Pizza on the grill

It is more than 15 miles from my house to the nearest decent thin-crust pizza–a sad fact that drives me to make my own pizza at least once a week.  It’s too damn hot in a south Louisiana summer to jack the indoor oven up to pizza temps, so I use a pizza stone on my gas grill cranked up to maximum heat.  It works like a charm; total cook time is less than 12 minutes.

I’m working my way through various crust recipes–they’re all pretty much the same, with minor variations of flour type, hydration percentage, chilling time, and yeast amounts.  Pictured is a high-protein bread flour version; following Peter Reinhart’s technique, the ingredients are chilled, then mixed with ice-cold water to windowpane stage, then chilled overnight to develop flavor.  For those of you keeping score, the formula is 100% flour, 2.2% salt, .54% instant yeast, and 69.1% water.  (Go here to learn more about baker’s percentages.) 

I rank this attempt as moderately successful.  The dough was quite sticky, and I had to flour it heavily in order to work it into a thin crust.  It puffed quite a lot when it hit the stone and didn’t brown on the edges nearly as much as I like.  My next attempt will use King Arthur’s Italian style flour and an overnight ferment; stay tuned for more pizza posts….I also plan to try out White Lily and/or Martha White soft winter wheat, low-protein flours.

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