Wood Fired Pizza
Ingredients for Crust (or use store-bought dough):
1 cup warm water
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
3 ½ cups bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Ingredients for Sauce & Toppings:
Add your favorite pizza sauce (make your own or use a store bought sauce). You can use fresh mozzarella cut into slices from a ball. You can also use shredded mozzarella, or mix in other cheeses to change the flavor. For other toppings, use the traditional pepperoni, sausage, peppers and onions, olives, mushrooms, etc., or you can develop your own combination of flavors.
- Mix the water, olive oil, honey or sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer. Allow to sit until yeast proofs (yeast activity forms a quantity of bubbles on the surface of the liquid), about 5-10 minutes.
- Add two cups of flour, the salt, and the spices to the bowl. Mix at a low speed using your dough hook until the ingredients are mixed. Continue to add the remaining flour, a little at a time, until the dough has reached the right consistency, at which point it will form a ball on the dough hook.
- Increase the speed to the next setting and let the dough kneed for 6 minutes.
- Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes, or until approximately doubled in size.
- ‘Punch down’ the dough to remove any large air pockets that may have built up. Split the dough in half, and allow to rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Begin preheating your grill to a temperature of 550°. Fill it up with lump charcoal to the top of the firebox, light the fire, and insert the plate setter legs down. Add wood for smoke flavor if you’d like. You can use the green ceramic feet that came with the grill to hold the pizza stone just off the top of the plate setter. Note that it is important to heat up the pizza stone gradually as the grill heats up. If you put a cold stone into a hot oven, you risk it cracking.
- While your grill preheats, flatten out one of the dough balls using your hands, and begin forming it into a circular shape. Form it into a round approximately ¼ inch thick, and sized to fit your pizza stone. Once shaped properly, pinch in and raise the edges to form the crust. Repeat for the second dough ball. If you don’t need two pizzas at once, the dough should keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen.
- Add sauce and toppings to your pizza. Once the grill is up to temperature, use your pizza peel or a large cookie sheet with a flat edge to pick up the pizza and parchment paper, and slide them onto the pizza stone. The parchment paper will keep the pizza from sticking while still allowing the dough to cook properly. The edges of the paper will char a bit, but won’t catch fire. Cook your pizza for seven to nine minutes, or until the crust and toppings are nicely browned. Cut and serve.