Monday, July 12, 2010

Grilled Pizza and Flatbread

Cooking dough on a grill is something you would really want to play with...
There are no hard and fast rules to this one (as with many of the things I have been posting here...)

Grills are SO variable- the only thing I would really say was to make sure you keep an eye on this one. The good news is that it cooks fairly quickly- between 5 and 20 minutes (probably) depending on heat and what you decide to do technique-wise.

Personally, I really like grill marks, but you may not.

The really nice thing is that you could go with some no-holds-barred creativity and pretty much make this however you wanted.
Sauce, no sauce, vegetables, meat, cheese, herbs, olive oil...
You could even just go to the market, see what's fresh, and go from there!

Tomatoes, shaved asparagus, caramelized onions, a nice melange of summer veg that you have grilled prior to placing them on the crust...

Perfection is not required- it can be "charming" and completely homemade-looking. Besides, it probably tastes better when it's not perfect.

One thing that you will want to have is either a pizza peel or a cookie sheet without sides, so you can roll out the dough and get it to (and off) the grill. It just makes things easier.

Cooking it at a higher heat and with a thinner crust will definitely make it crisper, but a slightly thicker crust cooked at a "not-quite-as-high" heat will give you something chewier.

It makes a light meal or is a great addition to antipasti.

I like to make a garlic olive oil while the dough is rising- and it can infuse for a while before I use it for the crust.
As you can see, one of these is a "Margherita"-style with tomato, mozzarella, basil and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan. The other is thinly sliced lemon (make sure to wash well!), red onion, rosemary, and shaved Parmesan. Both crusts have been painted with garlic oil and the whole thing is sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper. It all depends on what you like...

The "Margherita" dough was partially cooked on one side, garlic oil and toppings were added, and it was given some time to finish cooking and melt the mozzarella.
The dough I added lemon and onion to was cooked on both sides before garlic oil and toppings were added.

And I would like to apologize here- things are not moving along at the clip I would prefer for my blogging this month. Sorry, things have been a tad crazy as of late.

There are tons of recipes for pizza dough out there.
I actually made this about a month ago (and took photos). I looked at two recipes and then combined them and made some things up. Ta-da! Pizza.
Unfortunately, I didn't write things down and I don't have time to re-figure out what I did because I want to post something! This recipe is slightly adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan (It's a great book- but nothing flashy. There are pen and ink drawings but no photos, no color... if you're in need of something attention grabbing because sparkles and flashing lights assist you in cooking endeavors, I'm very sorry. However, what it does have is really great raw information).

Pizza Dough
makes 2 pizzas, about 12-inches wide (depending on how thin they are)

1 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 c lukewarm water
3 1/4 c AP flour
about 2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1/2 T salt

cornmeal for dusting pizza peel or pan

Dissolve yeast completely in a large bowl with 1/4 c lukewarm water. When dissolved in 10 minutes or less, add honey and 1 c flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. As you continue to stir, gradually add 1 T olive oil, 1/2 T salt, 1/4 c water, and 1 c more of flour. Repeat with 1/4 c more of water and 1 c flour. Add enough additional flour and/or water to make a soft, manageable (not sticky) dough.
Take the dough out of the bowl, slap it (hard) on the counter several times, fold it over and push it away from you using the heel of your hand. Fold and push, fold and push. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes, giving the dough a quarter turn a few times during the kneading process. You're looking for a resilient dough that springs back when poked. Pat the kneaded dough into a round shape and place it back into the bowl which you have greased with 1 t of olive oil. Rub a little extra olive oil over the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise until doubled- about 3 hours.

Preheat the grill medium to medium-high heat.
Divide dough in half, and place one piece back into the bowl. Punch down the piece you will be using, and with your hands try to push it into a rough circular shape. Sprinkle the peel or cookie sheet with a good amount of cornmeal so the dough does not stick. Place the dough onto the prepared surface and roll it out to approximately 12 inches in diameter. Try to leave the outside "rim" a little thicker than the rest of the dough.

With a forceful "flick", jerk the peel or cookie sheet to slide the dough onto the grill.
If you want grill marks on both sides, turn the dough over when it looks good (probably 5-10 minutes each side). If not, when the dough starts rising you can add your sauce and toppings. Either way, brush garlic olive oil (and bits of garlic) onto what you decide will be the "top" of the dough BEFORE adding other toppings if you're using it. Once again, it will probably only take up to 20 minutes to finish cooking each pizza. Just keep peeking at it for desired doneness (both top and bottom)!

Remove pizza or flatbread using cookie sheet or peel and move to a cutting board for slicing. Repeat the process with the second piece of dough.


Garlic Oil

1/2 c olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press

Place olive oil in a small saucepan and add garlic. Heat the olive oil over low heat until it simmers. Turn off the heat, remove the pan from the heat and set aside until you are ready to use.
(*I also like to add a little salt, pepper and maybe crushed red pepper flakes to this, paint it on French bread and grill it to make some very nice garlic bread!)

1 comment:

  1. When are you going to put up something new?
    I miss you, Vin de Peche!