Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Good Bye Winter: Artisan Pizza on the Grill

It was one of those vintage, gorgeous Sunday afternoons here on the 45th parallel, if you can call 38 degrees gorgeous. Minnesotan’s I think can, because we love the spring. We love it because for a time, we were rather convinced it would never make our acquaintanceship again. For long was the winter, and eternal did its icy bonds adhere, not only to our driveways, and our favorite lakes, but unto the tender skin of our souls as well. Persistent ice and cold, well, it has it way of getting to some people, like barnacles on the buttocks of our lives. Even so, we kept a positive attitude, and we endured.  But most folks I know of are done now with the winter, throwing up their middle fingers along with their shovels in a quiet contempt,  dis-satisfied with its once frosty allure, for they are ready again, for the vibrancy of spring. Emboldened by the sun on their shoulders perhaps, and ready for action.  Like for instance my ducks.

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Our pit faces a pond you see, and these ducks, oh how they like to strut around the place, with their little chests puffed out so proud. Many a time I will be lighting up the grill, and I don’t know if it’s the smoke or the resounding clang of the enameled lid, but they more often than not come hustling up out of the pond to see whats for supper.  And I tell them. I have to tell them you see, or they get mad at me. I have to assure them that this too is not their kin they smell cooking under the lid. They always show up as such, and always in the nick of time it seems, making things just a little awkward, as if they have every right to. And maybe they do. Some day I may just have to get it over with, and smoke a duck, and watch them all tout about, and field their penetrating glares. I don’t know. Regardless, and on the menu tonight,  we’re making a backyard pit favorite – artisan pizza on the grill. So get a hold of your inner Italian, and let’s make a pizza pie!

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If you’ve been paying attention in this blog over the last month or so, you will recall a write-up, How To Impress A Woman: Bread. You should also remember, because there was sugar involved,  that the same bread dough we used for that, was also used to procure some rather amazing caramel rolls off the grill, in How To Impress A Woman Again: Caramel Rolls. These two culinary triumphs are not without a third.  For we have subtly been holding your hand, here at the pit. Ask for but one strand of golden hair from an elvish queen, and she may give you three. Indeed, and henceforth, tho we ain’t no queen,  here then is the third installment towards a higher carbohydrate utopia; a cheesy salute to an all-time favorite, and yet another use for this amazing dough. Sure to impress women and men alike, and maybe a couple of ducks too. If you need to refresh your memory on how to make the dough, just refer back to the links above. But here is memory nudge, none the less.

Master Recipe

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour, measured with the scoop-and-sweep method

You can use what ever pizza dough you wish of course, and many of you already have your own systems for pizza in place, which is great,  but the whole point of this article, and the two previous blogs under the bread umbrella, as linked above, is to show you the utter versatility of this fantastic dough. From fresh bread, to pizza. To caramel rolls for dessert. Its real easy to do too.

Simply roll out the dough to a uniform 1/4 inch thickness, add what ever toppings you fancy, and transfer it to an oiled pizza stone, which has been preheated on the grill. Charcoal arrangement should wax reminiscent of a smoldering doughnut, sure enough about the diameter of your pizza stone, and the lid on for an oven-like atmosphere in the cooker. If you’re using a Weber kettle, vents should be wide open. Grilling pizza goes against everything we have taught you about the hallowed virtues of going low and slow. It is hard for us to utter such words, but hot and fast is your motto here. Thus for you a speedier rendezvous to your quintessential pizza nirvana. Whence the crust is of a golden brown, plate the pie, and offer it in good stride to your people. Oh, make haste with it.  Plop it down on the table in front of them, with the steam still rising. And watch the molten cheese ooze over the sides whence you peel off a slice, appreciating for a moment how your people foster flattering notions for thee, as their pit master most cool, and bequeather of the beloved Artisan pizza pie. Yum!

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Artisan Pizza hot off the grill. Man! Yet another culinary gem from the such a versatile dough, and even better of course,  patron to the pit.

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14 responses

  1. We had a Build-your-own-Pizza Party here in the middle of the desert a few nights ago with our tween grand-nephews, who were visiting. I never thought of my scratch-made Pizza as Artisan Pizza before… thanks guys, you’ve given me a new perspective.

    April 8, 2013 at 10:26 am

    • Pizza parties are so fun. Good times. Well the dough is from a recipe for artisan bread you see, so, it makes sense to reference it as such. It works great.

      Take care auntiedoni!

      April 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

  2. Liz

    “barnacles on the buttocks of our lives”–there you go again with your awesome wordplay. Yes, spring has spring and I didn’t even need my jacket this a.m. Loving your grilled artisan crust and it’s going on my To-Make list.

    April 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

    • Yes, it is good to feel the sun again. To see the return of the tweety birds. I love the winter, but this is OK too!

      In my last batch of that dough, I used only 5 cups of flour. It was a tad harder to work with, but boy it made for a softer, fluffier bread. Have you ever read the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a day? Check it out if you haven’t. Written by fellow Minnesotans no less!

      April 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

      • Liz

        lol–yes, got to see the authors do a demo even 🙂 I like kneading, but my husband (we’ll call him the impatient one) is all over the 5-min thing. Enjoy the tweety birds!

        April 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

  3. Never tried it on a BBQ but it is actually the only place most of us can get hot enough. Good work chap. Looks pucker!

    April 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

  4. It was one of those vintage, gorgeous Sunday afternoons here at 0 degrees latitude… Oh, yeah, it always is.

    Whoops, I could not help myself! Enjoy Spring my friend – you deserve it!

    April 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    • Haha, you funny John in Ecuador! I understand tho. It would have been too difficult to resist.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

  5. As always, great post! We grill pizza pretty often and have found that we enjoy it much better than oven-baked. We’ll definitely make an attempt at the dough recipe soon. It sounds awesome.

    April 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    • Thanks Duncan. Oh yes, peoples love their grilled pizzas. They do taste better, and certainly more fun to cook out of doors. What we do is make up a batch of the dough and store it in a bucket in the fridge. Then what ever we’re feeling inspired for, we can grab a hunk of it and get busy. Works slick.

      April 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

  6. mdprincing

    pizza on the grill is one of lifes greatest pleasures. I don’t recall when I started this affair but it has been many years and grills later and many methods, stones, dough recipes and beers. Awesome stuff. I now use my Weber six burner gas with a porcelain floor tile from the local home store, cheaper than a pizza stone and bigger, also works for bread in the oven. I am currently stuck on a dough recipe that I modified from Mario Batellis Mozza Pizzeria restaurant, it is delicous. We are always looking for new tastes too like our Rueben pizza with pastrami, sauerkraut and home made russian and a Jambalaya pizza nice and spicy with shrimp and andouille. Man Im hungry

    April 9, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    • Well I’ll be dipped. A porcelain floor tile. You indeed have refined the process unto your very own. And that is very cool. Yes, nothing quite so fine as pizza off the grill. Who wouldn’t like that! That Jambalaya pizza sounds dang good! We might have to try that one.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

  7. Pingback: My First Ever Blog Award | Cooking with Stellaaa

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