Pizza Party for Darcy

On Friday, we celebrated my friend Darcy's birthday with a party on the deck.  Thanks to Byron's awesome pizza dough and a refrigerator with plenty of of random vegetables and cheeses, we managed to make and eat the better part of five grilled pizzas.

Pizza combinations included 1) pizza sauce, whole milk mozzarella, and fresh basil, topped with arugula; 2) olive oil, Parmigiano, roasted fresh asparagus, with fontina; 3) olive oil, grilled sweet onions, and Willapa Farms Fresh with Ewe (sheeps milk cheese with a blue rind) and Parmigiano; 4) pesto, sweet peppers, grilled onion, grilled mushrooms, with mozzarella and Parmigiano; and 5) pizza sauce, veggie pepperoni, mushroom, sweet pepper, with fontina, and mozzarella.

In case you'd like to replicate any or all of these pizzas, here's the dough recipe.

Byron's Pizza Dough
adapted from Fine Cooking

In a food processor, combine

2 tsp SAF instant yeast (doesn’t need heat to activate)
18 ounces bread flour (makes stretchier dough, or so I think)
1 1/2 tsp salt

and pulse a few times to mix. Then, with the machine running, add

1 1/2 cups water (microwaved for ~30 seconds to take the chill off)

in a steady stream. Turn the food processor off, then add

2 Tbs olive oil

and pulse a few more times until it comes together.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it a few times until it comes together in a nice ball. Chop it into four pieces and shape those into balls too. Let them rest for 45 minutes or so under a kitchen towel. Then they're ready to shape.

When you're ready to shape a pizza, what I do is to flatten a ball of dough on the counter into a circle maybe eight inches around. Then I pick it up and hold it vertically by one edge, turning it around to stretch the dough semi-evenly. My goal is to get the whole thing to be about 12-14 inches around, but not to have it paper-thin in the middle.

Makes four, approximately 14" round, grilled pizzas. 

Oh, and here's how we grill it:  Form the dough (see above), then slap it directly onto a hot, ungreased grill, let it cook a bit, uncovered, so it puffs up and gets grill marks on one side, then remove it from the grill onto a pan or peel, add your toppings to the side with the grill marks, and then slide it it back on the grill and cook (with the lid down) for a few minutes just to toast up the underside.  Don't overcook or you'll have a big cracker rather than a pizza.

Ryan and Arlo at the pizza party.

Wyatt and me.


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