Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grilled Pizza

Ever had wood fire pizza? It has that wonderful rustic taste. Well, we don't have the equipment to do a wood fire pizza. The next best thing? Grilled pizza! And guess what? I made my own pizza dough and sauce! It's a big step for me - making my own dough. I'm so proud. Thanks Everyday Food for the suggestion. Here's the recipe:

Basic Grilled Pizza Dough

1 tsp. sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
coarse salt & pepper
2 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

Pour 1 cup warm water into a medium bowl; add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Whisk oil and 1 tsp. salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until liquid is incorporated (dough will appear dry.) Turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together in an elastic ball, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to an oiled medium bowl, brush lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch down dough and cover, let rise another 30 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. (To store, refrigerate dough pieces, covered, up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month. Let rest 15 minutes before using.

Heat grill on one side to medium high heat. Roll out dough to desired thinness (dough gets to about 10" across). Brush with olive oil and salt & pepper. Using your hands, place dough, oiled side down, directly over heat source. Brush the top side of dough with more olive oil and add more salt and pepper. Grill until underside is lightly charred and bubbles form all over top, about 1 to 2 minutes. With tongs, flip dough and cook until lightly charred on the other side, another 1 to 2 minutes. When done, slide dough to cooler side of grill. Shut the grill off, add toppings to the pizza and shut the top until cheese is melted.

Simple Tomato Sauce

3 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 - 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Cook garlic in oil until fragrant. Add red pepper flakes and then tomatoes. I chop the tomatoes and then add them to the pot. Add the juice as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer, stirring often until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. I use a potato masher to finish mashing the tomatoes. If you like a chunkier sauce, you can leave the chopped tomatoes as you cut them. Stir in oregano. Store, refrigerated up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month.

A little red pepper flake on the finished pizza made it that much yummier.

I was so stinkin' excited that this was a successful meal. I kept the toppings simple and just added mozzarella cheese. That was the only part of this pizza that wasn't made by me. I think making my own cheeses is a long way off.

Making my own dough was intimidating. I wasn't sure what to expect or how it would turn out. It actually isn't too had to make, just time consuming. Kneading the dough was actually kind of relaxing once I got into a rhythm and I've heard other people say the same thing. I did freeze half the dough for later and Wes and I really only ate once pizza together. So we'll see how the frozen dough turns out.

The tomato sauce was a bit sweet and tasted like tomatoes. I like my pizza sauce a little thicker and a little tangier, so I may find a different pizza sauce recipe next time. But with the grilled dough and this sauce, it had a nice rustic flavor to the pizza. It'll be fun to add different toppings next time. With the smaller size of the crust, they're really more like personal pizzas, everyone could customize their own.

If you have the time, at least try this pizza dough on the grill. I did this on the weekend. But with the frozen dough, it'll just take time to thaw in the refrigerator and sit for a few minutes before rolling, so it'll go at lot faster.

I may start making my own bread now that I'm not so scared by cooking with yeast. Hope you try this out!

Happy cooking!

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