Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pizza on the Big Green Egg.

Aside from smoking at low temperatures, another thing the Big Green Egg does really well is get HOT.  And to someone that loves making pizzas at home, the-hotter-the-better.  The flavor of a pizza cooked on the Egg is awesome.  It tastes just like it came out of a brick oven.

The method I use to cook a pizza on the Egg is fairly simple.  I light the charcoals like normal, with coals piled up just below the fire ring.  I let the them burn for about 10 minutes before putting the plate setter on feet side down.  Then I place my pizza stone on top of the place setter.  After closing the lid, I make sure the daisy wheel on top and vent on the bottom are wide open.  Then let the Egg come to temperature and blow off some of that white, thick smoke.

Once the grill hits 550° F, I slide the pizza onto the stone, close the lid and cook it for about 7-10 minutes.  To slide the pizza off the peel and onto the stone easier, dust the peel with semolina flour or cornmeal.  Give the peel a few shakes first before adding the toppings to make sure the dough is not stuck anywhere before proceeding.  This method hasn't failed me yet and I've been making pizzas for quite some time.

After 7 minutes, I check the pizza through the open daisy wheel on the top of the Egg.  I know the pizza is ready to come off when I see the cheese start to form brown spots.  Sometimes it takes up to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the crust or the amount of toppings there are.  It's always better to have a pizza that is slightly overcooked than slightly undercooked.  There is nothing worse than biting into soggy, raw dough!

Below are the recipes I use for the dough and sauce.

Pizza Dough (makes 2 12-inch pizzas)
  • 12.3 oz high gluten flour
  • 7.8 oz of luke warm water
  • 1 tsp active-dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, attach the dough hook.  Then, add all the dry ingredients to the bowl (high gluten flour, active dry yeast and salt).  Lower the dough hook into the bowl and start on the slowest level.  Slowly add water and olive oil over the next minute while the dough hook is moving.  Once all the water is incorporated into the flour, turn mixer to level 3 for 7-minutes.

Coat the inside of a glass bowl or plastic bag with a small amount of olive oil.  Pull dough off the hook and form into smooth ball.  Place into oiled bag (and seal) or bowl (and cover).  Allow the dough to rise about 2 hours on counter.

If you aren't using the dough right away, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 72 hours.  In fact, you will get a more flavorful crust by letting the dough rise in the fridge for at least 24 hours before using.

Sauce (makes enough for 8 12-inch pizzas)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I prefer using San Marzano)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.  Add the onion, salt and oregano and cook for 5 minutes.  Then, stir in the remaining ingredients.  Bring sauce to a boil then turn stove to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove sauce from heat and stir in olive oil.  Whatever I don't use for dinner, I divide up and freeze for later use.

If you're passionate about making pizza, just starting off or want to learn more, the Pizza Making Forum is an invaluable resource.  Good luck and enjoy!
Powered by Blogger | Copyright 2008-2016 Matthew Stenzel