I did however have some fun playing around with toppings. Mike used to love the BBQ chicken pizza from California Pizza Kitchen. (This was quite a while ago.) Barbeque sauce in place of tomato sauce was definitely in. (Mike pretty much likes any excuse to eat barbeque sauce.) Lately, anytime we’ve used barbeque sauce, I’ve made it from scratch. It’s ridiculously easy, plus homemade sauce is fun because you get to tweak the seasonings. (And there’s no gluten issues.)
Now the chicken part was clearly a no-go. I thought about a smoked tofu, but that just wasn’t doing it for me. Mike’s favorite pizza topping is pineapple. Pineapple and BBQ sauce pair nicely. Throw in some red onion and fresh mozzarella, and we were good to go.
Start by making the pizza dough. (Per their instructions, you’ll only use half of the recipe for one pizza. Halve the recipe or save some dough for later.) The recipe is a yeasted dough, so you need to let the dough rise for about an hour. While you’re letting the dough rest, start on the BBQ sauce. Alternatively, you could buy a pre-made crust (I won’t judge) in which case, start with the sauce.
Homemade Barbeque Sauce:
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour. If sauce needs to be thinned, remove cover and allow to cook about 15 minutes more. Otherwise, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once the crust has been pre-baked as per Shauna’s instructions, remove from the oven and top with the following:
- Homemade barbeque sauce
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into small chunks
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
- 1/4 medium red onion, sliced into half-moons
Return to the oven (already set at 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and pineapples are just beginning to brown. Remove and serve.
The crust was very thin and cracker-like, which was not too surprising as the recipe also doubles as a cracker recipe. It’s definitely for thin crust lovers.
The BBQ sauce has a spicy kick. If you prefer a milder sauce, halve the amount of crushed red pepper. Does the sauce really need to cook for an hour? Mmm, probably not. It’s one of those things that could be ready in 5 minutes, but the flavor gets better the longer you let it cook. It’s also one of those things you don’t have to be very exact about. Want it sweeter? Add more molasses, or brown sugar or honey. Maybe you want it tangier? Add more vinegar. Give it a smokier taste with more liquid smoke or perhaps some chopped chipotle peppers. Or maybe you’re the type that would add a slug of whiskey. (We should hang out sometime. ;))
Canned pineapple can be used, but as Mike will attest from years of pineapple pizza eating, fresh is just better. Fresh torn cilantro sprinkled on top is a nice addition after the pizza has been baked.