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
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)
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.
1 large carrot
3 button mushrooms
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
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!