So we’re back after a brief hiatus due to holidays and a broken laptop. In the absence of a pizza oven, we tried cooking pizza on our gas barbecue instead. The result was pretty good and produced a pizza-oven style crust that we never manage to achieve in the regular oven. Pizza dough is easy to make with a standing mixer and dough hook. You can chill the dough for a couple of days or freeze it.
Pizza Dough – for 4 pizzas
- 500g ’00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried yeast (not fast-action)
- 400ml warm water
- oil, for greasing
Put the flour and salt in the mixer bowl and mix the yeast into the water. Wait 5 minutes to check that the yeast is working – little bits will start rising to the top.
Turn on the motor and pour in the liquid. Keep the speed on medium-high and it should come together in a ball. If the bottom is sticking tip in 1-2 tbsp of flour. Knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is shiny and springs back when you press your finger into it. Try to avoid adding too much extra flour the dough should be slightly sticky.
Use oiled hands to remove the dough from the bowl and hook. Oil another bowl and put the dough in it. Turn the dough around to lightly coat it in the oil. Cover tightly with cling film and and a tea towel, then place in a warm, draught-free spot until the dough has doubled in size. It will take between 2 and 4 hours to rise depending on how warm a day it is. (If you don’t need the dough for a day or two, put it in the fridge straight away, take out 3-4 hours before using and punch it down before bringing together on a floured surface.)
Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then shape into balls – dusting in flour as they will be sticky. Keep the dough balls covered with a tea towel or cling film while you prep the toppings. (You can also freeze them in sealed bags. Thaw in the fridge and bring to room temperature 3 hours before using.)
Use your fingers to gently stretch out the dough into pizza shapes. When they have stretched to about 16cm, put the disc over the tops of your hands and use them to stretch it to about 25cm. Ours was pretty wonky and ripped a bit but no matter.
Preheat the gas barbecue and turn down to medium-low so the bottom of the pizza doesn’t burn.
Put the pizza onto a floured baking sheet with no edge or a large wooden board. Slide the dough onto the grill, close the lid (if you have one) and cook for 3-4 minutes. The dough will puff up and is ready when the bottom-side has light brown stripes. Use tongs to pull the dough off and turn upside down.
Put the pizza toppings (see our suggestion below) on the cooked side and place the pizza back on the grill, uncooked side down, and shut the lid. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and remove when the cheese is melted and the toppings are hot.
(Pizza dough recipe from BBC Good Food)
Chorizo pizza with peppers & Manchego – enough for 2 pizzas
- ½ quantity of pizza dough above, divided into 2 balls
- 4 cooking chorizo sausages
- 4-6 peeled plum tomatoes from a tin, drained
- 100g Manchego, shaved
- 100g mozzarella, cut into 2cm cubes
- ½ Romero pepper, thinly sliced
- pinch of chilli flakes
- 2 handfuls spinach leaves
Prepare the dough as outlined above.
Thickly slice the chorizo and pan-fry until crispy. Remove and set aside. Cook one side of the pizzas.
Crush 2-3 of the tomatoes with your hands and drain in a sieve, then spread on the cooked side of the pizzas. Top with both cheeses, the pepper and chorizo. Season and add chilli flakes.
Grill, covered, until the cheese is melted. Finish with the spinach leaves and a few extra shavings of Manchego.
(Pizza topping recipe from BBC Good Food)
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