John and I have a small obsession with pizza. We each own a pizza stone and frequently experiment with making different kinds of pizza, using different types of flour (white/whole wheat/semolina/00) and unusual toppings (my current favorite is caramelized onion and gruyere cheese). We also like to visit various upstanding pizza restaurants on either side of the Hudson and eat as much as we can while trying to pick up some tips for our own concoctions.
Last February I even hosted the First Annual Pizz-Off! In my apartment. A sort of Pizza Olympics that involved five different teams creating pizzas in two different categories (“traditional” and “creative”) all the while wearing fake moustaches. It was quite an event. We set off the smoke detectors repeatedly.
As the quest for the perfect pie continues, I thought it would be nice to share the (limited) knowledge that I have. My resident pizza expert is my mom, Marmo to those of you who know her. This past weekend we decided to make pizza from scratch and cook it on the grill. I took pictures and even filmed it for you! Exciting, riiiiiiight? You better believe it. What follows is a recipe for pizza dough, complete with step-by-step photos, and a video showing the process.
Now, a word about the video: this is my first time using iMovie. I know, I’m a little behind. I filmed this on my iPhone, and I filmed it vertically. What I didn’t realize is that iMovie would rotate this and give me no way to flip it back to right side up. So if you could all tilt your heads to the left….(I’ll get it right next time).
PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE
1 envelope active dried yeast
1 cup warm water
4 c all purpose flour or bread flour
¾ t salt
½ cup warm water
2T olive oil
In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm water…stir in ½ cup of the flour. Cover and let stand for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the mixture will appear foamy. At this point, add the other ½ cup of warm water, salt and olive oil. Slowly begin to add the remaining flour (you can use a standing mixer or a food processor). When all of the flour is incorporated kneed the dough until it is smooth. It may take about 10 minutes….Then dust the dough lightly all over with flour and place in a bowl covered with a cloth (not terry cloth!) to rise for about 1 hour.
When it has doubled in size, punch down the dough and divide into 4 parts. Form each fourth into a smooth ball and let rise covered on a floured board for 30 minutes. In the meantime heat the oven to 500 degrees for the 30 minutes (with a pizza stone, if you have one) in the lower third of the oven)….or fire up the grill!
If you’re using the oven, spread some cornmeal on a pizza peel and stretch out your dough (I like to use my hands but some people use rolling pins) to something resembling a circle. Throw your toppings on there, and slide it onto the stone in the oven. Keep a close eye on it – I usually bake mine for about 10 minutes, but times vary.
If you’re using the grill, you put the dough directly onto the grill grate. It’s quite a challenge to figure out the best way to do this (as you will see from the video). You grill it on one side, sans toppings, for a few minutes, flip it, and then load your toppings on the flip side (quickly!). Shut the lid of the grill so the cheese can melt properly.
Topping featured above: heirloom tomatoes, mangoes, goat cheese and fresh basil. I also threw some truffle oil on there, cuz I could drink that stuff like water. And yes I do know that’s disturbing.
Toppings featured above: heirloom tomatoes, roasted veggies, mangoes, and mozzarella cheese.