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Author Notes: Ma prima pizza! It's the quintessential first date food, the perfect meal to share with friends and family, and the fall back, go-to for when it’s dinner with the kids or picky eaters. Pizza’s ability to be an appetizer or a meal, adapted to satisfy even the finickiest taste buds, and ease of cooking are just a few reasons why it is one of the most popular choices. For me, it’s the variety in flavor combinations and cooking methods that make it so attractive.
The dough recipe is a classic and really could be cooked with any method that best suits your needs. However, there is something to be said about grilling it. The grill can emulate the traditional fiery hot ovens of restaurants and imparts a wonderful rustic texture and flavor to the dough. The end result is a crisp but chewy bite with those deliciously charred spots on the crust. —Cassandra
- 1 packet yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cool water
- 1 tablespoon evoo + some for brushing
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 handful semolina or cornmeal for dusting
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot or it will kill the yeast. Add the honey, whisk, and let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.
- The next step you can do with your hands or in a mixer. In the bowl add the cup of cool water with the yeast-honey mixture, olive oil and salt. Slowly add the flour and gently mix until the dough forms into a ball. In the mixer it will ride around on the paddle.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double in bulk. Have patience, the yeast is creating more flavor within the dough each time you allow it to rise.
- Once doubled in bulk, punch down the dough and knead it on a for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll them into balls.
- Place on a tray and cover with a damp towel. Remember, patience is key! Allowing it to rest for at least one hour or better yet, overnight in the refrigerator, let's more flavor to develop.
- Roll or stretch each ball of dough into a 8-inch or so circle. Place the circles, one at a time, on a wooden peel or on a baking sheet.
- From here you could build your pizza and bake away in an oven at a high temperature like 450*F.
- For grilling, make sure your grill is on high and around 500 to 600*F range. Brush one side of the dough with olive oil. This will be the side you'll lay down on the grill.
- Lay the dough round on the grill with the oiled side down. Brush the top of the dough with a thin layer of olive oil. Let the dough cook and obtain light grill marks, for about 3 minutes with the no lid.
- Use tongs to lift up the dough and place back on the cooking sheet. The grilled side is up. Top with your choice of ingredients and then place it back on the grill to finish cooking. Cook with the lid closed for 3 to 5 minutes. Depending on the topping ingredients, you may need to turn down the temperature to keep the dough from charring too much.
- The edges should be crisp and well-done and any cheeses should all be melted. Use the tongs again to carefully take the pizza off and back on the baking sheet or a cutting board. Let cool for few minutes, then cut and enjoy.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Appetizer to Share with Friends