Other than making our kids a special cake for their birthdays, we usually let them choose which restaurant or type of food they want to eat. Surprisingly, for two years in a row my son chose to have my homemade pizza for his birthday dinner! This is a moment that makes a mom feel proud – when her child chooses her homemade food over going to a restaurant ✌
My only exposure to pizza growing up in Hong Kong was Pizza Hut. Our typical “Italian takeout” dinner consisted of a large pizza, an order of pasta, and a small loaf of garlic bread.
I never dreamed of making homemade pizzas until I bought a bread maker several years ago. You just need to measure 6 ingredients, let the machine do its magic for less than 2 hours, and voila – your pizza dough is ready. The bread machine is such an awesome appliance to have in the kitchen!
What is pizza? I think we all have some ideas of what pizza is, but let’s be a food nerd for a moment.
- According to Wikipedia:
- The ancestors of pizza were yeast-based flat breads, probably focaccias, with toppings.
- Modern pizza was developed in Naples, Italy with tomato added as a topping.
- The 2 authentic pizzas preferred by Italians are:
- Pizza marinara
- toppings: marinara sauce, oregano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Pizza margherita
- toppings: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.
- Pizza marinara
- Pizzas nowadays can come in different sizes, shapes, and topping choices. Here are a few popular crusts:
- Neapolitan pizza crust
- Raised edge; soft and elastic; roundish, with a diameter of 30-35 cm (according to the True Neapolitan Pizza Association).
- New York style pizza crust
- Normally large and hand tossed.
- Thick and crisp edge, thin and soft center for folding the pizza slice in half.
- Chicago-style deep dish pizza crust
- Very thick crust–more like a pie than a flatbread.
- Sicilian pizza crust
- The authentic Sicilian is fluffy and spongy (according to the website: The Spruce Eats).
- The one developed in New York is thicker and square in shape.
- Neapolitan pizza crust
Hawaiian pizza notes:
- According to Wikipedia, a Greek-Canadian man claimed that he created the 1st Hawaiian pizza in Ontario, Canada in 1962.
- Hawaiian pizza was the most popular pizza in Australia in 1999.
- The toppings on a typical Hawaiian pizza include tomato sauce, cheese, pineapple and ham.
Do you have a particular type of pizza you order at restaurants or takeout? Or do you like to build your own pizzas? When you make homemade pizza, you can be as creative as you like to create a pizza that suits your family’s taste and style! This time I am making my version of Hawaiian pizza: olive oil/ pizza sauce instead of tomato sauce; thick diced ham instead of thin sliced ham; olives; cheese and pineapple.
Homemade pizza with a bread machine
Kitchen instrument of the day: Zojirushi bread maker
- Water: 300mL (1 ¼ cups)
- Olive oil: 20g (1 ½ Tbsp.)
- Bread flour: 480g (3 ¾ cups)
- Sugar: 17g (1 ½ Tbsp.)
- Salt: 5.6g (1 tsp.)
- Active dry yeast: 4.2g (1 ½ tsp.)
- Olive oil or pizza sauce
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Cooked ham steak (about ½ in. thick), cubed
- Canned pineapple, diced
- Black olives, pitted and halved
- Follow your bread maker’s steps for making dough.
- Remove dough from baking pan onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough in half and shape into balls.
- Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest 20-30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (See tips below).
- Take one dough and press it into a 14″ greased pizza pan, forming a high crust at the edge.
- Use a fork to make holes on the dough. (Optional. See tips below).
- Brush the dough with olive oil or pizza sauce.
- Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese all over the dough.
- Arrange cubed ham to form the number 12/ 13.
- Outline the number 12/ 13 with halved olives.
- Fill the rest of the space with diced pineapple.
- Bake 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven at 400oF, or until cheese becomes bubbly and crust is golden brown.
- Take the other dough out and repeat the steps 5-12. Or you can use different toppings for this one!
- You can make the dough the day before and have it rest in the refrigerator over night.
- When making dough I always weigh my ingredients to ensure accuracy. If you don’t want to weigh everything, at least weigh the flour because measuring flour with a cup can be inaccurate, leading to inconsistent results.
- For step 6, the Zojirushi bread machine’s recipe book suggests poking holes (docking) in the dough to minimize the dough puffing up during baking. Lately, I skip this step and have found that the pizzas bake just as well.