I cook a lot of different foods on my BGE cookers. I’ve long said that a BGE is worth the price if all you use it for is to sear a fine steak at 600+ degrees on a Saturday night. Likewise, the BGE turn out some mighty fine smoked Boston Butt and ribs! However, I truly love pizza baked in the BGE. We consider pizza to be a major food group at our house – we probably average at least once a week on pizza and there have been 3 pizza weeks I know. We’re serious about our pies!
I’m amazed sometimes at how complicated folks seem to make the simple act of baking a pizza in the BGE. I read where they have problems with gooey dough sticking; they have to transfer from counter to peel with paper, corn meal and brute force; or they use cardboard flavored prepressed crusts from the megastore – what gives? This isn’t rocket surgery folks. Yes, I’ve burned some pizza bottoms – back when I was using prefab crust. Let me share some of what I’ve learned.
I like to try to keep things somewhat healthy so I like to control my ingredients. One of the best store-bought crusts that I’ve used is the dough ball from the Publix Deli. I’ve been told that it’s actually the dough for their White Mountain Bread – which I love. However, I’m not certain of contents and fat & calories so I’ve wanted something else. So here’s a recipe that is really easy to make, bakes up easily and stores in the fridge or freezer for future use. It originates with my BGE friends Kim & Ginny Youngblood. They shared a recipe in a class and I’ve done the typical Angry Man thing – used the recipe as a suggestion and make my own “improvements”. So here we go – let’s make dough and then we’ll cover cooking a pizza in another post. Besides, you get better dough to make this a day or 2 ahead.
As always, gather your goodies first. It’s always better to find that you are short an ingredient ahead of time than at the moment you are almost complete but…….
Pizza Dough – Thin Crust Whole Wheat (make 2-3 days ahead if possible)
o 493 grams lukewarm water (80-90 degrees) about 2 ¼ cups
o 3.5 grams INSTANT DRY YEAST about 1 teaspoon
o 15.6 grams Kosher Salt 2 ½ teaspoons
o 400 grams of Bread Flour (I’m a fan of King Arthur)
o 400 grams of Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur again – you can use only bread flour if you like)
o small squirt of honey ( ½ tsp )
o 11.8 grams Olive Oil – about 3 teaspoons
If you are a somewhat serious cook (or just want to look like a serious cook) then you ought to have a good kitchen/cooking scale. You want to measure in grams – it’s impressive! I enjoy baking breads and real recipes come in weight measurements (these are not found in church cookbooks with Aunt Myrtice’s Basic Cobbler recipe). So, get a scale – it will make a difference in your cooking!
Measure the dry ingredients and stir them together in the mixer bowl. I usually pour them together and let the dough hook do the mixing. Oh, use your mixer with a dough hook! After those ingredients are mixed then add the water. Here’s another good use for that wonderful ThermoWorks instant read – you don’t want to kill the yeast with water that’s too hot. It doesn’t take but a moment to be certain the temp is correct by sticking the probe under the running water.
Add the water to the dry ingredients and let the mixer and dough hood do the work. As this is blending add in the squirt of honey – this is a tiny sweet for the yeast to enjoy!
Then add the olive oil – this isn’t the easy part – you may have to pull the dough off the hood a few times to get it all blended in together. Really now – buy good olive oil because it does make a difference. It needs to be so yummy that you enjoy sticking your finger in and just tasting it alone. Trust me!
Once it is all blended together let run just a bit to knead to a good dough then stop. Scale time again – measure out the 4 dough balls that this recipe yields. You should really come close on 4 balls at 325 grams each. Or, weigh the whole blob and divide by 4 if you are good at math.
I love having dough balls in the freezer – it’s way easy to set one out a few hours in advance and let it defrost and come to room temp. Freezing in a ziplock with just a dash of that good olive oil is perfection. You will want to label and date the bag. Just remember to put one in the fridge for your first bake – or leave it out if you are baking in a couple of hours.
Pizza Instructions coming soon – but I’m amending this post with the sauce recipe – that you you don’t get angry that you don’t have all you need.
Tomato Sauce for Pizza
Hey folks, pizza sauce just isn’t rocket surgery – don’t try to make it complicated. I have to thank my friends Kim & Ginny Youngblood for introducing me to DeiFratelli Crushed Tomatoes. We get them at Publix and find them among all the different canned tomato products. You do need a little time to make this – but it’s simple.
- DeiFratelli Crushed Tomatoes
- Large Coffee Filters – the paper ones
- Garlic Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Any other spices you like in your sauce……
These tomatoes are like a really thick tomato sauce – but there is some excess liquid that could make for a wet pie should you use it right out of the can for the sauce. I like to line a colander with paper coffee filters and then pour in the tomatoes and let the drain for an hour. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and then stir in spices.
Here’s a starting point for spices for one 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes:
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 2 tsp + oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- ½ tsp garlic powder
I put 3 serving spoons of sauce on a pizza. One “batch” will cover 3 pizzas for me so we freeze enough for one pizza in a small plastic container. These containers live in the freezer next to our frozen dough pucks. Sorry – it’s a classic Steve Martin in “Father Of The Bride” hot dogs vs. buns moment since it’s 4 dough pucks and only 3 spreads of sauce per recipe. But hey, this isn’t worth getting the boxers in a bunch – just keep a can tomatoes in the pantry because you will be making these pies a lot once you get the rhythm and technique to work for you.
Look for cooking instructions for Pizza Pies soon.