This pizza is my little tribute to Waiheke Island, incorporating figs, grapes, blue cheese and olive oil all grown and made right there.
4 cups 00 or high grade flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups tepid water
1 teaspoon runny honey or caster sugar
1x 8 gram sachet dried yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
Waiheke Pizza Topping
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups caramelised onions (either homemade or good quality bought)
8-10 fresh, ripe figs, quartered
2 small bunches red grapes
300 grams blue cheese
250 grams proscuitto, separated into slices
3 handfuls wild rocket leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
With a crispy pizza base topped with a sprinkling of grated parmesan and sweet onion jam, ripe figs, juicy red grapes, pungent blue cheese and crispy, salty prosciutto, it would be rude not to share! The pizza easily serves 6 or 8 with a big salad, and is the perfect bite to have while hanging out with friends. A few bottles of red wine and a pack of cards and you'll be in total Waiheke mode.
Mix flour and salt together in a big bowl or mixer. Put water in a jug, whisk in honey then gently stir in yeast and leave to sit for 5 minutes until the mix has a frothy top. Stir into flour with olive oil, then either mix by hand, or use a mixer with a dough hook to bring the dough together and knead for 5 minutes (longer by hand - tip out of the bowl and give it at least 10 minutes of kneading!) until it is smooth and elastic.
Put into a bowl greased with a little extra olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave to sit in a warmish spot for 45 minutes. Remove from the bowl, knock the air out and knead a minute or two further. If the dough feels extra sticky, knead lightly on a floured bench or board until the flour is incorporated and the dough feels smooth and glossy. Cover with plastic wrap again and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, which I find helps to 'settle' it. You can now use the dough or halve it and refrigerate it again (for up to two days) until you are ready to use it. Be aware that it may try and escape from its plastic wrappings in the fridge!
Separate pizza dough into 3 pieces. Cut 3 lengths of baking paper to fit oven trays. Roll each piece of pizza dough out onto each sheet of baking paper and preheat oven (and 3 oven trays) to 210˚C (415˚F). Sprinkle a third of the Parmesan onto each pizza base, then top with caramelised onion. Randomly add fig pieces and grapes then crumble over blue cheese and lay pieces of prosciutto at intervals. Carefully slide pizzas (on baking paper) onto hot oven trays and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden, bubbling and smelling incredible. Remove from the oven, sprinkle over a few rocket leaves, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Serve straight away with a glass or three of red wine. Serves 6-8
Products I used from the island:
Blue Cheese - Waiheke Island Cheese Company, Church Bay Blue
Olive Oil – Number 29, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red wine – Te Motu Cabernet Merlot