Pizza in July when it’s over 100 degrees outside seems out of touch. And, that would be true if I was actually lighting my oven to the 450-500 degrees it takes to make a decent pizza. But, we purchased an infrared grill earlier this year, and happily discovered, that we can pretend it is an outdoor pizza oven.
We have been pining for such an outdoor oven for years because we want to be able to make those thin, chewy crust pizzas made famous in Naples, or at least get close.
We can’t get up to 900 degrees, but we can get to 700 degrees which is much hotter than our indoor oven, and it’s hot enough to radiate to the top and thoroughly cook the pizza.
This is probably as close as we will get and based on response from friend’s who have had the pleasure of eating pizza with us this year, it works well. We have had many sausage, pancetta, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella concoctions without a picture to show you due to inclement weather at every gathering, But, one sunny day this week, I used the last of the dough and made a quick lunch pizza that quite the surprise.
If you let the dough ferment a few days in the refrigerator, you get that sour dough taste that we all love. And, it seems to even cook better.
This was made when I had ten minutes to spare, but only ten. The dough was already made days before and waiting in the refrigerator getting a rather nice “sour dough” taste. All I needed to do was light the grill, spread on ricotta cheese mixed with honey, slice a peach, and drizzle some blood orange olive oil. It became complete with some black pepper and lime basil.
- ⅓ pizza dough from recipe below (make the day before; tastes better)
- 1-2 ripe peaches sliced thinly with skin on
- 6 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Dash Salt
- Blood orange olive oil (can also use regular olive oil with splash of orange)
- fresh basil
- Black Pepper
- To Bake, heat pizza stone in oven for 30 minutes in pre-heated oven at 450 degrees.
- To Grill, set your grill on highest heat, pre-heat cast iron griddle for 20 minutes.
- Assemble Pizza
- Roll dough out using some flour so it doesn’t stick. Sprinkle corn meal on pizza peal. Place rolled out dough on peel.
- Mix ricotta cheese with honey and a dash of salt. Spread over rolled out dough leaving an inch for crust. Arrange peach slices over cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Slide onto pizza stone or cast iron griddle.
- Pizza takes approximately 7 minutes, but times could vary. Top with black pepper. Serve.
Pizza Dough (adapted from Marcella Hazan)
Recipe For Basic Pizza Dough
(Adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Page 623)
(Recipe made three individual sized 10” thin pizza)
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 cup luke warm water, divided into 1/4 cups
3 1/4 cups unbleached flour (I used 3 cups), divided into 3 one measure cups
Extra virgin olive oil (1 t for bowl) and some for finished product
1/2 T salt
Pizza stone, if using oven (or cast iron for grill)
Pizza Peel (Paddle)
Dissolve yeast into 1/4 cup of warm water in large bowl, 10 minutes or less.
Add one cup flour. Stir with wooden spoon
Add in olive oil, salt, 1/4 cup water. Stir.
Add one cup flour. Stir.
Add 1/4 cup water. Stir.
Add one cup flour Stir.
Hold back on water and flour, adding as needed. I added water, but did not add last 1/4 cup of flour. Stir. Dough should be manageable, but not sticky. At this point you can knead by hand for 10 minutes or place in your kitchen aid type mixer with dough hook for about 5 minutes.
Place in oiled bowl. Cover and set in warm place for three hours. Dough cooks and tastes best when chilled overnight. Take out and bring to room temperature. Roll out a third of the dough and if you can manage it, give it a toss in the air several times. This helps to stretch the dough out properly.