Can you believe I cooked again!?
I managed to find myself as the proud new owner of a Big Green Egg bbq…thanks to my brother winning it and bestowing it on me in return for a few meals. Good deal for me…aside from the fact I had to spend some serious cash to get it completely ready to use/function. Rather than working with meat for a first try, I tried pizza…why, because I simply was really in the mood for pizza.
It was such an easy thing to do…and yes I will eventually post pics of my big green egg–I haven’t yet, but I promise I will. But seriously, it became one of those set it and forget it style things…and it was sooooo good. Way better than anything I have had delivered or in a restaurant. Hard to believe I had made it in all honesty.
The recipe is by Mark Bittman of the New York Times, though I don’t actually have the internet link nor can I find it for some reason…..but that is the source…and here’s the dough recipe:
Yield: Enough dough for 1 large, 2 medium, or more smaller pizzas.
Time: 1 hour or more
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast, such as SAF-Instant Yeast
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea or kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- If using a food processor, combine flour, yeast and salt in work bowl. Turn machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube. Process 30 seconds, adding up to 1/4 cup more water, a little at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. (In unlikely event mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.) To make dough by hand, combine half the flour with the yeast and salt in a bowl and stir to blend. Add 1 cup water and the olive oil; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add remaining flour bit at a time; when mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading, adding as little remaining flour as possible, just enough to keep dough from being sticky mess. Knead 5 to 10 minutes.
- Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut rising time if you are in a hurry, or you can let dough rise more slowly in refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.) Dough can then be used immediately or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for a month. Defrost in covered bowl in refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Form risen dough into a ball and divide into two or more pieces; roll each into a ball. Place each on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until slightly puffed, about 20 minutes.
- Oil one or more baking sheets, then press each dough ball into a flat round directly on sheet. Pat out dough as thin as you like, using oiled hands if necessary. NOTE: If you are putting this onto a grill and/or pizza stone, you may with to put the pizza on some cornmeal and/or parchment so you can move it onto the cooking surface with greater ease.
Proceed with any recipe.
- I topped my pizza with chorizo sausage (which I pre-cooked,) a mixture of freshly grated mozzarella and provolone, sliced peppers, sliced mushrooms, spinach, tomato sauce and a few splashes of pesto because I had some on hand.
Some other tips:
- Fresh toppings should never be too wet or the dough will become soggy. Fresh tomatoes should be seeded and drained; other moist vegetables like zucchini should be thinly sliced and salted and left to drain so they exude some liquid.
- High temperatures are best for pizza crusts. Pro pizza ovens cook at 700 degrees or higher. If you can’t get that warm, try to reach 500 degrees–and then it will take about 15 minutes or so too cook. We had to keep our big green egg temps low because it was new and instructions said to avoid high heat during the first few uses. We cooked the pizza at 350 for about 30 minutes–was still great, but not quite as good as I have had when I have used hotter ovens.
- Layer a bit of cheese between your other toppings, put the ones that need to be cooked closer to the top.
- When grilling, some people grill one side of the crust first for about 5 minutes, then flip it over to do the other side, and spread the toppings this way. Do what you feel is best.
Any pizza tips to share? Let me know in the comments!