Homemade Pizza, Baked or Grilled
Friday nights are "pizza night" in our house. When I went back to work in an office two years ago, my homemade pizza crust was replaced by store-bought frozen pizzas. I've returned to working from home, which means that I have time to make fresh dough and my kids get to "decorate" their own pizzas again. We're all pretty happy about it.
While you can buy pizza sauce at the store, I tend to make my own so that I can puree some steamed spinach and carrots into it for extra nutrition. Once blended, it just looks like spices and my kids don't even notice. Win!
One new thing I tried this past week was to cook a pizza on the barbecue to get the wood fired taste, and it was AMAZING. I cooked my kids' pizzas in the oven in case I messed up, but next week they'll all be done on the barbecue. I'll share the cooking instructions for both ways.
Here's my pizza dough recipe:
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (I use hot tap water)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
In a large bowl, add warm water and then dissolve yeast and brown sugar into it. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir the salt and oil in. Mix in 3 cups of the flour.
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface; knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Oil another bowl and place the dough inside of it. Cover with a cloth, and let the dough rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to rest for a couple of minutes minute before rolling out.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for about 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
Bake pizza until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, there is no need to let the dough rise; you can bake it immediately. You will need a BBQ with a Hood, a pizza stone, and a paddle or plate to transfer the pizza dough to the stone.
Place a cold pizza stone in the centre of the BBQ plate. Pre-heat your gas BBQ on high for 15 - 20 minutes.
Sprinkle stone with a little flour so that the dough doesn't stick. Place your pizza dough on a floured flat plate or paddle before adding your toppings.
When you want to cook your pizza, adjust the burners directly under the hot plate to low; directwill burn the pizza. Transfer the pizza from your plate/paddle to the hot stone.
Shut the hood and check after 10 minutes. Look quickly, as you don't want to lose the heat if it's not quite done. Remove pizza when crust is browned and cheese is bubbly. Do not remove the stone from the barbecue until it has cooled off.
I don't think I'll ever go back to baking mine in the oven, even in the middle of winter.