HHDD #17: Pizza!


Hello 2008! Let me stand here for a moment, at the start of the New Year, and just inhale all the clean, new air filled with the promise of a slate-wiped-clean, shiny resolutions and the optimism to see them through, new adventures, and what appears to be (from this January vantage point at least) endless fields of possibilities. Mmmmm…

Ok, that’s done…now onwards and upwards my friends, let’s leave no stone unturned, no territory unexplored, and no story untold this year. Let this be a year for truth, hope, and love. And as always, good food :)

On that note, I can think of no better way for me to start my year than by opening next the round of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day! As I have mentioned before, I am quite the Donna Hay fan, and subsequently, HHDD is one of my absolute favorite blog-events (thank you Barbara for creating it!). So, as you can imagine, I was beyond thrilled to have won the last round and to host this one.

Alright…enough chat and on with the program. For this round of HHDD the theme I chose is…PIZZA! I have seen many gorgeous versions of this Italian staple in the pages of Donna’s books and magazines. Plus, I had never made pizza crust from scratch before. Plus, I have a sadly neglected pizza stone in need of some action. Plus, pizza is always fun! That was enough reason for me, and I hope for all of you as well to join me :)

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 (Donna says about 20 minutes, but mine took longer). Makes one quantity.

Classic Tomato Pizza
Modern Classics I by Donna Hay, page 82)

  • 1 quantity basic pizza dough
  • Semolina for dusting
  • 4 vine ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oregano leaves
  • 300 grams mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup black olives
  • Olive oil

- Preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F). Place flat baking trays in the oven to heat (I used my pizza stone!).
- Divide the dough into four (I made three instead).
- Roll out to 2-3 mm thick on a sheet of non-stick baking paper dusted with semolina.
- Top each pizza base with some tomato slices, oregano, mozzarella, and olives. Drizzle over some oil.
- Lift the baking paper and pizza onto the preheated trays.
- Bake each pizza for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.

I decided to choose the simplest recipe I could find (Classic Tomato) so you could run with it wherever preference, craving and imagination takes you. Pizza lends itself magnificently to interpretation so don’t be shy to show me your pizza-nality! All I ask is that your entries remain pizzas…i.e. pizza crust + topping :)

To get you started, here are some variations I made using the same dough:
- Anchovy, Caper, and Roasted Garlic Pizza
- Kesong Puti (local fresh white cheese) and Lucban Longanisa (native sausage we got on our trip to Bicol) Pizza

Here are more pizza ideas from Donna Hay:
- Pumpkin and Goat’s Cheese Pizza
- Tomato, Smoked Mozzarella, and Oregano Pizza
- Spicy Goat’s Cheese Pizza
- Roast Capsicum and Basil Pizza
- Artichoke and Ham Spring Pizza

And don’t think that all pizzas should be savory…I would love to see some sweet pizzas too!

Before I get carried away, here are the rules:
- Hay Hay Its Donna Day is open to all food and wine bloggers.
- Entries submitted for HHDD must be made specifically for this event, although photos may be submitted to Does My Blog Look Good In This.
- The host will select, make and post the original Donna Hay recipe without any changes. Participants may make the same recipe as is, or put their own spin on the recipe by altering the ingredients whilst remaining with the theme.
- Entrants should include a link to the host in their post.
- Entries can be made at any time once the event has been announced but must be posted and emailed to the host by the closing date.
- Deadline for all posts to be up and submitted is January 26, 2008. I will be posting the round up a week later (February 2) and voting will begin then!
- You can email all your entries to eighty_breakfasts(AT)yahoo(DOT)com on or before January 26, 2008. In your email, please include the following information: your blog name, your name, your location, your recipe name, and the permalink to your entry.
- The winner with receive a food related prize care of yours truly!

That’s it! Hope you can all join this round of HHDD! :)