Monday, June 29, 2009

Grilled Pizza in a Snap (Almost :)

I hit the Baughman's Lane farmer's market on Saturday (almost like a contact sport this time of year!) and was struck by the urge for a little grilled pizza. How the two are related (it's too early for my favorites, eggplant & tomatoes), I have no idea except to say that is where the urge struck.

So what did I do? Well, I raced home and started the dough. It's super simple, even if you're dough-challenged.

Just take 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast:

Add 1 teaspoon of sugar (yeast food):

Then add 1 cup of warm water (not hot or you'll kill the yeast - it should feel warm on the inside of your wrist) and let set in a warm place for 5 minutes:

until it's foamy.

Throw in 1 T. of olive oil and a good pinch of salt, then stir in 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour or so (you may need a little more if it's really humid outside) until it forms sort of a ball.

I used the stand mixer with the dough hook and let it work its magic for about 5 minutes or so (it takes a little longer if you're doing it by hand).

Then I gave it a good knead by hand for a minute or so(because I like to feel the dough), then threw it back in the bowl to rise until doubled. On Saturday it took about half an hour, and I covered it and put it on the back porch.

After about 30 minutes (but it could take as long as 45), Anna punched it down.

We scooped it into a flatish ball and let it rest for 5 minutes before trying to roll it (otherwise it will just keep springing back every time you try to roll it out. It needs a little r&r before you can really work it. It's just like you when you get out of bed in the morning, right? You need a few minutes to gather yourself after the harsh reality of your feet hitting the floor. Yeast doughs are the same way. But I digress...)

Once the dough has rested, I cut it into 4 pieces and patted them out.

Then, because patting wasn't really working for me, I rolled them. That's better.

Then I took them out to the grill. Now here's the trick, and please bear in mind that I am working on a hundred dollar grill here - nothing fancy at all - but it does have two zones for heat. This is muy importante.

Preheat your grill so that it's nice and hot. Leave one side hot hot hot and the other, well, nice and low, maybe even off, but we'll get to that.

Place the dough on the hot side of the grill - don't worry, it won't slip through the grate. This is a nice, firm dough.

Look at that! It puffs up almost immediately. Let it get a little crispy, then flip it over. Brush it with a little oil (I made some quick garlic oil) and top it with whatever you like.

I used some tomatoes, fresh basil from my garden, and some fresh mozzarella. I also added some chopped, grilled eggplant, mozzarella, ricotta, and fresh basil. I'm the only one in my family who likes eggplant so yeah, that worked for me.

Then slide the pizza to the low side of the grill and shut it up tight. You want all of the cheesy stuff to melt, which is awesome. If the heat is too high, you'll burn the crust. You need to work with the residual heat from the other side without over-caramelizing the bottom. Keep in mind though, this isn't really going to cook your toppings so much as melt them and warm them and make 'em yummy, ok? So if you're looking for roasted tomatoes, you'll need to do that beforehand.

A couple of minutes and you're done.

Looks like Anna liked it. :)

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