Friday, January 3, 2014

Faux Grilled Pizza

Before living in Queens, my family lived in Southern California.  I am a native of Southern California, as are my children.  We had what many Easterners probably think is a typical backyard with a patio, grill, pool, and swing set.  We had a wonderful gas grill.   It was hooked up to a natural gas hub on the back of our house.  I loved my grill.   I did the grilling at my house.  When we moved here, I wanted grilled pizza, but my third floor apartment here in Queens doesn't really accommodate a grill.  I searched the internet and found a great alternative to grilling.  I used a cast iron griddle/grill pan and my oven broiler.  For this pizza test I also used Alton Brown's quick pizza dough specially made for grilling.  I had to change his recipe.   I know I do that a lot, but it was necessary, since my pantry didn't have what his recipe called for.  You will need bread flour, Kosher salt, instant yeast, Molasses, warm water, and olive oil.

Do you need to step up your pizza for Friday night pizza and a movie?

 Ingredients for this recipe are: 16 ounces bread flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast,
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt, 10 ounces warm water (warmed up in microwave for 20 seconds),
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, and 2 teaspoons Molasses.

 Mix salt, yeast, and flour in bowl of mixer with dough hook.

 Mix molasses, warm water, and olive oil, then pour into bowl with flour mixture.
Mix on low until combined then increase speed to medium and mix for 15 minutes.

 Remove dough from bowl.  Remove small piece and flatten in your hand and do the windowpane
test as in stretch dough and try to see through it, but if it tears, it doesn't pass the test.  The test
helps you to make sure the dough has good gluten structure and won't tear.  If the dough tears
as you flatten and stretch to see through the dough, mix with stand mixer and dough hook for a
 couple more minutes.  Stretch dough and form a ball, then place dough in oiled lidded container.
Allow to rest until doubled (about an hour). 

 Separate dough into six equal portions and roll into tight balls, place on parchment paper and cover with towel or plastic wrap.  Allow dough to rest for 45 minutes.

 Preheat cast iron griddle/grill on highest setting of stove top for 20 minutes.  Turn on exhaust fan,
open windows, or any thing to help circulate the air well.  After preheating, place in oven close to
top of oven and turn on broiler.  Place a wadded up piece of aluminum between oven door and
oven frame to prop door open slightly, this will keep the broiler from shutting off.

Stretch one of the dough balls on your knuckles or use a rolling pin.  Place dough on a
pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal or use an upside down cookie sheet.  The pizza should be
smaller than your cast iron griddle/grill, remember that. 

Slide pizza onto the cast iron griddle/grill and cook for 1 minute 35 seconds.  You read right, 
1 minute 35 seconds.  Isn't that awesome.   That means you can have pizza as quick as a brick
 oven pizza place can cook it.  I made four pizzas for my family very quickly.

Look at that beautiful pizza.   It was delicious too.


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