Monday, January 30, 2012

Grilled Vs. Stone Baked Pizza

Grilled pizza is quick, requires little to no prepping or preheating but if you aren't careful, you can easily ruin a pizza that you've spent hours making. The trick is to be precise, vigilant and to oversee the pizza while it is being grilled.

 Cooking on a stone gave my pizza a calzone feel to it because it literally folded in half when I tried to transfer the pizza to the stone. It was a little more time consuming and it also did not cook the pizza evenly. This is probably because the pizza had improperly fallen onto itself. However, it was delicious and had a nice crispy doughy crust. 

Margarita pizza with homemade marinara sauce and roasted garlic. 

 American Style Pizza Dough (for grilling)
 Courtesy of The Cooking Photographer, Adapted from a Wolfgang Puck recipe 

Potato Pizza with Balsamic Onions and Goat's Cheese

  Potato Goat Cheese Pizza Courtesy of The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook
Prep time: 40 min. + standing
Total Cooking time: 55 minutes
1/2 cup warm milk
50 g (1 2/3 oz) fresh compressed yeast or 2x7g (1/4 oz) sachets of dried yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup mashed potato
1 cup plain flour
2 tblsp chopped parsley
ground black pepper

-Mix milk + yeast with sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Leave in warm place for 10 minutes until frothy.

-Stir mashed potato, flour, parsley, salt pepper and yeast mixture in a large bowl until soft dough forms. Knead on floured surface for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springs back when pressed.

-Put dough back in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

-Preheat oven to 415 F. Knead dough for 2 minutes on floured surface. Oil a pizza tray/baking sheet. Press on tray to fit.

-Add toppings.

1 kg (2 lb) red onions (thinly sliced)
1 bulb of garlic
200 g (6.5 oz) roasted red pepper cut into strips
1/2 cup black olives
50 g (1 2/3 oz) goats cheese cut into small pieces
black pepper

-Add sliced onions to a bowl and pour balsamic vinegar over to cover. Leave onions in bowl overnight or until they've caramelized. Preheat oven to 475 F. Wrap garlic bulb in foil and leave in oven for about 25 minutes or until soft. Mash roasted garlic. Add coarse salt (I used sea salt) to the top of your pizza crust. Spread garlic mash over crust. Push in balsamic onions into the crust. Add strips of red pepper, olives, and goat cheese. Sprinkle with black pepper.

I  personally preferred the grilled pizza with the other kind of cheese as opposed to the potato pizza with goat cheese. Now that I've made homemade pizza, I'm impressed by how easy and amazing it can taste. I used to order from a gourmet pizza place in town called Anastasia's but now I know I can make any specialty type of pizza I want without compromising flavor. Give it a try! You may surprise yourself!

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