Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

Just for Melisa, I'm putting something out there that she can eat. Granted, there is the option of pork product, but it isn't central to the recipe.

And given that it's colder than blazes here and lots o' snow, I need to pretend it's still warm and yummy out. This week, you're getting grilled pizza. You can also do this in the oven on a pizza stone, which I do regularly, but grilling a pizza is really impressive.

And easy. I was so scared the first time I tried it, but I figured the worst that could happen is that I'd close the grill, turn it up high and burn away my mistake. No need! And so delicious!

First, you'll need your ingredients for the dough:
1 c hot water
1 T yeast
3 c flour
1 T oil
a pinch sugar (totally optional)
1/2 t salt



Add the water to the mixer, with the yeast, oil, and sugar on top of it. Keep the salt away from the yeast, as salt will kill it and that's bad. Mix this just a touch, then add half the flour. Mix it until all the flour is incorporated, then add your salt and mix again. Once the yeast is coated with flour, you're safe to add the salt. Add the rest of the flour slowly. You may not need it all, depending on the humidity of the flour you're using.

It will start to look like this, which is scary.


Keep mixing though. Eventually it will all come together, I promise. Use your dough hook for 10-15 minutes on low to medium speed, until your dough looks like this:


Once it does, cover it with a damp towel (still in the bowl) for an hour and a half or so to let it rise. Gently punch it down and separate it into four equal sized balls. They'll need to rest here for a few minutes.

Push/roll/stretch the first ball into an approximate rectangle shape. Just keep working with it until it eventually relaxes into the shape and size you need. I like mine super thin. Brush olive oil onto both sides of the dough and set onto a jelly roll pan. Repeat with the remaining three balls. You can set them atop each other in the jelly roll pan, and they won't stick too badly.

Make sure your grill is hot. Like 450-500 degrees hot and has been for a bit. Ensure you have all your ingredients ready, whether you're doing a pizza with sauce or just toppings (I like chopping kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, red onion, and artichokes, as well as crumbled feta or goat cheese, some shredded asiago, with torn basil and prosciutto added after cooking). This is your pizza, so make it how you like.

Gently lay your dough on the grill, and close the grill. It's ok if it isn't perfect. We're all about taste here, not presentation! This part makes you look the most professional.


Grill it for 2-3 minutes, until you can lift it with tongs and you see grill marks but it doesn't look uncooked. Place it on a second jelly roll pan, and apply your toppings. When you get comfortable with this, you can actually have this going in shifts so while you're putting toppings on one pizza, a second is grilling and then you switch them.


Grill on the second side with the cover closed for just a couple more minutes. If you're melting cheese on it, go until the cheese is melty.

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Otherwise, you just made a whole lotta pizza for a whole lotta people who are going to be super impressed with you. And trust me, this is much cheaper than ordering takeout or popping in a frozen pizza. The taste, of course, doesn't begin to compare. This is one of those things that sounds like it would be hard "oh, I made homemade pizza for dinner last night" but is actually super easy!

If you want to do it in the oven instead, preheat the oven with the stone inside to 450 degrees. Put all the toppings on your pizza on a pizza paddle that is lightly covered in cornmeal so nothing sticks. Put it in the oven at 450 for 10-12 minutes, and use the paddle to pull it out. For oven baked pizzas, you do not need to oil the dough first.

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Enjoy!
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PS I forgot the *best* story from yesterday at the football game. Picture this: The Rams (who are horrible this year) are up 16-3 with only a few minutes left in the game. Suddenly, there is just over a minute left, and it's now 16-16. I turn to my husband to offer support:

Me: Maybe they'll miss the extra point (leaving the game tied)
Husband: Right, and maybe monkeys will fly out of my a$$. (He stands up, turns around to look at his rear end) Nope, no monkeys.

And the Niners made the extra point. And won the game. The image of it all still cracks me up.

4 comments:

ElleBee December 23, 2008 at 8:27 PM  

Looks yummy! Just a reminder, though, if people leave the sugar out completely, the yeast won't have anything to feed it. Recipes that call for yeast need some sort of sugar to feed the yeast and make it work completely.

Michelle December 23, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

ElleBee - For pizza it's generally ok to put no sugar in, especially since I tend to do a thin crust. The oil gives it a touch of food to start, and the flour added in almost immediately (since it doesn't proof) gives it plenty to eat. This is one of my mom's favorite things for me to make, although I think I only had time to do it two or three times this summer!

Jenn December 26, 2008 at 9:09 PM  

I really want to try this. Looks fun.

Michelle December 26, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

Jenn - It's totally fun. I actually love doing these for parties and barbeques because people can customize and build their own pizzas. Enjoy!

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