Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pizza. On the BBQ.

Andy and I love pizza. Since I perfected a crust recipe several years ago (below), Andy has requested pizza aroundabout once a week. We have had some really excellent successes in our time - roasted garlic + nutrtitional yeast "cheesy garlic bread", gourmet-style antipasto pizzas, vegan bacon and pineapple pizzas - but we've recently reached new heights in the pizza stakes.

Enter the BBQ.

I had read, several years ago, an article about cooking pizza on the grill like this. The article talked about putting the dough straight on the grill plate, cooking it briefly, then flipping over to top as the other side of the dough cooked. This could work, but we haven't tried it yet, and I don't know how it would go on a Weber (which cooks hotter than most BBQs).

When Andy's parents parked their caravan in our back yard last May, they bought a pizza stone for their Weber, and we tried it out with pre-purchased crusts. They were good, and friends who have pizza stones say they are really excellent. But our trepidation around pizza stones is that they are rather small, and we like our pizzas rather... large. I suppose we could make many smaller pizzas, but they can only cook one at a time, and also what if the dough is floppy?

Our method is much simpler, and probably means that we still have higher heights to reach. But for now, it's blown our minds enough that we're happy here. Our method involves making the pizza on the pan, like we always have, but cooking it on the Weber, raised up on a trivet (because going straight on the grill would be too direct a heat and would burn the base).

The result is a crispy crunchy base with a still-fluffy crust ring around the edge of the pizza. The whole thing gets a slightly smoky, BBQ flavour. And it only takes 8-10 minutes per pizza, on low heat.
BBQ sauce, fresh pineapple, and vegan bacon bits, with a few mushrooms.

I suppose the most revolutionary aspect of this pizza-making method is that it lets us have pizza in the summer without heating up the house. On a really hot, North Queensland day, you can imagine how important this is. It even encourages us to eat outside, something we normally only do when we have people over.
Pesto, Mushroom and Tomato pizza

Pizza Dough
1 cup of water (usually, + 1 or 2 Tbsp., but play it by feel)
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 c. flour
3 Tbsp. gluten flour
2 and 1/2 tsp. yeast

We make this in the bread maker, just whacking everything in and letting it go, adding a splish splash of water when it looks dry. If you don't have a bread maker, do this in the normal way of making bread. Mix up the water, salt, olive oil, sugar and yeast. Mix the flour and gluten flour together and then mix the dry into the wet with a wooden spoon. When it gets too stiff, mix with your hands, and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes stretchy and smooth. As you knead, add more flour if it is too wet; if it's too dry I like to get my hands wet and knead in more water that way. When it looks like nice dough, put it in an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60-90 minutes.

At the end of the dough cycle or when the dough has risen in the bowl, punch it down, drop it on the bench, and knead by hand for a minute. Divide it in half (or more, if you want smaller pizzas), form into smooth balls (tuck the rough bits in at the bottom until it's pretty smooth), and let rest on the bench, covered with a tea towel, until you're ready to roll out the pizzas (up to 2 hours, but we usually go 30-60 minutes).


Claire said...

Great idea! I've never used the barbie for pizza before. We have a pizza stone and everything. Thanks!

Joey said...

More reasons to love a barbie! Great minds clearly think alike - I've just been cooking up some pizza over here too (although living in a tiny London flat and it being the middle of winter means I guess I can't replicate the barbie pizza idea). I really like the barbecue sauce and pineapple one you've got up there. Barbecue makes anything taste good!

urban vegan said...

I would like to try to grill pizza. Except I don;t have a grill so I'll have to do it at F-stop's place.

Anonymous said...

Now I want a grill like that! What a good idea.

Kari said...

What a great idea - although we don't own a BBQ, so I may have to shelve it for a little while :-) We have pizza fortnightly and it is such a great, easy meal!

Mattheworbit said...

Your pizza looks good!

There's something so special about BBQd food that can only mean great things for pizza -I wish we had a Weber!!

Mel said...

What a fantastic idea! I wish our BBQ was in working order so I could give this method a try. I always enjoy trying out different pizza dough recipes and am intrigued by the gluten flour in yours.