Last week was my daughter's birthday, so we did pizzas on the grill, one of my kiddos' favorite meals. But a pizza is only as good as its crust, so I almost always end up making my own (a food processor makes this really easy). And if I'm going to take the time to make crusts, I may as well make a bunch and keep them in the freezer.
For one batch of dough, you will need:
- 1 cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)
- 2 tsp. sugar
- one packet (or 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast (I use the rapid rise)
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 3/4 tsp. coarse salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
While you're waiting, pulse flour and salt in food processor to mix.
Add the olive oil and yeast mixture and process until the dough comes together in a sticky ball, approx. 20-30 seconds.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes.
Punch down dough and turn onto floured work surface.
Using a large knife, quarter dough.
One at a time, shape dough wedge roughly into a ball. Place the dough ball on the work surface and, with your hand cupped over it, roll it on the work surface until the surface of the dough is smooth.
Let dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping, or freeze for up to two weeks, letting frozen dough sit at room temp. two hours before shaping.
On a floured work surface, press each dough ball into 9-in. round. To make mini pizzas, cut each dough ball into three or four pieces before shaping.
Now this next part varies, depending on what type of grill you have. In general, you want to use indirect heat. Oh, and if you don't have a grill, feel free to use a 400 degree oven.
Here's how Rachel Ray says to do it:
Lower the heat on one side of the frill to low. Oil the grate on that side of the grill. Move the shaped dough to the frill. Lower the edge of the dough onto the oiled grill. (Mindy says, the size of your rounds will determine how many you can comfortably fit on the grate at one time.)
Now, cover the grill and cook for roughly 3 minutes, until crusts begin to bubble and brown. Loosen crusts with a metal spatula, recover and cook for one more minute. Flip crusts over; cook until beginning to brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
Top pizzas as you please and return to grill until toppings are hot and cheese is melted. Sorry, I was so busy cooking everyone's pizzas, I forgot to take a pic of the finished product.
For the party, we set up an assembly line of every pizza topping you could think of and everyone got to fix their own. (Note: I had the crusts all pre-baked before everyone arrived) They loved it!
You can use any sauce you like, I make my own by pulsing italian style tomatoes (the ones with basil, oregano, and garlic) in the food processor. This go-round I also added a can of the same variety of tomato paste, but that was a little too sweet for my taste. Maybe a half a can of paste next time, or none at all :-)
And there you have it. Everybody gets what they want and they have fun in the process.
Since school will be out soon, I think I'll make up several batches, prebake the crusts and keep them in the freezer so the kids can make their own pizzas for lunch and pop them in the oven. That's a lot cheaper than buying Bagel Bites and they taste a hundred times better.