Alton Brown’s Latest Wood Fired Pizza Recipe

Alton Brown of the Food Network recently released another episode in which he covers recipe and techniques for making flat, crisp, BBQ’d pizzas. I have to admit, I’ve always loved Good Eats, but for some reason, never really liked his pizza dough recipes. From my point of view, the best dough comes from two to four days of prep time, and I don’t think his half-hour show has the ability to showcase the BEST techniques, so this might explain my WANT to love his pizza dough, and my subsequent let down. I was sad to discover that this recipe, as like the last try, was not a contender to recipes from Tony Gemignani and Peter Reinhart.

Now again, I love that good ol’ Alton, and his show is always chock full of useful knowledge, regardless of whether you like the recipe or not so I still full-heartedly recommend watching the episode (below) and picking up a little pizza science. Also, he did suggest one novel ingredient (novel to me anyways): Malted Barley Syrup. Really enjoying the results from the Syrup so far 🙂

Enjoy!
-Ryan

Ingredients

Dough – Enough for 3 (16-inch) round pizzas:

  • 16 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for peel and rolling
  • 1 envelope instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces warm water, approximately 105 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons for bowl
  • 1 tablespoon malted barley syrup

Margherita topping – Enough to top 1 (16-inch) round pizza:

  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
  • 5 to 7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2-ounce grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 ounces part skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 4 to 6 large basil leaves, shredded

Date and prosciutto topping – Enough to top 1 (16-inch) round pizza:

  • 3 1/2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 to 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2-ounce grated Parmesan
  • 1-ounce prosciutto ham, approximately 3 slices, coarsely chopped
  • 4 whole dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Pizza cracker:

  • 2 to 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment:

  • Vise-Grips

Directions

Dough:

Combine the flour and yeast in the work bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt, water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and malted barley syrup. Start the mixer on low, using the hook attachment, and mix until the dough just comes together, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 15 minutes.

Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disk. Gently stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the bakers windowpane, or a see-through, taut membrane has formed. The dough will be quite sticky, but manageable. Fold the dough onto itself and form it into a smooth ball. Oil the bowl of the stand mixer or other large canister with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and roll it around to coat with the oil. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to double in size, approximately 1 hour.

Split the dough into 3 equal parts using a knife or dough scraper. Flatten each piece into a disk on the countertop. Form each piece into a ball. Roll each ball on the counter until they tighten into rounds. Cover the balls with a tea towel and rest for 45 minutes.

To shape and cook the margherita pizza:

Heat a gas grill to high and make sure the grill grates are clean and free of debris.

Toss the tomato with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 16-inch round, rotating and stretching the dough as you go. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel and stretch to re-shape if necessary.

Oil the grill grates and decrease the heat to medium. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil and flip onto 1 end of the hot grill, leaving room for the tomatoes on the grate. Put the prepared tomatoes on the grill, close the lid and cook until the bottom of the crust is golden brown and the tomatoes are softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the raw side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then immediately flip using the peel. Top with the grilled tomatoes, smashing and spreading the tomatoes to create a sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, mozzarella and basil. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

To shape and cook the date and Prosciutto pizza:

Heat a gas grill to high and make sure the grill grates are clean and free of debris.

Layer 2 paper towels on a plate and lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer. Top with 2 more paper towels, a second plate, and a 2 pound weight. Set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 16-inch round, rotating and stretching the dough as you go. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel and stretch to re-shape if necessary.

Oil the grill grates and decrease the heat to medium. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil and flip onto the hot grill. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown, for 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the raw side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then immediately flip using the peel, brush with remaining 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and top with the Parmesan, prepared mozzarella, prosciutto, dates and thyme. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

To shape and cook cracker pizza:

Lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 11 by 17-inch rectangle to fit a standard, stainless steel cooling rack. Lay the dough sheet onto the rack and gently stretch around the edges, pinching to hold in place. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Attach the Vise-Grips to 1 end of the cooling rack to use as a handle. Turn a gas burner on high. Hold the rack about 2 inches above the flame, and move back and forth constantly until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn the dough over, brush with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Cook, as before, until golden brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Advertisements

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://insearchoftheperfectpie.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/alton-browns-latest-wood-fired-pizza-recipe/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: