Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grilling Pizzas

Place a pizza stone on the grill and a piece of pecan wood on or a smoker box of water-soaked wood chips (applewood works well, too) on the grill. Heat grill for 5 minutes on low. Turn heat up to medium for 5 minutes and then test pizza stone with a drop of water. If it sizzles, then the grill is ready for the pizza. If the drop of water doesn't sizzle, turn heat up to high for 5 minutes. When ready to put pizza on the stone, turn the grill down to medium again. Calibrating the heat is tricky -- If the stone is too hot, then lower the overall cooking time (check after 2 to 3 minutes) and watch the pizzas carefully throughout cooking.

After placing the pizza on the pizza stone, close the top and grill for 3 to 5 minutes. With tongs (have a long spatula ready if the pizza sticks to the stone), shift the pizza around and grill for another 3 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully. When pizza is done, remove and let rest for a couple of minutes before cutting.

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for rolling dough
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 scant T honey
1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus some additional for coating the bowl/greasing the trays

cornmeal for the pizza peel

* * * * * *

Ingredients for topping the pizzas (use all or in any combination you wish):
extra virgin olive oil
mozzarella cheese
fontina cheese
Italian fontina
basil leaves, hand-torn
marinara sauce

Preparing the dough:
Combine the yeast and warm water in the bread machine pan. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Sift the flour over the yeast mixture. Add the salt, pepper and honey. Turn the bread machine on the dough/pasta cycle. When the machine has mixed and kneaded the dough and proofed to double in size, or after it's mixed and kneaded, remove to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Lightly flour a cutting board or flat surface. Turn the pizza dough onto the floured area and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. The flour should feel smooth and the ingredients fully integrated. Place the dough inside a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place, about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume.

If dough isn't being used immediately, divide it up and place in oiled ziplock bags or Saran Wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

If using immediately, press gently on the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, rolling each quarter into a loose ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for an additional 15 minutes. Flatten each ball, one at a time, and roll into a 6-inch round. Place each round in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.

When ready to bake, roll out a disc of dough to about a 6 inch circle. Sprinkle the top of a pizza peel with coarse-ground cornmeal and lay the dough on top. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil before layering on toppings to create a barrier that will help to prevent the crust from getting soggy. Next, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the pizza, arugula and basil mixed, shredded cheeses, prosciutto and grate pecorino-romano and/or parmesan-reggiano over the top. If using eggs, break them into a bowl and wait until the pizza is placed on the pizza stone on the grill before putting the raw eggs onto the top of the pizza.

When pizza is cooked, remove from the grill and let rest for a couple of minutes before cutting.

Makes 4 6-inch pizzas


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