Monday, January 21, 2008

Hay Hay! It’s Pizza Time!

A few days ago, I started looking at blog-events for one that I could participate in, and when I saw that HHDD #17 theme was Pizza, well, I couldn’t pass it up! And, thanks to Joey at 80 Breakfasts, I had an excuse to make pizza, yay!

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!

Pizza Dough
(from Modern Classics I by Donna Hay, page 186)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
Pinch sugar
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

about 100g firm goat cheese (I used La Patte Blanche from Fromagerie Bergeron)

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.

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Brilynn said...

Pizza stones definitely make a difference, so tasty!

Your pizzas look wonderful, hopefully this is just your first event of many to participate in!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Pizza is my favorite food group! Yours looks amazing.

Evelin said...

I'm not a pizza person, but this combination would really get to me:)

Sophie said...

This looks seriously good!

I'm tempted to give it a try - have you got any ideas for what I could use instead of the white port?

LyB said...

Brilynn - Thank you! I'm already looking for another event to participate in, I'm hooked!

Lynn - Thank you! Pizza as a food group, I love it!

Evelin - It has a nice balance between sweet and salty.

Sophie - You could use red port or a sweet dessert wine, or if you don't want to use alcohol I'm sure apple juice would do the trick. Let me know if you give it a try!

Anonymous said...

They look so good! Yummy! I love pizza too. Making a sweet one for HHDD...

test it comm said...

Nice looking pizza. The topping combo sounds really good.

Sophie said...

Thanks LyB - apple juice is not a bad idea at all!

LyB said...

Linda - Can't wait to see your sweet take on pizza!

Kevin - Thank you so much!

Sophie - You're welcome!

Unknown said...

your pizza looks gooooodd!!

Anonymous said...

This looks divine...luxurious and delicious! I love the sound of this combination :)

I also love my pizza's great! And good for bread too :)

Thanks for joining HHDD!

LyB said...

Arfi Binsted - Thank you!

joey - Thank you! I use my pizza stone for bread too, it's a multi-task tool!

Sharona May said...

Your pizza looks wonderful especially the one with mushrooms and goat cheese!!

Ps. You really shouldn't have to do the dishes if you are the cook.
Who ever eats the wonderful meal should have to clean the dishes.

Sharona May

Nic said...

I make pizzas every week and have a stone - they do make a difference! I also like using a round baking sheet that has holes in to let the bottom crisp up.
I like your toppings, I've not had figs on pizza before, and your photos are making me drool....!

Mary said...

That is the most beautiful dough I have ever seen!

LyB said...

Sharona May - I'll tell my better half about the "whoever eats" rule, but I'm not holding my breath :)

Nic - My photos have drool factor? Cool! :)

Mary - Thank you very much, but my pizza stone did all the hard work ;)

Anonymous said...

What delicious pizza! Yum!

Barbara said...

I love this combination of flavours. Thanks for joining HHDD.

LyB said...

kristen - thank you!

barbara - I had lots of fun with the recipe; it's a wonderful event, I'm glad I joined!

Helene said...

Wonderful combination...I love how fresh and good for you it looks! Great entry!

LyB said...

Tartelette - Thank you, I had fun thinking of all the different combinations I could try.