Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
Episode: 304 :: Italian Fire
Wood Oven Pizzas (Margherita and Bacon Potato)
Source: The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 1998)
Method: Direct grilling or wood-burning oven
Serves: 8 as an appetizer, 2 to 4 as an entre
Advance
Preparation: 
2 to 3 hours for making the dough
Category: Vegetarian
Ingredients:
For the Basic Pizza Dough

1 cup warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast (2-1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons coarse (kosher or sea) salt
3 tablespoons fine white cornmeal
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for the bowl
3 to 3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or as needed

For the Grilled Pizza with Tomato, Basil, and Cheese

2 large fresh, ripe tomatoes, cored
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 recipe Basic Pizza Dough (see above)
2/3 cup shredded or diced Italian Fontina cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
16 fresh basil leaves

Directions:
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH
Place the water in a large bowl and add the yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit 5 minutes, then stir in the salt, cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, and oil. Gradually stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl. (You can also mix the dough in a stand mixer.) Knead the dough on a floured work surface, or in a food processor or mixer fitted with the dough hook, until smooth and elastic. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky. Kneading should take 6 to 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a clean large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, brush the top with oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough.

Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk again, 40 to 50 minutes. Punch it down.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball, then flatten them slightly so they resemble thick disks. Youre now ready to make the pizzas.



GRILLED PIZZA WITH TOMATO, BASIL, AND CHEESE
Preheat your grill so that one side is on high and the other is on medium. If using charcoal, set it up for 2-zone grilling, arranging the coals in a double layer on one side and a single layer on the other.

Preheat a large cast iron skillet on the grill grate. Cut the tomatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush each with oil, and season with half the garlic and salt and pepper. Quickly sear the tomato slices in the skillet, turning with a spatula, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Generously oil a large baking sheet and place one disk of dough on it. Use the fingers and palms of your hands to stretch out the dough into a 13 x 9 inch rectangle. It neednt be too precise. This stretching technique takes a little practice, so dont be discouraged if your first rectangle isnt picture-perfect. Stretch out the other disk of dough on another oiled baking sheet.

Working with one stretched-out piece of dough at a time, using both hands, gently lift the dough rectangle from the baking sheet. Drape it onto the grill over the hottest part of the fire. Within a minute or so, the underside of the dough will crisp, darken, and harden, and the top will puff slightly. Turn the dough over with tongs or two spatulas and move it to the cooler side of the grill.

Quickly brush the top of the pizza with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Scatter the remainder of the garlic over, then sprinkle with half the cheese and arrange half the tomato slices and basil leaves on top. Drizzle the surface of the pizza with another tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper.

Slide the pizza back over to the hotter part of the grill, rotating to ensure even cooking. Cook until the underside is slightly charred and the cheese is melted on top, 2 to 4 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the grill, cut into serving pieces, and serve while you repeat the procedure with the second stretched-out piece of dough.


VARIATION BACON, ONION, AND POTATO PIZZA

Make dough and stretch as directed above. Meanwhile, dice 6 strips of bacon (this is easier if the bacon is cold). Dice 2 large cooked potatoes into cubes, or cut into thin slices. Dice an onion. Saut the bacon in a large skillet on the stove or on the side burner of your grill. Cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon begins to crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the potatoes and onion to the skillet and saut until the potatoes are nicely browned and the onion is translucent and golden.

Working with one stretched-out piece of dough at a time, using both hands, gently lift the dough rectangle from the baking sheet. Drape it onto the grill over the hottest part of the fire. Within a minute or so, the underside of the dough will crisp, darken, and harden, and the top will puff slightly. Turn the dough over with tongs or two spatulas and move it to the
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