with the saltiness of the prosciutto and goat cheese was wonderful. The distinct taste of the figs was not lost at all throughout the other ingredients and the onions, once caramelized only added to the sweetness. This was not a traditional pizza, well not at our house anyway, and it was fun to change things around a bit.
So, that’s it, Caramelized Onion, Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Goat Cheese, my entry for Hay Hay it’s Donna Day! My first ever food blog-event, I’m so proud!
(from Modern Classics I by Donna Hay, page 186)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) warm water
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Place the yeast, sugar, and water in a bowl. Set aside until bubbles form.
Add the four, salt, and oil, and mix to form a smooth dough. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover, and allow to stand in a warm place until it has doubled in size. *The original recipe says about 20 minutes but mine took at least an hour.
Makes one quantity.Caramelized Onion, Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Goat Cheese
2 red onions, thinly sliced
5 dried figs, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup white port
Salt and Pepper, to taste
5 thin slices of prosciutto, cut into strips
arugula, for garnish
Place your pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to 500F.
In a skillet melt butter with olive oil. Add onion slices and let cook over medium heat until nicely caramelized. Give it a good 45 to 50 minutes, it’ll be worth it, I promise. Deglaze the pan with the port, add the figs and cook until there is no liquid in the pan. It shouldn’t take long, maybe 5 to 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
Divide your pizza dough into as many pizzas as you want to make and roll it to your desired thickness. Spread the fig and onion mixture onto the dough, top with the prosciutto strips and goat cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with shredded arugula leaves.
Note: I made 4 small, thin crust pizzas with the dough recipe, though the ingredients I’ve given for the Caramelized Onion, Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Goat Cheese will only be enough for two.