I've cooked a lot of pizza over the years. These day's I'm using the
Ken Forkish Same Day Straight Pizza Dough
recipe, but I was using a simpler one of my own for a while:
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 2 oz, plus some olive oil
- dash of sugar
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Mix the water, sugar, and yeast and
set aside. Measure out 3 1/2 cups flour and mix in the salt.
Pour in the oil and yeast water together, stir to a dough,
and knead in more flour until it is not sticky, then knead some
more. Pour some more oil in the bottom of a bowl, put the
dough in and rotate to cover the dough surface with oil, cover
with a damp cloth and put aside to rise. The oil, both in the
dough and on the surface, and the damp cloth help a lot.
Let rise a while, how long will depend on temperature, at least
one hour but probably two, refrigerated it might take eight.
Then divide in half and shape.
I developed that recipe after getting a pizza stone for Xmas in maybe
1997. The stone broke after three to five years and I got a better
stone which is still going strong. Usually I preheat the oven as high
as it will go and give the stone at least twenty minutes at that
temperature to soak up heat. I generously use coarse corn meal
(sometimes called "polenta") on the peel to keep the dough from
sticking to the peel or the stone.
But today was not usual. Today it was very hot and I decided to try
the barbecue grill method I've heard about. I have a propane BBQ with
a cast iron grill that I cooked directly on.
First off was an extra thorough cleaning of the grill, then
preheating it. With a shaped but untopped round of pizza, put it
directly on the metal grill and cook for two minutes. Then scrape it
off, which was pretty easy. (I used a metal pizza peel, but spatulas would
work.) Grill mark side up, top it, then return to the grill for five minutes.
At this point the dough was cooked, but the cheese could have used a
little more heat, so I finished it with a hand propane torch.
I have a trigger start propane torch that is intended to sit on top of
a 14oz tank,
Ace Trigger Start Torch,
I've seen nearly the same used in commercial kitchens to cook meringue,
so I don't have qualms about using it for food cooking. I just waved
it back and forth until the cheese was nice and bubbly and it came out
I expect I'll be cooking pizza this way again.
Off the grill with one side cooked, ready to be topped. The underside
is slightly sticky, so be careful sliding it off.
Back on the grill for some more cooking. I found gently lifting one
side off the peel, pulling the peel out to the opposide of that, then
dropping lifted part worked well. (I cooked it, both sides, with lid
Bubbly and slightly browned is just right.
I made four pizzas, one completely consumed by the time this photo was
taken. Two plain cheese, one pepperoni, and one pesto.
I also made, with leftover dough from the recipe, a BBQ focaccia (not