Friday, August 09, 2013

Grilled Flatbread Pizza

I planned on making pizza for dinner tonight, and since zucchini week(s) is in full bloom, I thought I'd recreate this delicious zucchini parmesan pizza.  Then I saw a link on another blog to flatbread with creamy red pepper scallion spread.  I wasn't interested in the spread or the salad (I wanted pizza!), but the flatbread and the grilling sounded amazing.  And it was.

I followed the instructions from the blog on the flat bread (except I doubled it):
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 cups bread flour (or a little less, see directions)
  • 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Add water and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer fit with a dough hook. Sprinkle in the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes to bloom.
Mix in the olive oil then Add one cup of the flour along with the salt. Mix on low until well incorporated, and then turn the speed up to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
Add another 1/2 cup of flour and the 1/2 cup of cornmeal, and mix well, starting on low and then switching to medium speed. Then add another 1/2 cup of flour, again starting on low and switching to medium. Knead on medium for about 5 minutes. You may occasionally have to get in there with your hands if the dough starts climbing up the hook. It should become smooth and elastic and slightly tacky. At this point, incorporate flour by the tablespoon, with the mixer running. When it starts to seem dry, stop adding flour. This could be anywhere between 1/4 and 1/2 cup. Knead again on medium until it is elastic easy to stretch, about 8 more minutes.
Meanwhile, drizzle about two tablespoons of olive oil into a large mixing bowl. The dough will double in size, so make sure you have enough room. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, tossing it around to coat with oil. Cover the top in plastic wrap and put in a warm place. Let dough rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
When dough has doubled, fire up your grill. Keep the flame high and close the lid. If you have a thermometer, it should be at about 500 F.
Somewhere around this point I gathered all my toppings and sliced the veggies (thinly!) I also discovered as I was cooking that since my zucchini was a little on the big side, the slices weren't cooking much, so I took them off and grilled them directly on the grill- do this on a cooler part of your grill while the first side is cooking.  It helps to have all the toppings on a tray so they can be easily and quickly transported to the grill.

Punch the dough down, give it a quick knead and tear it into 4 equal-ish pieces. On a large cutting board, form each piece into an oval that is about 8 inches long and 5 inches across. I just use my hands for this, but you can use a rolling pin if you prefer.
Place the dough on the grill. It should take about 3 to 4 minutes for the bottoms to get grill marks and become firm. If it takes a little longer that’s cool, but definitely check one after 3 minutes.

Here is where I diverged from the original recipe.  When the first side of the flatbread is cooked (I burned mine a tiny bit on the first round) flip it over, turn down the heat a little and add pizza sauce and any toppings.  My favorite combo was the zucchini, eggplant, mushroom, tomato, parmesan cheese and bacon bits.  Make sure to put the grilled veggies on at this point and put a little more cheese over the top to hold everything on.  Close the grill and cook for a minute or two until the cheese is melted and toppings are as cooked as you'd like them.

Remove pizzas from the grill and cut them into manageable pieces and enjoy.  These were incredible.  My Mister even commented on how amazing they were after his first bite, and he doesn't dole out praise like that unless he really means it.  

I think we'll be using the flatbread recipe instead of pizza dough from now on.  The original blog post gives the following instructions for oven baking: 

~ If you prefer to bake the breads, you can do so in a 450 F oven, for 12 to 15 minutes. Place directly on a baking stone for the crispiest results, but a large baking sheet will work, too!

I think I might try it sometime when it's not so hot outside, and just roll it out regular pizza style.


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