Most of us don't have a brick oven to bake our pizza's in. I have to ask....does anyone out there have a brick oven, or an old fashioned wood cook stove with an oven on one side? We used to go to a cabin in the interior of BC during the holiday. The cabins source of heat and cooking was an old cast iron cook stove. While Scot kept the stove at a constant heat on one side, I'd place a turkey into the oven cavity and we would enjoy the juiciest turkey. We made all our meals during those holidays in that stove, including fire roasted pizzas. I've often thought how neat it would be to look for an old stove like that and build it into an outdoor kitchen.
Our BBQ retired at the end of summer and we decided to replace our gas grill with a modern charcoal grill called The Big Green Egg.
My husband has been turning out the closest thing to fire roasted pizza's I've ever eaten.
Don't panic! If you didn't get a Big Green Egg for Christmas you can use your gas grill
and your oven will work too. I've used all three methods with success....but do try grilling your next pizza....it adds another element of flavour.
Ingredients for crust:
- 1 cup very warm water
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 3/4 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup semolina flour
- Stir together water, yeast and salt. Stir in the oil. Mix the flours together and then add to the liquid mixture.
- If using a mixer, fit with dough hook and mix on low until dough comes together into a smooth ball. You can also just use your hands and knead it together until your dough is smooth. With either method you may need to add a little more flour. Your dough will be elastically smooth, but not really sticky. Pour a small amount of olive oil into your palm, pick up the dough ball and coat lightly, and then place back into the bowl and allow to rise about and hour.
Note: I often make my dough a day or two ahead of time. Just mix and put into an air tight container in the fridge. Take out, remove lid and leave on counter for an hour. It will rise nicely. Punch down when you are ready to put onto your pizza peel.
Ingredients for topping:
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/4 pound ground hot Italian sausage
- hot and mild pepperoni sticks, sliced thinly making one cup
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
- 1/2 cup black olives, optional
- 1/3 cup red pepper, diced, optional
- 3/4 cup garlic and herb pizza sauce
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- In a large skillet fry together ground beef and Italian sausage. When it is about half way cooked add onions, mushrooms, olives and peppers. Continue to cook over medium heat. Add thinly sliced pepperoni sticks. Remove from heat. This can be made ahead of time or put onto the crust as soon as it's ready.
To assemble pizza using a pizza stone for all methods of cooking:
If you are using your BBQ, place the pizza stone right on the racks. Turn the gas grill on either side as you want to bake the pizza over direct heat. If you can, raise your rack to the highest level. When your grill is 400-450º your stone will be hot enough for baking. If you have 'The Egg' get your grill up to 500º If using your oven place your pizza stone in and heat oven to 450º.Once your heat source is at temperature your stone will be very hot and ready for you to slide your pizza on.
While your stone is heating in your heat source assemble your pizza on a pizza peel. If you don't have a peel, assemble pizza on the back side of a cookie sheet. Rub the flat service you are using with olive oil and sprinkle with corn meal.
Take your dough and in your hands or on a lightly greased counter top shape into a roughly round shell.
Place pizza dough onto your peel and press to extend it to the edges and flatten it out best you can. It may look rustic....I like it that way!
Spread with pizza sauce, Parmesan cheese, meat mixture and then top mozzarella cheese.
Working quickly open your heat source and slide the pizza onto the hot stone.
Close and allow pizza to bake. Check your pizza after 10 minutes. Over a gas grill you want to make sure the underside is not burning. If it is, you may want to turn off one side of your gas grill and bake for the last 10 minutes over indirect heat.
At about 20 minutes lift one corner of your pizza to check if it's done. Time may vary with the thickness you make your crust. We like a thinner crispy crust so sometimes I only use 1/2-3/4 of the pizza dough per pizza. If you like a thick pan style pizza crust, use all the dough for one pizza, making sure it is baked all the way through.
The pizza stone will be very hot. Leave the hot stone in your heat source and just slide pizza onto a pizza pan. Eat while it's hot!