Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers California Grilled Pizza

I was excited about Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake's pick for this months Barefoot Blogger's bonus recipe. This is another recipe I have passed by so many times in my Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. That book is one of my favorite go to cookbooks for entertaining. The online recipe differs from the one in the book in that it calls for grilling instead of oven baking. I was intrigued at the idea of grilling a pizza. Although, apparently the best rain dance you can do is to open your grill. It started pouring right as my husband was grilling these. He was a good sport though and completed the grilling just perfectly in spite of getting a bit wet! Overall, these came out really well. I made two pizzas, one with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella and the other with caramelized red onion, arugula, bell peppers and fontina cheese. I wasn't absolutely in love with the toppings but I am pretty traditional about what I like on my pizza. The dough recipe is the real stand out though. Unlike other more complicated recipes, this dough only has a 30 minute rise and a really great flavor from the olive oil. I know I will be using this dough recipe over and over again. I can't wait to try it with an old fashioned pepperoni pizza. To complete this meal, I served it with Ina's Caesar Salad and Outrageous Brownies. Next time, I would love to serve them with the Ice Cream Soda's recommended in Barefoot Contessa Parties. As Ina would say, "How great would that be?"

California Pizzas
Source: The Barefoot Contessa Parties/

For the dough:
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110 degrees F) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the toppings (select 8):
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated
1/2 pound Italian Fontina, grated
1/2 pound mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and julienned
1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced and julienned
1 bunch arugula, cleaned and dried
6 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 pork or turkey sausages, cooked and sliced
1 bunch basil leaves, cleaned and dried
4 garlic cloves, roasted
Crushed red pepper flakes

For prep:
1/2 cup good olive oil

For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups flour, then the salt, and mix. While mixing, add 1 more cup of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it several times to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each one into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature. Roll and stretch each ball into a rough 8-inch circle and place them all on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. (You will be able to fit 2 pizzas on each 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.)

Light your grill and wait until it's hot.

Place the pizzas directly onto the grill and cook on 1 side for 1 minute. Turn the pizzas over and brush with olive oil or garlic oil.

Top the pizzas with any toppings you wish, piling them high. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Put the lid on your grill and cook for 5 minutes more, until the crust is crisp and the toppings are cooked.


Amy said...

Wow - I'm so impressed that you made your own pizza dough and everything! (I'm scared to death of anything with yeast!) These look wonderful!!

Sing For Your Supper

Cate said...

That's a beautiful grilled pizza! I'm still totally intimidated by the concept of putting dough on a grill but yours looks awesome.