Saturday, September 29, 2012

Grilled Tomato and Basil Pizza

This is a Cook's Illustrated recipe which means plan on it taking you a while to make. The recipe is lengthy and a little scary but it is SO worth it! This recipe is a must! The spicy garlic oil is fantastic. I think I will use this on all my pizza recipes.

Grilled Tomato and Basil Pizza
Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Yield: 4 grilled pizzas

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup water, room temperature
2 cups bread flour (11 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 tbsp whole wheat flour (optional)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 lb medium plum tomatoes (5-6), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 tsp table salt
6 oz fontina cheese (The fontina is a must! If you have to use Mozzarella make sure it is freshly grated)
1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
sea salt or kosher salt
Spicy garlic oil:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 tsp)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

  1. FOR THE SPICY GARLIC OIL: Cook olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to sizzle 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
  2. FOR THE CRUST: Combine oil and water in liquid measuring cup. In food processor fitted with plastic dough blade or metal blade, process bread flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine running, slowly add liquid through feed tube; continue to process until dough forms tacky, elastic ball that clears sides of work bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. If dough ball does not form, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time and process until dough ball forms. Spray medium bowl lightly with nonstick cooking spray or rub lightly with oil. Transfer dough to bowl and press down to flatten surface; cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in draft-free spot until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. When dough has doubled, press down gently to deflate; turn dough out onto work surface and divide into 4 equal-sized pieces. With cupped palm, form each piece into smooth, tight ball. Set dough balls on well-floured work surface. Press dough rounds with hand to flatten; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  4. FOR THE TOPPING: Meanwhile, toss tomatoes and table salt in medium bowl; transfer to colander and drain 30 minutes (wipe out and reserve bowl). Shake colander to drain off excess liquid; transfer tomatoes to now-empty bowl and set aside. Combine cheeses in second medium bowl and set aside.
  5. Gently stretch dough rounds into disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Working one piece at a time and keeping the rest covered, roll out each disk to 1/8-inch thickness, 9 to 10 inches in diameter, on well-floured sheet of parchment paper, dusting with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. (If dough shrinks when rolled out, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until relaxed, 10 to 15 minutes.) Dust surface of rolled dough with flour and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough, stacking sheets of rolled dough on top of each other (with parchment in between) and covering stack with plastic wrap; set aside until grill is ready.
  6. TO GRILL (Charcoal grill): Ignite 6 quarts (1 large chimney) hardwood charcoal or briquettes in chimney starter and burn until fully ignited, 15 to 20 minutes. Empty coals into grill and spread into even layer over three-quarters of grill, leaving one quadrant free of coals. Position cooking grate over coals and heat until grill is medium-hot, about 5 minutes (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill grate for 4 seconds); scrape grate clean with grill brush.                                                                  For a gas grill: Light all burners and turn to high heat. Close lid and let it sit for 15 minutes. Scrape cooking grate with a clean grill brush.
  7. Lightly flour pizza peel; invert 1 dough round onto peel, gently stretching it as needed to retain shape (do not stretch dough too thin; thin spots will burn quickly). Peel off and discard parchment; carefully slide round onto hot side of grill. Immediately repeat with another dough round. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles (pierce larger bubbles with paring knife) and bottoms are grill marked and charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes; while rounds cook, check undersides and slide to cool area of grill if browning too quickly. Transfer crusts to cutting board browned sides up. Repeat with 2 remaining dough rounds.
  8. Brush 2 crusts generously with Spicy Garlic Oil; top each evenly with one-quarter of cheese mixture and one-quarter of tomatoes. Return pizzas to grill and cover grill with lid; cook until bottoms are well browned and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes, checking bottoms frequently to prevent burning. Transfer pizzas to cutting board; repeat with remaining 2 crusts. Sprinkle pizzas with basil and coarse salt to taste; cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Photo source: Dishing The Divine

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