I made four different kinds of pizza today. I figured, since I was cooking and chopping the toppings anyway, I might as well use them all up. Its the prep time that takes so long anyway. The pizzas themselves throw together and bake very quickly.
All my pizzas have a lot of sauce and mozzarella cheese to start with. Some also have parmesan and sometimes cheddar, making them "three cheese" pizzsa. I did not use cheddar on any of these today, but a couple of them do have parmesan.
This one is my "Special" Hawaiian. It's my personal favourite! It has ham, pineapple, a small amount of bacon and coconut. I LOVE the addition of coconut on a Hawaiian pizza! I love coconut in anything and this is delicious! This idea came from a wood fired pizza place in Ontario, where we used to live. This is their St. Lucia pizza pie. I have made my Hawaiian pizzas with this blend of toppings since falling in love with the one they serve. (This is their website menu, if you want to get some fabulous pizza ideas: Wood Fired Pizza Pie Joint)
This is Hubby's favourite. It is simply sausage, mushroom and onion. If there are fewer variety of toppings, I put more on so it still weighs the same as the other pizzas.
This one is grilled chicken, small amt of bacon, mushroom, onion and parmesan. The chicken is cooked with onion and garlic before adding to the pizza.
This one has the most toppings and is quite a bit heavier than the other three. It's a "Deluxe" and has peppers, onions, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, tomato and parmesan. Due to the extra toppings, I had to cook it a bit longer to get all the toppings done. I think it still may need a bit more cooking.
To use tomatoes on pizza, all of the water needs to be removed. I slice them as thin as I can get them and pat them dry between paper towels. This usually removes the water, gel and most of the seeds. All the veggies are sliced as thin as I can get them. I also dry the pineapple between paper towels. You want the pizza ingredients to be as dry as possible. The ham is sliced thin too, so it cooks and curls up in the oven.
Don't overcook the bacon - leave it slightly soft and chop the sausage up into very small pieces or thin slices. Sausage can be overpowering in a pizza if there are a lot of big pieces.
I like the thin, crispy crust. The thick edge usually gets tossed out anyway, so why waste it? I also like the bottom to be crispy so I keep it thin. I make a regular large pizza crust recipe and divide it in half exactly, to make two 12" pizzas without edges. I roll it out very thin and spread the sauce and toppings all the way to the edge.
These pizzas are baked on a stone that is preheated in the oven. It's important that the stone be already hot when the pizza goes on it to get the bottom done and crispy, without burning it. I cut pieces of parchment paper for each pizza, the same size as the stone and roll the dough out to match it. I put the dough on the parchment paper and add all the ingredients. When the pizza is ready to go, I take the hot stone out of the oven and slide the pizza, parchment paper and all, onto it. (The parchment paper cooks with the pizza and does not take away from the stone effect at all.)
The hot stone with the pizza on it is then put back into the oven to bake about 12-14 mins on the lowest rack. If it is an especially heavy pizza, I might then stick it under the broiler for just a couple of minutes to further cook and brown the toppings.
I was feeling industrious today! Must be the extra sunshine! The days up here are rapidly getting longer. It is light outside now before 6 am. That will change somewhat after we "spring forward" and the time changes, but then the days will just keep getting longer until the end of June, when it starts going back the other way. In June when the days are the longest, it is light at 11 pm up here. The further north you are, the longer the days are in the summer. Likewise, the shorter they get in the wintertime. At the north pole, winter is 6 months of night and summer is 6 months of day. We are not that far north, but we are far north enough to have extremely long days during the summer months. Anyway...to make a short story long...we are starting to get a lot of sunlight now and it is very welcome!
The pizzas I made today all came out perfectly! That's not always the case. Sometimes I am multitasking and get distracted while it is baking...