I am getting more and more encouraged by the bread making. There is beginning to be consistency and I can mostly predict what is going to happen. Madame is visiting her mother this week, so since her mother is from Bohemia originally, I though a Czech rye would be a nice thing to take. It was – they devoured it apparently. But that isn't the point of this post!
While Madame is away, I like to experiment with ideas – it keeps me off the streets and out of mischief. I had made ciabatta yesterday – and taken a loaf to my physician so he would give me a clean bill of health! I got to thinking, "I wonder what would happen if I made pizza out of a ciabatta type of dough". It clearly shouldn't be as wet (the ciabatta comes in at about 81% hydration, and you need a spoon to move it around.). So I made up a dough at 70% hydration and added 2T of olive oil as it was kneading in the mixer. It had maybe a bit much yeast, so I will back that off next time. The biga had been fermenting for around 15 hours before it got used.
Now thinking about toppings. Well the farmers' market had a lot of local tomatoes very cheap, so they were a given. I had had prosciutto and provolone in my ciabatta sandwich last night so had some left. Thus the tomato/prosciutto/provolone and basil pizza was born.
A while back Williams Sonoma (the high end cooking equipment store) had sent me some details on the "pizza-que" – essentially a pizza stone for use on the grill. $99 seemed a lot, so I thought I would try one of the pizza stones from the oven on my gas grill.
I was all set to bake. So for lunch took 1/4th of the dough, made a circle from it (it seemed just the right consistency), put the cornmeal on the peel and made a pizza. I cooked it on the stone on the grill and sadly the bottom became burned before the edges were nicely browned. Of course I ate the melted cheese, etc. anyway – and made another.
This time I made less of a rim to the crust by pushing the topping nearer the edge. Also formed the whole thing thinner, so there was less dough to cook through at the rim. Spread the toppings, some olive oil and salt and cooked it. It took 3 minutes to cook and was absolutely magnificent. Not quite wood fired oven delicious, but definitely worth repeating and suitable for company.
I don't know if it is bad for the grill to work this way, I don't know if pizza stones are set to explode when placed directly above such eat – and frankly I don't care! The results are so amazing, it's worth it.