Tag Archives: Wood Fired Pizza

Redemption Pizza


It’s been a while since we’ve done two posts in one weekend but alas I had to get this one on the board given the Knuckle Sandwich debacle! Heather and I have done a few pizzas before on the Big Green Asian Egg but tonight we absolutely aced it! If you want to wood fire the best pizza ever, follow these simple instructions:

The sauce:

  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/5 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1/5 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste

Lightly sauté the minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until golden. Then add the tomato paste and fry with the garlic. Add to the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

The dough (makes 2 pizzas):

  • 3/4 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a small bowl, heat your water until it feels just about lukewarm. Add the yeast to the water and use a fork to stir it into the water. Set it aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve. It’s ok if the yeast doesn’t bubble, but it should be entirely dissolved and the mixture should look like thin miso soup.

Measure out the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Use your hand or a whisk to combine it. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together.

When it comes together into a ball turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn’t yet gotten worked in. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and its smooth and elastic to the touch–about five minutes worth.The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. Use a bench scraper to divide the dough in two. Tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Work one piece of the dough in your hands and form it into a large disk. Lay the disk of dough on the parchment paper.

Working from the middle of the dough outwards, use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. Repeat with the second piece of dough. The dough will stick to the parchment paper, making it easier for you to roll out. You’ll bake the pizza right on the parchment paper on top of your pizza stone. As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment, and you can slide the paper out before serving.

The toppings:

For tonight’s pizza we decided on the sauce, beef pepperoni, prosciutto ham, artichoke hearts, black offices, garlic, mozzarella, cheddar and salt & pepper. Here’s where you can play around a bit or a lot. Place whatever floats your boat on your pizza. Experiment, have fun with it and try out different combinations.

The Egg:

Preheat the Big Green Egg to 500 degrees F with your plate setter in and the legs down. Add your pizza stone about three minutes before you’re ready to fire up your “za”… When ready, gently place your rolled out pizza onto the pizza stone. Set your timer for 8 minutes and do one pizza at a time. While you’re firing the second pizza, the first can rest on a rack and cool down a bit…nothing worse than burning the roof of your pallet with a scorching dolup of pizza sauce! After the first three minutes, you can easily (but carefully) remove your parchment paper, enabling a more even cooking of the crust.

Set it on the table, sprinkle some extra garlic granules on top, pour a cold glass of beer and tuck in!  Great dinner…a bit of a faff, but well worth it!

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Overall Heather Rating: 9/10

 

 


Wood Fired Pizza for Thanksgiving


So we didn’t roast a turkey like every other Canadian did for Thanksgiving weekend but we did try the wood fired pizza again with our good pals Barb & Brett instead.  The recipe I used produced an OK pizza.  It wasn’t the best ever and like anything, it will take practice to master.  So thanks go out to Barb, Brett, Alex, Heather and Kalyna for truly being Guinea pigs once again!

The dough was easy enough to make but I must admit, I think with the humidity of Singapore alone caused the “yeasty beasties” to go nuts and well what was meant to be a thin crust pizza, ended up being about half way to a Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza instead. The dough also needed some pizzaz as a result.  Too much of it, though it came out fine, there was just too much!  Next time I intend on seasoning the dough with more salt, pepper and herbs from the garden.  A good helping of dried oregano also gives any pizza a slightly more authentic flavour.

The recipe I followed was none other than Meathead’s Roman Style pizza dough.  Click here for the recipe and instructions.  I mean it is easy as “Pizza” pie to make but next time instead of using two halves, I’ll split the finished and proofed dough into thirds and roll it out thinner than I did.  That said, if you’re firing these pizzas up on a Big Green Egg at 500 degrees, you only need about 9-10 minutes (or less with a thinner crust) but more on that later.

     

 

Now pizza lends itself incredibly well to creative license. The topping choices and combinations are virtually endless so have fun with it.  For the sauce I simply took two small tins of tomato paste, stirred in some pre-roasted garlic and then added freshly chopped up thyme, oregano, tarragon and a bit of rosemary.  That’s it and it was tasty enough to be sure! On the first pizza we laid down some olive oil, the homemade tomato sauce, some roasted garlic, caramelized onions, Japanese hiratake mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and smoked chorizo sausage. On the second pizza, we placed the oliv oil, sauce followed by artichoke hearts, black olives, a handful of hiratake mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and parsley.  I also sprinkled some dried oregano on top (and should have done more to be honest!)

I preheated the Big Green Asian Egg to 500 degrees F with the platesetter inserted (legs down.) I then placed the 12″ pizza pan directly on top of the plate setter for 10 minutes for each pizza.  The next time I try this, I’ll actually put the plate setter with the legs up and rest the pans on the grate instead, just want to see if that makes any difference with charring the bottom of your crust.  Mine came out a bit black in some spots.

Anyway, the result, good hearty and slightly too crusty pizza that could be improved upon the next time we try this.  I will definitely try this again and may go back to the original BGE recipe for pizza dough.  It called for 1.5 cups less flour and I think that may have something to do with a thinner crust.

So in the spirit of Canadian Thanksgiving, thanks for reading, thanks for following and thanks for trying out some of these recipes. I know that I’m thankful for the family and friends that I have and that my friends is what makes cooking so special for me…it makes them happy!  On that note, here’s wishing you all a very happy and healthy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Roman

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Overall Heather Rating: 6/10

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