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Finally!

For the first time, I am finally participating in one of the most famous events in foodblogworldom, Hay Hay it’s Donna Day! created by our dear Barbara of Winosandfoodies.com.

This month’s event, the 17th installment, is hosted by sweet Joey (whom I love) of 80 Breakfasts. And Joey has very wisely chosen the theme of pizza.

Who doesn’t love pizza? I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t love the idea of baked dough with topping on it. If you do know someone who doesn’t love pizza, feel free to send them my way for an intensive course in the beauty and glory of pizza.

I’ve been eating the stuff for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my mother would make pizza almost every week. Occasionally, when we were really lucky, we’d get taken out to one of the local Italian restaurants that made a good version of the famous thin-crust Italian pizza. And of course once I went to Italy and had my very first taste of the real deal, I was even more in love than ever before.

I finally decided to put my mother’s teachings to good use in my 20s and started making pizza on my own. Once you get the hang of a basic pizza dough, it’s almost impossible not to make incredible pizza.

Seriously.

And of course the best part is experimenting with toppings. My favourite pizza is still the simplest one imagineable. I like it with a bit of tomato sauce, a light sprinkling of mozzarella, a drizzle of hot oil and some fresh basil.

For the event, Joey provided a pizza dough recipe from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics (Book 1). I’m a huge Donna Hay fan. Her magazines are like little of works of art. I enjoy buying them simply for the pleasure of leafing through them. I also appreciate the clean, fresh approach to food that her magazine embodies.

Since this is my first time participating in HHDD, and since I’ve made savoury pizza so often, I decided I’d go out on a limb and use the pizza dough recipe to create a sweet pizza!

Almost immediately, I decided that I would use a technique I learned when I was reviewing Carol Walter’s incredible Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More. While looking through that cookbook, I found a recipe for a Dimpled Sugar Cake that was made by creating dimples in risen dough and then filling those dimples with a bit of brown sugar and butter. During baking, the butter and sugar caramelize to create a sugared topping that’s lovely.

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I wanted to do this with the pizza but I wanted more in terms of flavour so I decided to add almond. I did this in two ways: first by rubbing some pure almond extract into the brown sugar that I used for the pizza and second by sprinkling some sliced almonds over the top halfway through baking.

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Once I’d decided what flavours I wanted for my pizza, I started thinking about presentation. Do I want another pizza cut into wedges? Nah!

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Instead, I settled on the idea of pizza sticks that could be dipped in something and of course that something had to be chocolate! I had some lovely dark chocolate on hand so I simply melted a bit and placed it alongside the pizza sticks for dipping.

What a delicious treat! And further proof that pizza must be considered one of the most adaptable and versatile foods out there.

Happy HHDD everyone!

Ciao!

For the pizza dough recipe, visit Joey’s blog.

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