Posts Tagged 'grilling'

Pipe Dream #133: To Give A Last Hurrah – Grilled Pizza Crust

Sometimes when I meet new people, I tell them I love pizza. I like to be as real as possible lest anyone should assume that I was someone who didn’t like pizza, and therefore, would never invite me to eat pizza with them, and therefore, my life would be awful forever.

Not quite sure about the punctuation in that run-on sentence, but whatever. I really like pizza. However, I have never attempted to make it myself until today. Or shall I say, until yesterday, because apparently, the secret to a really complex crust flavor is to let the dough rest from 10-48 hours before baking it. Who knew?

I consider this near-authentic pizza to be a sort of last hurrah for summer. It’s fresh and grilled and uses up all those tomatoes that are overrunning your garden right now. I didn’t even bother making a real sauce for this. Just chucked some tomatoes, garlic, spices and olive oil in the food processor and slopped it on raw. Excellent choice.

We topped the pizzas with everything from chicken andouille sausage to avocado, but you can really use anything you have on hand. There are some fab ideas for unusual pizza toppings over here, with step-by-step instructions on grilling up the pizzas. If you don’t feel like reading the instructions, I will give you a summary:

Oil the grill. Cook crusts for two minutes until bubbly and beginning to brown. Loosen the crusts with a metal spatula and cook for an additional minute.

Flip crusts and cook for two more minutes. Pile on your toppings of choice. This time, return to the grill with the pizzas on a metal cookie sheet or pizza stone. Close the grill and heat until cheese is melted and toppings are warm.

And then gaze at your colorfully delightful creation. And then devour. And then wonder why you don’t just move to Italy. Wouldn’t life be happy?

Second best thing,

L

Best-Ever Pizza Dough

Adapted from Rachael Ray

makes enough dough for four 9-inch pizzas or sixteen 3-to-4 inch pizzas

1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. honey
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
3 cups (or more) all-purpose or bread flour
1 3/4 tsp. coarse salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

Mix 1 cup warm water and 1 tsp. honey in a liquid measuring cup until the honey dissolves. Sprinkle with 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast and let the mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (This is proofing. Remember proofing?) Meanwhile, using a food processor, pulse 3 cups flour and 1 3/4 tsp. salt to mix.

Pour the yeast mixture and 2 tbsp. olive oil over the flour mixture. Process until the dough comes together in a sticky ball, about 20 to 30 seconds.

Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead, using the heel of your hand, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl; add the dough, turning to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, then turn out onto a cutting board. Using a knife, quarter the dough.

Shape 1 dough wedge roughly into a ball. Place the dough ball on the work surface and cup your hand lightly over it. Rotate your hand counterclockwise, letting the dough roll on the work surface. Continue until the surface of the dough is smooth. Repeat with the remaining dough wedges.

Place each dough ball in a large resealable plastic bag or plastic container with a lid. Refrigerate for 10 to 48 hours (the dough will continue to rise). Let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping, or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Let the frozen dough sit at room temperature for 2 hours before shaping.

Turn out 1 ball of dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Press it out on the work surface into a 9-inch round, a long rectangle or an oval. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. To make 3- to 4-inch mini pizzas, cut each dough ball into 4 pieces, then press or stretch into shape.

 

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Pipe Dream #129: To Psychiatrize Yeast – Brioche Hamburger Buns

My mum has this thing about yeast. They’re not friends. I mean, they’ve had a few interactions over the years, but it’s always been at arms’ length, really, and it hasn’t always been the most positive of experiences. I’m just an outside observer, so I don’t know all the emotional ins-and-outs and finger-pointing that has gone on, but I don’t really get it.

Since the day I made a brioche at age 12, we’ve gotten along fine. There have only been a couple of instances where yeast has flaked on me, but it was probably just a passive aggressive reaction to me putting the heat on. It takes two to tango, they say.

As it happens, my mother is a pretty competitive person, especially when it comes to burgers. She learned how to make them in the Old Country, er, Canada. When the neighbors announced that they were having a burger competition, she jumped at the chance to show off her skills.

But what to pair with a beautiful BLT turkey burger with homemade ranch? Heaven knows she wasn’t going to buy your average white hamburger buns from Cub, not with me in the house. So after wheedling her way into my affections (Our conversation: “Hey Lo, wanna make some hamburger buns for me?” “Sure!”), I became an enabler once more. That is, I enabled her to produce an outstanding burger while also enabling her to avoid her yeast pseudo-friend once again.

I’m calling it baby steps. Someday she will see that yeast is all right. It is not as high maintenance as she makes it out to be. Until then, you should make these. They are really tasty.

I’m being repressed,

L

Light Brioche Burger Buns

Adapted from Comme Ça restaurant in Los Angeles, via the New York Times via smitten kitchen

Makes 8 4 to 5-inch burger buns

3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Sesame seeds, dried thyme, poppy seeds or sea salt, for garnish

1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto a floured surface and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but that is a good thing. Don’t want tough buns.

3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours. (I needed about one hour, but I let it go a bit longer.)

5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with chosen garnish (I liked the thyme best), if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.


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