I think the first time I had a Hawaiian pizza was when we took Akshaya to the Pizza Hut in Cochin. It had pineapple on it and there was something about the sweet and sour combination that we liked.
I later discovered that Hawaiian pizza is usually topped with pineapple and ham or bacon. Of course, in India we get lots of vegetarian versions or options unlike in many other countries. I remember, when we were in Portugal, we came across a McDonald's and couldn't find a single item on their menu which was vegetarian, except the fries! Yet, in India, their restaurants serve quite a variety of vegetarian food some which I think may be available on their menus only in this country.
When I first started making pizza, I used to use the readymade bases. To be honest, the pizza used to taste awful with those bases. Those were the days before I had ventured into baking bread. Happily, we didn’t have to eat those pizzas for very long and I have since discovered that making one’s own pizza bases is very easy.
I made this particular base using whole wheat flour and oat flour (I powdered rolled oats). I used some all purpose flour as well, as I wasn’t sure what the texture of the base would be like. The crust turned out crisp, slightly chewy and good. We liked it and Akshaya was surprised to find out that her pizza had oats in it! As for the toppings, apart from the pineapple, I added bell peppers and sweet corn. I also added some cheddar which I needed to use up.
1 cup chopped bell peppers/ capsicum (red, green and yellow)
a small handful of frozen sweet corn
mixed dried herbs and chilli flakes
grated mozzarella cheese
grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm milk and allow the yeast to prove. I do not get oat flour here, so I ran rolled oats in the small jar of my mixer/ grinder to powder it.
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, if preferred. 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. Spread the marinara sauce on the dough and then the toppings over this. Garnish with herbs and chilli flakes. Top with the cheese and bake at 230C for about 15 to 20 minutes till the base is brown and the cheese is bubbly.
I find the cheese tends to burn on my pizzas by the time the base is cooked. So I add the cheese only when my pizza is about half done. This gives me a cooked pizza with the cheese melted just right. This recipe makes one 9” medium crust pizza.