Making Pizzas at home has now become the regular thing since I mastered yeast and bread dough. I make them often and we prefer the homemade stuff. We have a few favourites and this Fresh Fig Paneer Pizza is one of them. Another firm favourite is this Hawaiian Multigrain Crust Pizza. I know there a lot of Pizza lovers who will not recognise a Hawaiian Pizza as authentic or even an abomination. I understand their line of thought, but at the end of the day, personal preference matters the most.
Greek-Canadian chef Sam Panopoulos is supposed to have created the Hawaiian Pizza in 1962. He used pineapple to create a mix sweet and savoury flavours. This was not very well received initially but became more popular with time. The name Hawaiian was given to the pizza supposedly because Panopoulos used a canned brand of pineapple from Hawaii!
The first time I ate a Hawaiian pizza was when we took our daughter to Pizza Hut in Cochin. It was a Pizza with pineapple on it, and we liked sweet, slightly tangy, salty flavour combination. I later discovered that the Hawaiian Pizza is usually topped with pineapple and ham or bacon. In Indian, Pizza outlets and restaurants serve a lot of vegetarian versions or options. When we visited Portugal a few years back, McDonald’s there had no vegetarian options on their menu, except the fries! I think those fries were cooked in a non-vegetarian fat!
I started making Pizzas with store bought ready-made bases. They were awful and very doughy, to be honest. Once I mastered yeast and making bread, my Pizzas got much, much better. Recently, I have been experimenting with mixed flours and multigrain flours in my Pizza bases. I used a mix of whole wheat flour and oat flour in this version of Hawaiian Multigrain Crust Pizza. You can make oat flour by finely powdering rolled oats in a mixer/ blender.
The whole wheat-oat flour Pizza crust is quite hearty, crisp and slightly chewy in texture. I used sliced red and green bell peppers, sliced red onions, sweet corn kernels, and pineapple chunks as toppings. A light sprinkling of herbs, olive oil and grated mozarella completed it. This might seem like a lot but it works well.
Hawaiian Multigrain Crust Pizza
For the base:
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1 1/2 tsps active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats powdered
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
For the toppings:
- marinara sauce
- 11/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
- 1 cup red bell peppers sliced or chopped
- 1 cup green bell peppers sliced or chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
- 1 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs (or to taste)
- 3/4 tsp dried red chilli flakes (or to taste)
- grated Mozzarella cheese
- grated Cheddar cheese (optional)
- Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm milk and allow the yeast to prove.
- If you cannot find oat flour, run rolled oats in the mixer/ blender till you have as fine a powder as possible.
- Put the flours, salt, oil and the yeast mixture in the bowl of the processor. Process, adding just enough water to make a soft and elastic dough. You may do this by hand. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead further for a couple of minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise till double in volume.
- Deflate the dough and press it out into a circle. Place on a pizza pan or tray dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Brush the dough with some olive oil. Spread the marinara sauce on the dough and then the toppings over this. Garnish with herbs and chilli flakes. Bake at 230C (450F) for about 15 to 20 minutes till the base is brown and the cheese is bubbly. Add the cheese about 5 minutes before the pizza is ready to come out of the oven.