I have always pictured a pizza oven in our backyard....right now there is a whole lotta work that needs to go on there before a pizza oven, but that's another story!
Well this weekend I learned that you can make a mighty fine outdoor pizza without an oven! Just fire up the old BBQ and get to work! Thanks to my sister, Jennifer, and her hubby, Dennis, we now have the knowledge we need to make our own BBQ pizza.
We started with pizza dough made in the bread-maker....
Here's the recipe my sis and her hubby use:
This is for a bread-maker so first put in the wet ingredients, then the dry, and then make a well and put the yeast in the well.
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
1 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour (Jen actually uses bread flour)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
If you don't have a bread-maker frozen pizza dough will work or go on over to The Pioneer Woman and check out her pizza dough recipe - http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/02/my-favorite-pizza/
Let it rise in a plastic bag on the counter until they are puffed up (ours got so puffy the bag exploded - no one was injured in the process...) We made four pizzas out of the one recipe...they were small to medium size.
Now here is where you have to make some choices...do you want thin crust or thick crust? Do you think you can sling pizza dough like a pro or are you gonna find another way to make a pizza shape?
After some frustrating tries at 'slingin' the dough we opted for rolling it out to see if we could get a super thin crust - it worked! ( I mean even after when we cooked it, the rolled out dough was fine)
Jennifer and Dennis have all the cool pizza stuff - see the pizza board the dough is sitting on? But they are smart ones - they got all their cool stuff at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and saved lotsa dough! (good one huh?) So the dough goes on a board that has cornmeal sprinkled on it, then add your sauce and toppings.
Some pepperoni, Parmesan...
A little smoked Gouda Or maybe that was Monterey Jack???
and over the top a sprinkling of this wonderful stuff! Or the olive oil of your choice.
We actually made three types of pizza - the pepperoni, a four cheese, and I'm embarrassed to say one I did not know the name of a Margarita or Margherita pizza...that has fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, no red sauce but of course some olive oil!
Notice the little pizza pan for putting it on after it is cooked!
Now we're ready for the BBQ part!
This is the four cheese pizza.
So the pizza goes from the wooden pizza board to the pizza stone on the BBQ...
Listen up - here is where some sophisticated BBQ work comes in...there is direct and indirect heat on the barby - (I was a little mixed up on this concept at first, but Dennis straightened me out)
The pizza starts out on the pizza stone on the direct heat (right over the coals) and then moves over directly onto the BBQ for the indirect heat (where the coals aren't!) The lid on the BBQ is actually closed for the cooking process...I just kept annoying Dennis to open it for photos!
Once the pizza has cooked a bit on the stone they are easy to move around.
Here are our chefs at work!
Some more pizza products - the white board for cutting and the pizza cutter.
And the finished product........I had never eaten thin crust pizza before (I know amazing huh?) and I liked it very much!
So, thanks Jen and Den for the pizza BBQ 101 - I can't wait to try it at home!
What kind of toppings do I want to try next....waiting for my basil plant to come back after it's pruning...then maybe pesto!
To celebrate this first day of Fall, make some dough, get some wine, and call the friends over for pizza on the BBQ! Manga!!!!!!!