Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pizza!


So for all the goofing around I've done on the Big Green Egg, pizzas are something I've only tried once before. Looking back I was surprised to see it was almost exactly 4 years ago when Labon and I cooked pizzas directly on the grate.

Friday is Pizza Night in our household, but it's always made in an oven and coming out all yummy-like just about the time I get home from work. Last night the kids were with the grandparents, so there weren't the usual time constraints. I could come home, roll up my sleeves and fire up the coals.

My wife, the pizza expert, made the dough ahead of time using our bread maker.

Pizza Dough in bread maker for 2 medium pizzas. Takes about 90 minutes:

3/4 Cup warm water
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon powdered milk
2 1/4 Cups bread flour
1 teaspoon yeast
For the first pie, we put the dough down on a corn meal-covered cutting board, brushed with olive oil and covered with:

Blue cheese crumbles
Sliced pear
Arugula 
Walnuts
Sautéed onion 

The Egg had the plate setter facing feet down and a pizza stone on top. Corn meal on the surfaces keeps the pizza from sticking, by the way.


When the dome temperature was 500f we liberally covered the pizza stone with corn meal and carefully moved the pizza over to the stone. A pizza peel would have been very helpful here. What I did was to lift half the pizza with the spatula and wiggle my hand under the other half. It worked, but wasn't ideal. More on that later.




 After about 9 minutes the crust was lightly browned and the toppings were looking good. The spatula slid under a crust that felt crispy and solid, so we slid it off and cut it up to eat right away.




Next we tried a Margherita-style pie with:

Sliced tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella 
Fresh basil leaves
Light sprinkling of salt and fresh-ground pepper
(again brushing the dough with olive oil first)


Pro tip: A pizza peel (the big shovel you see guys using to get pizza in and out of ovens at restaurants) would be ideal. But I don't have one. What worked really well was to carefully get the spatula under one side of the pizza and hold the cutting board over the pizza stone. With my right hand I performed a "dump and pull" with the cutting board while simultaneously pulling the pizza flat onto the stone with the spatula in my left hand. My description sounds more complicated than it was. Essentially the pizza slid off the cutting board with some guidance from the spatula and came to a very nice, flat resting place on the pizza stone. Perfect.

Meanwhile I had scraped the now-blackened corn meal off of the pizza stone an applied a fresh layer.



Y'all, these were GOOD EATIN'. The Egg gives you such a nice brick oven flavor with just a tad more smoky flavor. It was so stinkin' good. My wife says the second pizza was missing a certain something, but I was in love with the texture and flavor of both of these pizzas. So easy, fun and yummy. Don't know why I haven't done it before.