Saturday, 12 January 2008

#17 HHDD - Carrot, Mushroom & Pumpkin Seed Pizza

Yes that’s right, your eyes are not deceiving you – carrot and pumpkin seeds on a pizza!! And, it’s delicious!

Before you think I’ve lost my mind, just stop and think about it for a second. The carrot is grated and so when it’s in the oven, it bakes and intensifies in flavour and adds a nice subtle sweetness. Think of how good roasted carrots taste, well it’s just like that. The pumpkin seeds toast and produce a wonderfully nutty flavour. Their thick skins prevent them from burning and tasting bitter. I added the mushrooms as one, I love mushrooms and two, there’re earthiness really complements the other flavours. I like my pizza's to have a thick fluffy edge and a thinner crisp base. I achieved this by stretching the dough from the middle outwards.

I first came up with this pizza topping when I was in my first year of university. I came home in a bad mood and really needed pizza. I didn’t have many ingredients to hand so I just used what I had and thus the carrot pizza was born. Its true students will eat anything, I ate my fair share of weird meals, the worst being passata, cottage cheese and lettuce in a stew – but that’s another story, thankfully this pizza was one of the more successful creations.

Although I often use this pizza topping, I have rarely been happy with the recipe for pizza dough. Most seem to either turn out with soggy bases, crisp so much that I fear loosing a tooth or simply weld themselves onto the tray. However, all that changed today – I have now found my perfect pizza dough. It’s using a method from the King Arthur Flour Company and involves baking the dough for 4 minutes in a very hot oven before adding the toppings. The result – no more soggy bases and it allows the dough to puff up, free from the heavy weights of toppings meaning it produces a wonderfully light and springy crust with a crisp base, ingenious. Hooray!

This is my entry to #17 ‘Hay Hay Its Donna Day’ run by ChichaJo of 80 Breakfasts. Surprise, surprise the theme is Pizza. You have until the 26th January to get your entries in, so get creating.

Carrot, Mushroom & Pumpkin Seed Pizza
For the pizza dough

(Adapted from Modern Claasic 1 by Donna Hay)
225g strong plain bread flour
¾ tsp fast action yeast
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
125 – 150ml warm water

Method
Place all the ingredients, expect the water, into a large bowl. Add half of the water and mix with your fingers to incorporate the water.
Add more water in small amounts until a dough has formed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with the base of your hand, adding dustings of extra flour when needed. The dough should be soft and tacky but not sticky.
Form the dough into a ball, it should still look a little rough on the surface, and place into a large greased bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for an hour.
While waiting for the dough to rise, make the tomato sauce (see below).
Preheat the oven to 250C and place a baking tray into the oven to heat up. Have a sheet of greaseproof paper the same size as your baking tray to hand.
After proving, you can either place the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days or continue to make the pizza.
To continue, knead the dough lightly, only 1-2 times, to knock the dough back and then gently stretch to the shape of your greaseproof paper and lay the dough upon it.
When the oven is up to temperature, transfer your greaseproof paper with the pizza dough on it onto the hot baking tray and bake for 4 minutes until the dough puffs up and a light brown surface crust is formed.
Remove from the oven, top with sauce and your choice of toppings and then return to the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes more.
The crust should be golden brown and crisp and the toppings cooked and bubbling.
Eat and enjoy.
Makes 1 large pizza

For the tomato sauce
1 small can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 spring of fresh thyme
½ tsp sugar (if tomatoes are very sharp)
Black pepper

Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer and cook until thickened and most of the water has evaporated. Place to one side and use when needed.

Additional toppings
1 large carrot
3 button mushrooms
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Fresh mozzarella

Cover the surface of the baked pizza crust with the tomato sauce, leaving an inch edge.
Grate the carrot and sprinkle over the tomato surface. Cut each mushroom into 6 and arrange over the carrot layer and sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds. Dot with thin slices of fresh mozzarella and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Update: The complete roundup can be found here!

15 comments:

Gigi said...

Wow! What a creative pizza! I am still trying to decide what toppings to use. You have a fantastic pizza to enter, I'll hopefully see you at the round up.

glamah16 said...
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glamah16 said...

Very healty and interseting combos. We are going to have some great pizzas in this event.

PamN said...

I am going to have to try this...my dh LOVES pumpkin seeds and pizza!

Johanna said...

That looks delicious - why can't pizza restaurants do interesting pizza like this instead of the usual vegetarian tomato, mushroom, capsicum, olives and cheese pizzas!

Peabody said...

Now there is a combo I never would have thought of, very creative!

Ellie said...

Ooer, I can see myself liking this very much - sounds like a similar principle to my favourite pumpkin/pinenut pizza with the sweet veggie complementing the nutty flavour of the seeds! Must give it a try next time I make pizza :)

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Big Boys Oven said...

I really want to put my hands on this lovely, delicious pizza!

joey said...

What an interesting combination of topics...I can imagine how good the grated carrot would be roasted in the oven! This is genius!

Thanks for sharing that crust recipe...since this was my first time ever to make crust by scratch I am looking forward to trying different recipes out :)

shannon said...

Hi ,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Foodbuzz.com. I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.

And wow, I never would have thought of combining carrots and pumpkin seeds on a pizza! It looks too good not to try, though, so I just may have to put it on my weekend menu. :)

Cheers!

Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com
shannon@foodbuzz.com

eatme_delicious said...

I really love your pizza topping combination! I've never thought of putting those 3 together but now I definitely have to try it.

Tartelette said...

How unusual and absolutely gorgeous!

Barbara said...

A wierd and wonderful combination :) Thanks for joining HHDD.

DV said...
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DV said...

That's really innovative! Very healthy and its' vegetarian! Yahoo!!!! I wanna grab a slice directly from your pic!
TastyVegCooking