Happy Valley Chow

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Hawaiian Pizza (Pineapple Marinara, Prosciutto & Sage)

It's safe to say that I have a deep seeded love for pizza. I mean, even as I write this post I'm chowing down on a Smart One pizza. Like the great Mel Brooks said "Sex is like pizza...even when it's bad, it's still pretty good." So when I was given the opportunity to make a better pizza at home, I jumped at the opportunity. In comes The Baking Steel

I have wrote before about the advantages of using metal when baking pizza and I am still set on that way. I am totally done with stoneware. The main difference between stoneware vs. steel is there ability to radiate heat. A pizza stone in a 550°F oven will stabilize around 500°F, where as the baking steel will stabilize around 450°F. Now you might be asking "The pizza stone is hotter, doesn't that make it better?" and the answer to this is no. The stoneware will retain heat, where the steel is constantly radiating heat, making it slightly cooler than the air around it. The main advantage here for the baking steel is its ability to TRANSFER energy. In this case, transferring heat energy to a pizza. This will, in turn, cook the pizza faster and make the crust crispier and give the crust those ideal char spots. With a preheated pizza stone in a 550°F oven, it will take about 7-8 minutes. On the baking steal, with the same settings, is about 6 minutes (If you use the broiler method you can finish a pizza in 3-4 minutes).

The technique I liked the most for the Baking Steel was the broiler method. Place the Baking Steel on an oven rack, second from the top (Basically so you have enough room to slide the pizza on the steel). Then, crank the oven broiler on high and preheat the Baking Steel for an hour. I was able to finish a pizza in about 3 minutes with this technique (Think about the pizza party you could throw, being able to whip out a variety of pizzas in 3 minutes!!) 

The Hawaiian pizza in the above photo, I will admit didn't come out as good as I wanted it to. The reason is because I made the crust to thick. Which, meant I left the pizza on the baking steel to long and caused the bottom to get a little over done. Still it was a decent pizza and the Pineapple Marinara was really awesome. I've never been a huge fan of Hawaiian pizzas, just because they are a little to sweet to me with the chunks of pineapple. But, since the pineapple was in the marinara, it wasn't overpowering and the prosciutto and sage really worked well together. 

Hawaiian Pizza Ingredients
  • Pizza Dough, fresh or store bought
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple Marinara
  • 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella, grated
  • 3-5 slices proscuitto
  • 2 Tbsp sage, chopped

Place your The Baking Steel on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat it for an hour at the highest oven temperature. (I didn't use the broiler method for this one)

Stretch out your dough to a 12-14 inch diameter circle. Dust your pizza peel with flour and place the prepared pizza dough on the pizza peel. Give it a few quick jerks, this will make sure the dough moves freely on the pizza peel. 

Top with sauce, cheese and prosciutto. Transfer to the heated Baking Steel and bake for 5-6 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Top with chopped sage and serve. 


Lets be honest, the crust defines the pizza. The toppings for the most part are consistent across the board, but the crust...the crust gives your pizza character. Neapolitan, New York, Chicago, Sicilian...chewy, crispy, a little bit of both...wheat, white, gluten free....fermented, no-knead, knead....All of these result in extremely different and complex crusts. I love experimenting with pizza, whether it be the toppings or with trying out different types of dough's. 

For this recipe, I went with a no-knead dough that I proofed for 24 hours. The extended proofing period gives the dough a really unique flavor since it has time to ferment more. It gives the dough a yeasty/sourdough flavor quality to it. The longer you let it proof and ferment, the more sourdough flavor you're going to achieve. 

I also added in Vital Wheat Gluten to achieve a very chewy stretchy dough with lots of lift. Gluten is what gives any dough that stretchy/chewy quality. So adding it some additional gluten gives it some more of that desired texture. Then add in the fact that I used the Baking Steel, I got a really nice crispy exterior with a chewy interior. The flavor was awesome, I really like the yeasty/fermented tones in this crust. 

  • 3 1/3 Cup all-purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 Teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 375 mL Water 
  • Neutral tasting oil, as needed

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl until fully incorporated. Add in the water and mix to form a dough, it will be a sticky dough, don't add anymore flour. Cover the bowl with a clean, dry dish towel, and let dough rest in a warm place for 24 hours (at least 16 hours or up to 48 hours).

Scrape the dough onto a well-flowered work surface. Fold the dough in half, gently, several times without pressing or squeezing. Continue folding until it becomes springy and elastic, to the point where it become difficult to fold. Let rest for 1 minute and repeat this process for a total of 8 folds in 5 minutes. 

Cut the dough in half, roll each half into smooth, round balls. Coat with oil, wrap in plastic wrap and let them rest at room temp for an hour before using. 

Roll out dough into a 12-14" circle, transfer to a well floured pizza peel, give the dough a jerk so that it moves freely on the pizza peel, top and bake on the Baking Steel.

No-knead Pizza Crust (Pepperoni, Sausage & Red Pepper)

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