Did you know Hawaiian pizza is the most popular pizza in Australia, accounting
for a full 15% of all pizza sales? And it's a popular choice in this country, as
well; though far from ousting pepperoni from the top spot, this ham-pineapple concoction
has been making steady inroads, particularly among kids.
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
*Hi-maize gives the crust an extra-crisp bottom; if you don't have it, use a
total of 3 3/4 cups high-gluten flour.
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into cubes, 4 to 5 cups; or two 20-ounce cans pineapple chunks, well drained
1 pound unsliced ham, cut into cubes or chunks
2 cups tomato or pizza sauce
2 to 4 cups shredded cheese; mozzarella, or your favorite combination
2 tablespoons olive oil
To make the dough: Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients, by hand,
mixer, or bread machine, till you've created a soft, smooth dough.
Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour. Use immediately, or refrigerate
for up to 24 hours; this will heighten the crust's flavor.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and divide it in half.
Lightly grease two 12" to 14" round pizza pans; or a couple of baking sheets;
or a couple of pieces of parchment (if you're going to bake on a stone).
Shape each piece of dough into a 10" to 14" disk (thick crust vs. thin crust),
and place in the prepared pans.
Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, till
the crust is as puffy as you like. While the crust is rising, prepare the filling.
And, towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Lightly grease a frying pan or skillet, and sauté the pineapple till lightly
browned. Remove the pineapple, and sauté the ham. While this step isn't strictly
necessary, it intensifies the flavors, and helps keep the pizza from getting soggy
from pineapple juice.
To prepare the pizzas: Bake the pizza crusts, without toppings, for about 12
minutes, till they're set but not browned.
Remove from the oven, and spread with tomato sauce. Layer with the pineapple
and ham, then sprinkle with cheese.
Return pizzas to the oven, and bake for an additional 12 to 16 minutes, till
the crusts are brown and the cheese is melted and barely beginning to brown.
Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack. Slice and serve as soon as possible.
Yield: 2 pizzas, about 16 slices | Hands-on time: 20 to 30 min | Baking time: 24 to 28 min
Recipe and photo credit: King Arthur Flour - kingarthurflour.com