Grilling Pizzas at the Mill City, So You Can Too!
I had the opportunity to do a cooking demonstration at the fabulous Mill City Farmer’s Market a couple of weeks ago, and of course, I wanted to grill pizza. Why? Well, for anyone still a little afraid of pizza on the grill, I want to show how easy it is to make a really good meal from local and seasonal stuff on the grill. I was being selfish, too, I wanted to make something that did not require turning on the stove once in the whole process.
I was lucky to have some locally grown and ground flours from Sunrise Flour Mill: http://www.sunriseflourmill.com/
I know there are people who think pizzas should be made with white flour dough, and I hope this crust will change some opinions. It’s got a fuller flavor and texture from the overnight slow rise, and I love the nutty taste of the fresh whole wheat flour.
When I arrived, toting my dough, it was raining and the wind was whipping through the market, but we had a feeling that it would clear up. After a few cloudbursts, the sun shone through. Heather Hartman, a fellow whole food teacher and chef runs the cooking stage, and she was going to follow me with a grilled smashed potato demo, so we got to stroll the market and pick out the freshest ingredients.
We picked out everything for the pizzas from the wonderful vendors there, from the huge bunches of basil I used for pesto, to amazing Shepherds Way Cheese for the topping. I grilled the veggies ahead of time in my grill wok, and we were ready for the show.
PHOTOS BY JAY WALTER
Overnight Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Makes four or five pizzas
2 cups unbleached bread flour
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups water, room temperature
1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl and mix for one minute, to form a coarse, sticky gob of dough. Let the dough rest for five minutes, then mix again for one minute.Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, rub a little oil on your hands, and fold the dough into a smooth ball. Let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes and then stretch and fold the dough into a tight ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and immediately place in the refrigerator. The dough can be used anywhere from 6 hours to three days after it goes in the fridge.
2. When ready to make the pizzas, pull the dough from the refrigerator three hours prior to when you plan to bake. Divide the dough into four or five pieces. With either oil or flour on your hands, form each piece into a tight dough ball and place on a lightly oiled pan. Mist the dough balls with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or place the pan inside a large plastic bag. Give the dough at least 90 minutes before making the pizzas. If you don’t plan to use them all, place the extra dough balls inside of an oiled freezer bag and keep in the refrigerator (for up to three days) or in the freezer (for up to three months).
Each dough ball makes a 10-12 inch pizza, depending on thickness.
Grilled Pizzas: Pesto of the Day, Grilled Veggies, and Local Cheese
Canola oil for the grill, cornmeal
4 cups of fresh herb- arugala, basil, cilantro
4 cloves garlic
½ cup nuts-pine nuts, toasted pumpkinseeds, pistachios, walnuts
½ cup aged cheese, shredded
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt, to taste
16 cups of veggies to grill: Zucchini, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, etc
1 pound of good cheese, chevre, fresh mozz, etc
Handfuls of fresh spinach or basil
1. Make the pesto, put the herbs, garlic , nuts and cheese in a food processor and process to chop finely. Add the olive oil gradually to make a smooth paste. Add salt and process. Scrape out into a bowl or cup. Cut up the veggies for grilling: if using a wok, cut in bite sized chunks, if not, slice in longer strips that will not fall in the grill. Put in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and balsamic, salt to taste.
2. Prepare the grill, preheating it on high. Get a cup and put a couple of tablespoons of canola oil in it, and get a paper towel and tongs for oiling the grate. Put your grill wok on and let it get hot, or brush the grate with oil. Put the veggies on and toss or turn to grill them until soft and ready to eat. Take off the grill and transfer to a bowl.
3. Roll or pat out each dough ball to desired thickness, place on a cutting board or pizza peel coated with cornmeal. Turn the grill to medium. Transfer to the hot oiled grill and quickly close the grill for just a couple of minutes-peek under the dough to see if it is browning. Open it and when the dough is stiff enough, turn the dough with the tongs, then quickly top with pesto, veggies, and cheese. Cover the grill until melted. Use tongs to slide back onto the cutting board and slice to serve immediately.