We are pizza snobs. While we don’t turn our noses up in the air at the mention or sight of the common fast food pizza joints, their numbers are not programmed on speed dial into our phones. No, we don’t often crave fast food pizza. But we do crave homemade pizzas.
We’ve been making homemade pizzas on the grill for two years. We’ve made them with our friends to celebrate the New Year, devoured them last summer with our Ole girlfriends at our pizza and wine party, and have made them for a fun summer family meal at the cabin.
These are not your ordinary cheese pizzas with red sauce. They’re evidence of our creativity. We’ve topped our pizzas with everything from pheasant and capers, to butternut squash, beets and goat cheese. For the less adventurous (Dad), we have made the classic pepperoni, green pepper, and green olive pizza with homemade red sauce.
What is so much fun about homemade pizzas is that it lets all of our friends and family join in the creativity. Everyone makes their own personal pizza, topping it with whatever crazy thing they want!
This past weekend was a mother-daughter weekend at the lake. And we made pizzas on the grill. As we learned from a magazine we girls were reading together on the deck, the key to cooking well is to consciously put your love and prana, or life force, into the food you make. Cooking is not about perfectionism (which we high achievers will now recite to each other every time we cook). Our pizzas had character. They weren’t perfectly round, but you could taste the love.
We layered this crust with olive oil, Roma tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, and loads of mozzarella cheese. Yum.
We topped this pizza with roasted radishes, fresh rosemary, and parmesan cheese. We are now obsessed with roasted radishes after this pizza. Expect more recipes with roasted radishes to come.
This was our more traditional pizza. Homemade tomato sauce (so simple!), red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella, and red pepper flakes.
And our favorite of the night…roasted butternut squash, roasted red beets, spinach, and goat cheese. Writing this makes us want a bite of this pizza right now!
Preparing the dough takes some planning ahead since it needs to rise for at least four hours in the refrigerator. But the process is simple, and remember you don’t have to be perfect. Invite your friends over, or make these for your family, or yourself (we won’t judge if you devour them all on your own). Happy double dipping!
Recipe – from Star Tribune Taste Section July 2010 http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/recipes/98936249.html
Makes 6 (8- to 10-inch) pizzas.
• 3 ½ c. whole wheat flour, plus extra
• 2 tsp. instant yeast (Instant yeast is also called rapid rise or bread machine yeast.)
• 2 tsp. kosher or coarse salt
• 1 ¼ c. cool water
• 1 tbsp. honey
• ¼ c. olive oil
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, instant yeast and salt.
- Mix together water, honey and olive oil. Add liquids to flour, mixing with a wooden spoon until combined. (In a mixer, use the dough hook.) Add additional flour if necessary until dough comes together in a fairly firm, slightly sticky ball.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Compared with typical bread dough, pizza dough actually is better if it’s a little undermixed. Knead dough for a few minutes, flouring hands if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a large well-oiled bowl and turn it so the top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until it begins to look puffy. Place in refrigerator overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
- About an hour before baking or grilling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into six equal parts and shape each into a smooth ball. Place the balls on an oiled baking sheet, leaving space to expand. Cover them with a dish towel and set aside. Use this time to prepare your toppings.
- As the grill is heating, shape the rounds. Using a rolling pin on a floured surface or with floured hands, stretch each ball into an 8- to 10-inch circle and place them on separate sheets of floured parchment or waxed paper. You can stack them.
- Take the dough rounds, your sauce of choice, and the assembled ingredients outside to the hot grill.
Cooking on the grill:
- Heat your gas grill to medium, or about 400 degrees; if using coals, you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches over the heat for 3 seconds. Move the coals so that they heat half of the grate, to create areas of direct and indirect heat.
- The assembly line approach to making multiple pizzas: Lightly brush one side of a dough round with olive oil and place it oil-side down on the grate directly over the coals. Replace the grill cover and oil the next round.
- After about 1 minute, open the grill. The first round should look puffy and have clear grill marks on the underside. Remove it and flip it grilled-side up onto a cookie sheet. Quickly spread it with toppings, then return it to the portion of the grate that’s over indirect heat. Place the next oiled round on the grate over the coals. Replace the grill cover.
- After another minute or so, open the grill to check on the untopped pizza. If it’s ready, remove it, replace grill cover, then add pizza toppings. The pizza in the grill should be done by now; if it is, remove it to a cutting board and place the newly topped pizza over that section of indirect heat. Place another oiled round over the coals, maintaining this system of topping and shifting until all the pizzas are baked.
You can also cook these in the oven which we have done on New Year’s Eve when it’s too snowy on our deck to grill and ice cold outside. It’s just as good!
Cooking in the oven:
- Place shaped dough on a baking sheet generously dusted with cornmeal and add toppings. If using a pizza stone, preheat it and then slide pizza onto it.
- Bake pizza in a preheated 450-degree oven for 15 minutes (if using heated pizza stone) or about 20 minutes if on a baking sheet.
Nutrition info for one 8″ pizza crust
Calories: 154 Carbs: 16g Fat: 9g Protein: 2g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 587mg