Monday, March 29, 2010

Summerlike Sunday - Vegan Grill Pizza

Yesterday felt very much like summer here in sunny San Diego, with hot temperatures and cool breezes, jeep rides, and beach visits. I understand that it's not like that everywhere this time of year, and I apologize; I don't mean to rub your face in my perfect weather. After an afternoon visit to the beach with the dogs, Official Tester and I decided on Grill Pizza. That way, he could do the manly grill thing, we could eat tasty food, and I could tell you about it. Grill pizza is surprisingly easy and only takes a few hours of planning ahead time (for the rising). I got the original recipe from Cuisine at home magazine last summer, but I've noted my slight modifications.

This recipe makes four 12" pizzas (I should have only made half for 2 people)
1 C warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour [I used a combination of King Arthur whole wheat and Trader Joe's white whole wheat]
1 C cake flour [when I made this before I used all-purpose here. This time I used cake flour and I think it rolled out better]
1 Tbsp kosher salt [I thought the dough was a little salty. Official tester did not. So it's up to you]
2 Tbsp olive oil
[I also added a handful of ripped up fresh basil leaves. Dried herbs work well too]
[cooking spray]

1. Combine water, sugar, and yeast. Proof until mixture turns foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. While that's going, mix flours and salt in a medium bowl (or bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook).
3. Add oil to proofed yeast mixture and pour into flour mixture. Mix until combined with a spoon/your hands (or mixer)
4. Turn dough out of bowl onto lightly floured kneeding surface. Kneed dough for about 10 minutes (with mixer, still 10 minutes, on low speed). Dough should not stick to counter/bread board and should be somewhat "springy" by the time you're done. Gather into a ball and pull the dough on top around and down so that it's tight on top and pinched closed on the bottom.
5. Lightly spray the same medium bowl with cooking spray. Put the ball of dough in upside down and then flip it over so it's right side up (this coats it nicely with oil). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. (This can be in a nice warm spot in your kitchen, or you can turn the oven on for a minute and stick the dough in there).
6. Punch dough down and divide it into four balls, again pulling the top around and down and pinching the bottoms closed. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place another hour
7. Preheat your grill to medium-high.
8. Prepare your toppings so they are all ready to go- dice your veggies, make or take the sauce out of the fridge, grate cheese. For tender veggies (or potatoes), cook them before adding them to your pizza. The pizza cooks quickly, so things like onions don't get very soft.
9. Roll out the dough into a 10-12 inch circle-like shape. These things aren't exact
10. Lift the rolled out dough by the edges and drape it directly onto the hottest part of the grill, close the lid, and cook 2-3 minutes. The crust will bubble and grill marks may appear underneath.
11. Use tongs to flip the crust over. Brush it with olive oil (makes it yummier) and add your toppings. Keep quantities light so they cook quickly. Cook for 4-5 minutes- you know your pizza is done when the cheese is melted.

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