Lots of us like to boast that we can make a great homemade pizza from scratch, but not many of us can actually back up that claim universally.
Making pizza to our own tastes is usually how it goes when you’re the master of your own culinary domain but aye, there’s the rub. A family member on my mother’s side who shall not be named (cough Uncle Terry cough) once committed the heinous crime of adding cut up Vienna Sausages to top his pizza which I found to be extremely terrible for the same reasons that he probably loved it.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have different tastes. Pizza – with its endless range of topping options makes that point perfectly clear for everyone.
The most common example cited for this is also the greatest social media debate of this century — whether or not pineapple should go on pizza. My loyalty lies in the camp favouring the pineapple topping (because it’s awesome, change my mind) and I tested this debate with a friend of mine when he suggested we taste test my pineapple pizza vs his ground moose pizza to decide which topping reigned supreme.
Homemade pizza has been something I’ve shied away from making and eating because of my active yeast allergy — which is a serious pain in the neck for cooks to have.
Can I claim to be an expert? That’s a deep dish negative, but I’ve made enough of them to be relatively good at it despite the risk of swelling up bigger than my ego about it. My secret was letting the yeast proof separately and treating it like anthrax-infused nitroglycerine.
I’m sure Nick took this into account when he challenged me to the cook-off and expected me to bow out of the challenge. Poor Nick…I digress. Without further ado, I give you the recipe for what I made in the challenge that day
Bursey’s Greek Hawaiian Pizza
1 cup warm water
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup pizza sauce
In a medium bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water and let stand for roughly 6 minutes or until foamy. In a large food processor, use dough hook attachment and combine all ingredients until a ball forms. Lightly coat a large bowl in olive oil and add ball of dough. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Cut in half and roll each half out approx. ¼ inch thick at 9 inches. Place on a lightly oiled pizza pan. Spread pizza sauce on both pizzas.
1/3 of a pineapple, peeled and diced
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup frying ham, small diced
1 cup bacon, small diced
1 cup feta cheese
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 450 F. In sequential order, add ¾ of the mozzarella cheese followed by all, seasoning, bacon, ham, pineapple, tomato, feta cheese and remaining mozarella to both sauced pizzas. Bake pizzas on middle rack for 15 – 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Nick made a delicious ground moose pizza that day in his own oven, even going the extra mile (literally) by delivering it to my door in a recycled delivery pizza with a moose drawn on the white box cover with a sharpie.
By then it was only a short wait until mine was baked to taste test against his moose pizza.
Naturally, we had a couple of mutual friends and family there to be additional judges to avoid a tie and conflict of interest. When all the pizza was eaten down to the crust-butts…he won by a single vote. And yes, dear readers, that vote was my own.