Ever have the best intentions to try something new only to have your dreams disappear in a puff of flour dust? Well, welcome to my grilled pizza pity party. I thought my grilling skills would be enough for this adventure but these little floppy pieces of hell soon became my nemesis. They were not horrible…just horrible looking. I mean one looked like I had skinned a cat and used it and the other looked like Argentina.
I have pinpointed the 2 reasons for my grilling adventure’s demise:
#1 Working with Yeast – How can something so small hate me so much? Is the water to warm? Is the water to cold? Why is my yeast not bubbling? I stood and stared at the bowl like the kid waiting for his first family of Sea Monkeys to hatch. It went downhill from there.
#2 The Dough Recipe – I remembered seeing Gordan Ramsay make a really thin crust pizza on his BBC America show called “The F Word”. I looked it up to try it. Problem, I don’t know the metric system very well so let’s just say I used all my knowledge to convert to cups. I don’t have a .1478 measuring cup.
Rather than give you the recipe I used, I provided you the original link to his…good luck!
Making the Dough
Step 1 – Proofing the Yeast Demons
The recipe said to add two teaspoons (1 packet) of yeast to a bowl and add 1 cup
(or is it 1.1478 cups?) of luke warm water (110 degrees) and let sit for 3 minutes. Now that is my issue, I was feeling the water and trying to remember every hot tub I have been in being around 110 degrees. I think I was a little off or my little yeasties like it really hot.
Step 2 – Mixing the dough
Add 2 cups (or is 2 to the 4th power?) to a food processor with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. While mixing the flour and oil together slowly add the water/yeast mixture until it forms a ball and pulls from the sides. Let me warn you – when it pulls away STOP pouring the liquid…it’s enough. Well, I decided all the yeast should join the party and ended up with goo. I had to add another 1/4 cup flour to the bowl to bring the dough back together.
Step 3 – Rise!
Place the dough in a greased bowl for about an hour or until it doubles in size. Make sure it is a warm part of the kicthen. During this time get your pizza ingredients ready.
Step 4 – Stretch it
Good luck on this one. I rolled, stretched and it ended up looking deformed and sad. Only advice I can give you is use flour on your board and hands. This stuff is sticky. Place on the back of a cookie sheet. Why the back? There are no sides so it will help you when sliding it on the grill.
Grilling the Pizzas
Step 1 – Pre-pare your grill
Pre-heat your grill to medium heat – if you have a thermometer on your grill, I would say around 375 to 400 degrees. Make sure your grates are clean. You will need to use some cooking spray or a paper towel with vegetable oil on it to lube the grates to prevent sticking.
TIP: Have your ingredients ready to go – you don’t have much time once the grilling starts. Also, having grilling tongs and a big spatula ready.
Step 2 – Let the Grilling Begin!
Add one of your, hopefully better looking than mine, pizza crusts to the well oiled grate. It won’t fall through. Close the lid. Wait a 1 and 1/2 minutes. Look at the bottom, you are looking for a nice light brown color. If not, check it often until it reaches that color. Using tongs and spatula – flip the dough. At this point you need to add the ingredients as fast as possible.
We made a classic Margarita pizza which consists of olive oil (I added a drop or two of truffle oil, yum), sliced Roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Basil is added before serving to prevent wilting. We also made a simple Rustica, which consist of a spicy red sauce, capers, olives and some kind of spicy Italian meat.
After adding ingredients, close the lid and wait 2 minutes. Check the crust, it should be golden brown and the cheese is somewhat melted. To remove from grill slide back on your cookie sheet. Cut as desired.
If you have the same aversion to yeast and making dough like I do, try asking your local mega mart if they have fresh dough. Publix sells bags of pizza dough…just needs an hour to rise. Hopefully your pizzas will look better and taste just as good. So don’t cry for my Argentina-Pizza…it tasted just fine. 😉