Wednesday, 28 September 2011
BBQ Pizza is one of the greatest things I've started making at home. It's easy to make and is ten times better than buying a pre made crust or ordering from a restaurant. The key with making these pizzas is simplicity. Choose 3-4 ingredients including the cheese and keep it basic. That way you'll get a rustic, delicious tasting pizza that isn't soggy from too many toppings.
This is a great way to maintain the weekday vegetarian theme; however, I find it easier to do the dough ahead of time on the weekend or when you have some extra time and then roll out the pizza during the week. The dough keeps in the fridge for a few days and even longer in the freezer.
Makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas
3 cups white flour
1/2 cup semolina flour (this can be substituted for regular flour, semolina gives it a crisper crust)
2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large pinch salt
1 tsp sugar
In a 2 cup measuring cup, or small bowl add warm water, active yeast, and sugar. Stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it foams. Before mixing with the dry ingredients add the olive oil and stir.
In a large mixing bowl add flour and salt and mix together. When the wet ingredients are ready mix them in with the dry. When the dough comes together slightly, flour a large cutting board or a clean countertop and turn the tough out on the floured surface. Knead dough for approximately ten minutes, or until the dough is less sticky, elastic and smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time.
When the dough is ready, pinch the edges and tuck them under the ball of dough so you get a nice round ball. In a clean large bowl, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and roll the dough around in it. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with a tea towel and place the bowl in a draft free place for 90 minutes and let it rise.
Once the dough has risen punch it down and knead for about 1 minute. Separate dough ball into 2 smaller dough balls. Flour your surface and roll out the first dough ball into an 8" round pizza. Using a rolling pin works best, although I have also done this with a clean glass bottle, or stretched it by hand (it's difficult for it to stay round by stretching unless you're experienced -- I'm not). Cover the underside of a cookie sheet, or the top side of a cookie sheet without a lip or side, with semolina or corn meal. This acts as the "wheels" to slide your dough off the cookie sheet and onto the BBQ grill.
In a preheated 400 degree BBQ, transfer the dough to the cookie sheet and slide it directly on to the grill. Close the lid and cook for 1 minute. Take the dough off the grill and flip it over. Add your toppings to the "cooked" side of the pizza. Slide the pizza back onto the grill to finish cooking, this time for three minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
This, I guarantee you, will be the best pizza you've ever made and likely ever had. It's so fresh and crispy and delicious.
Some of my favourite topping combinations are: fresh tomato sauce (tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and basil, simmered for about 10 minutes on low) with caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella (Costco has great fresh mozza available for a really reasonable price); for a meat version try ground lamb, feta cheese and fresh arugula (add arugula after the pizza has been cooked); roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and white cheddar.
*Optionally this pizza can be made in the oven on a similar heat.