Bakers Formula: Mala Honey Pie Pizza
February 24, 2022 By Salar Madadi, Maipai tiki and pizza bar, Hamilton, Ont.
This winter issue we have offer something with a spicy kick. The Mala Honey Pie, by Salar Madadi, was named Best Pizza Recipe at the Canadian Pizza Summit. “I’ve never seen a combination of flavours like this on a pie anywhere,” says Madadi, who owns and operates Maipai tiki and pizza bar in Hamilton, Ont. “We specialize in Detroit-style pizza and tiki cocktails, and we keep a small but focused menu.”
He adds: “On a Detroit pie, this one hits all the bases – crisp from the cheese crown edges and crust, acid from the pickled chili, heat from the chili/crisp/honey, umami and salt from the Asiago, sweetness from the honey, and a little touch of bitter from the Thai basil.
“I’ve been a fan of Sichuan peppercorn and Mala flavours for a while, and I had created a wing flavour for our restaurant that used our house Mala spice and hot honey together. This started off as a staff meal experiment using those two as a base and evolved into this with some testing and balancing. I like to create a balance and contrast of textures and flavours on my pizzas, and this one is my favourite so far!”
- 1/2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 par-baked 10 by 14 Detroit-style pizza crust
- 1 tsp dried oregano –
- 12 ounces mozzarella / brick cheese half-and-half blend
- 1/2 tbsp Mala spice (see recipe below)
- 1-1/2 tbsp chili crisp – we use Lao Gan Ma chili in oil with black beans for a little extra savoury flavour, available in most Asian grocery stores
- 1/2 of 1 stem green onion, thinly sliced
- 15-20 slices pickled chili peppers (see recipe below)
- 8-12 leaves Thai / cinnamon basil
- 1 tbsp Asiago cheese, shredded
- 1 tbsp hot honey – we use a house-made honey that we infuse with scotch bonnets and Thai chili: use your favourite hot honey here!
- Brush the inside of your Detroit pizza pan with canola oil, making sure to get the inside edges all the way to the top.
- Place your par-baked crust inside the pan. We par-bake our crusts to catch the rise exactly where we want it and to simplify our nightly dinner services.
- Sprinkle with all of the dried oregano, starting to build up layers of flavour.
- Scatter all of the mozzarella/brick onto the crust, going a bit heavier at the edges and lighter in the middle to help build a cheese crown.
- Evenly sprinkle all of the Mala spice over top of the cheese.
- Evenly scatter all of the chili crisp over top.
- Bake at 525 F for 10-12 minutes until bottom crust is crisp and golden, cheese crust is brown, but not burnt, and cheese on top is starting to brown.
- Let cool in pan for 15-30 seconds before carefully using a metal spatula to remove the pizza from the pan, being careful to leave the cheese crown intact.
- Transfer to a cooling rack for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to your serving plate and cut into 8 pieces (we like to throw a corrugated liner underneath still to keep the crust from getting soggy).
- Garnish the pizza evenly with the remaining toppings other than the honey in this order: green onions, pickled chilis, Thai/cinnamon basil, shredded asiago.
- Drizzle the hot honey in a zigzag over the whole pizza.
- 1 tbsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tbsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- Add the first 4 ingredients to a dry frying pan and toast over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Transfer whole spices to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
- Add salt/sugar and mix thoroughly.
Quick pickled chilis
- 4-5 red finger chilis (mild heat)
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- Whisk all ingredients except chilis together until dissolved.
- Thinly slice the finger chilis and add them to the brine.
- Let sit for at least 1 hour.
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