Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Grilling Pizza Dough

Grilling Pizza Dough
From: Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Resting time in a warm place: 2 hours
Chill time: at least 1 hour in fridge, best is overnight (can stay in fridge for up to 3 days)
Grill time: 3-5 minutes

Makes 2 thin crusts (12”)

3/4 cup warm (not hot) water
2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
½ tsp sugar
1 ½ cups unbleached flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp fine cornmeal
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus ¼ tsp for the bowl

Directions: (the book has great photos of each step)

1. Pour warm water into a small bowl and add the yeast and sugar and stir until the yeast dissolves into a smooth beige color. Let it stand on your counter for 5 minutes to prove that the yeasted water is active. A thin layer of foam will appear at the top, indicating that the batch is good. (Excellent tip!)

2. Kneading: 3 options in the book, but I chose the food processor with the plastic dough blade. It was the simplest. Just measure all the ingredients into the food processor bowl. Use a pulse action until the dough comes together. Continue to pulse the dough in quick bursts for about 3 minutes. This keeps the dough from overheating.

3. Resting: Put the remaining ¼ tsp olive oil in a medium bowl. I didn’t find my dough as sticky as they suggested, so I just lightly floured my hands. Place the dough in the bowl and turn several times to coat with the oil. This prevents a crust from forming on the surface as it rises. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft free, warm place for 2 hours, until it rises to almost double.

4. Chilling: best is to chill in the fridge overnight and if you don’t have the time, at least one hour to make it easier to roll. Overnight chilling gives the dough more flavor.

5. Rolling: Punch down the dough to remove gas; lightly flour a clean surface; cut the dough in half to make 2 pizzas; flatten dough with hands to about 1” thickness; use a rolling pin, starting from the center, fanning out until the dough is an even thickness.

6. Grilling: The book gives very detailed instructions for indoor and outdoor grilling with photos. Since I used my Cuisinart Griddler to make mine, I’ll share that version…heat your indoor grill (could be a grill pan on a hot stove); brush some seasoned olive oil over the dough on both sides and gently lay it on grill. If you are using a Griddler, close the top and cook over high heat for 3 minutes or until the pizza is golden and the gorgeous grill marks are dark. If you’re using a grill pan or outdoor grill, turn and repeat the process.

7: Now you’re ready for the topping and a final stint under the broiler just to melt the cheese…2-3 minutes should do.

Check these three basics recipes to help make your pizzas perfect ..

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