If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I am not a cheese eater. However, I still love me some pizza (sans cheese, of course). Some people think it’s weird, but hey, I think you people who like cheese are weird! Anyway, I’ve never made my own pizza crust before, so I was a little apprehensive, given my history with yeast.
Yeast and I aren’t the best of friends, and I think that is my biggest baking handicap. But, I followed the recipe to the T and it turned out super awesome! The best part of this pizza is that it’s on the grill; a little ambitious for someone who has never even made a pizza crust in the oven before, but hey, if I’m not challenging myself, who’s really winning?
The yeast doubled in the first hour that I let it sit, and per the instructions, I punched it down and let it rise for another hour. I was a little concerned when the dough didn’t seem to double again (having flashbacks of yeast pointing and laughing at me), and I let it sit for a little longer than an hour, maybe an hour and half, but that was mostly because I was still prepping the ingredients. More on this in a minute. When I was ready to start preparing the crusts, I thought the dough would be a little more pliable. It wasn’t. I tried to stretch it out to no avail. I then put it on the countertop and pressed it into a circle. Once I got to the third crust, the dough seemed a little more user-friendly. I remember reading that if your pizza dough is not working with you, you need to walk away, let it sit for 5 minutes, and come back to it. This must have happened while I was fighting with the first two crusts, because the second two were a cinch. I reconstructed the first two, and finally, all four resembled a pizza crust one might find in a resturaunt…might.
Nate and I got super excited when we realized we could each choose toppings for two pizzas and we didn’t have to share with each other! My first pizza had a pesto sauce (store-bought ), chicken, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and sun dried tomatoes. My second, homemade marinara, green bell peppers, black olives, onions, mushrooms and jalapenos. Of course you weird cheese lovers could add cheese to both of these. For Nate, his first pizza had homemade marinara, chicken, caramelized onions, black olives, jalapenos, mushrooms and mozzarella. For his second, homemade marinara, pepperoni, black olives, onions, mushrooms, green bell pepper and mozzarella. He seemed to enjoy his first pizza over his second, but still had no complaints.
We had so much fun putting the dough on the grill, rotating at the approximate times, flipping, and then quickly topping our pizzas with desired ingredients. The first two we learned we should have cooked the first side of the crust a little longer, but it all turned out well in the end. The crusts were super crispy on the outside, but still had a bit of chewy on the inside. I was impressed by how easy it was to make my own marinara, and how incredibly flavorful it was. Wow…I thought I’d have to cook it for hours to taste this good, but nope. I’m quite sure I won’t be purchasing store-bought marinara anymore.
All in all, the end product blew me away. I feel like this may be a fairly frequent staple dinner in my house for years to come. Thank you so much to Nicole at Prevention RD for this amazing recipe, including the homemade marinara recipe! Plus, I get to cross off one of my 30 Before 30 items!! WOOT WOOT
Source: Prevention RD
Servings: 8 small, 4 large
2 1/4 tsp (or one packet) dry active yeast
1 cup warm water (105-110F)
1 pinch sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 tbsp fresh herbs (I didn’t have any, so I used dried rosemary, oregano, and basil)
toppings as desired
1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water, and mix in sugar. Proof for 10 minutes, or until frothy. Mix in salt, olive oil and flour until dough begins to pull away from sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead in herbs until smooth, about 8 minutes (I only made it 4 minutes until I thought it was overkill). Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let dough rise for one hour, or until it doubles in size. Punch down, and let rise for another hour, or until it doubles in size again (it didn’t double in size for me, but it certainly got bigger).
2. Preheat grill temperature to about 350 degrees. Punch down dough and divide into four pieces. Make each piece into 9-10 inch square or circle pizza crust. If the dough isn’t working with you, leave it sit, walk away, and come back after 5 minutes. It’ll be more forgiving.
3. Have all sauces (homemade marinara), toppings, and cheese ready and waiting before you put the dough on the grill. Spray one side of two of the crusts with olive oil, and place one grill. Once on the grill, spray other side with olive oil. Turn the crust 1/4 of a turn every 30 seconds or so, until crust beings to brown and bubble, about 2-3 minutes. Flip crust and immediately top with desired sauce, toppings, and cheese. Close grill cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, again turning 1/4 turn every 30 seconds. Every grill is different, so timing will vary. Be sure to keep an eye on your crust so it doesn’t burn, but don’t flip it too soon – you want it to be cooked through and slightly crisp. repeat with second two crusts. Enjoy over and over!