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November's Online Block Party - Pizza and Other Breads

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CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5865
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
The votes are in and it looks like this month's Online Block Party is... Pizza and Other Breads On The Grill! (Because Thanksgiving was too obvious...). :D

Judging from Steven's own posts and the posts of several members, this one is going to be a real feast for the eyes and the imagination!

Submit as many posts and pics as you like!
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:39 pm
Donald1800 rare
rare

Posts: 26
Location: Fontana, CA
For my 1st Pizza on the Cobb Grill, I wanted to see if this versatile grill could handle a typical 'Round Table' Pizza, that we love, the thin crust loaded "King Arthur Supreme" - four meats (dry salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, linguisa(?) and four vegetables (yellow & red bell pepper, red onion, button mushroom, sun-dried tomato/oil/garlic). My only change was to use a mix of six cheeses - 1/2 was the typical Mozzarella and the other 1/2 was a balanced blend of sharp Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Provolone, Parmesan and Romano. I used a Pillsbury Pizza Crust package and a home recipe Pizza Sauce. I also stacked the ingredients in the traditional sequence - not inverted as is recommended for the 'on-the-grill' method.

The reason I tried so many unproven (for me) techniques on the Cobb Grill is because others have reported that the heavy Stainless Steel encapsulated aluminum base of this S.S. pan spreads the heat evenly and the lid properly heats and melts the cheese within the needed cooking period of 10 - 12 minutes. After all, the 1st attempt at any new cook-off is a learning time.

Here is the raw pizza 'Peeled' on an 11" peel:
Peeled Raw Pizza.JPG
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The crust was rolled out 1/16-1/8" thick and cut 12" dia. to allow for natural shrinkage. You will notice that after flouring both sides and removing all of the excess flour and dusting the bottom with corn meal, it has already shrunk to the size of the 11" peel. The 11" size of the peeled raw pizza was supposed to fit into the 10" pan base allowing the dough edges to lay against the pan edges, but I need more training on how to get the pizza off of the peel before tearing the dough/crust or causing the filling to scatter all over the place. Oh well...

The 12 min. cooking time was split at 8 min. for rotating the pizza 180* followed by a 4 min. finish cooking time to allow no hot-spots.

Here is what it looked like just before removing from the Cobb:
Cooked Pizza.JPG
Cooked Pizza.JPG (122.92 KiB) Viewed 4624 times



Removal was easy using only a pair of tongs and a commercial pizza plate. As you can tell from the picture below, BURNING of the crust was fairly uniform. Obviously less natural charcoal (heat) or less cooking time (10 min.) is called for. Next time.
Over-Cooked Pizza.JPG
Over-Cooked Pizza.JPG (65.7 KiB) Viewed 4624 times



Overall, I was pleased by the final results. The taste was as I had hoped for with only the over-cooked crust a disappointment. But even that did not detract much from the flavor. The next one will be better.

I am, however, becoming more familiar with the feeding and care of this versatile grill, and am really getting to enjoy it's consistency, even cooking heat and versatility. This will definitely be going with me on all of my camping and hunting trips.

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7500
Location: Stoughton, WI
Way to get the ball rolling, Donald! For a first try I'd say it turned out really good! Did the crust have much of a burned taste? I like my pizza crust well-cooked so at first glance I'd say it didn't look all that bad.

Donald1800 rare
rare

Posts: 26
Location: Fontana, CA
Actually, I was surprised that the flavor did not suffer from the burnt portion of the crust - the black portion was very thin, just a surface burn. But, the crust was crisp, just the way I like it. Next time I expect a uniformly medium brown surface with only random and small darker brown-black areas.

I must say that considering the fact that it was a VERY heavily loaded pizza, the heating/melting of all of the topping was perfect. One thing that I didn't mention was that besides cutting the dough 2" oversize and lightly rubbing flour on both sides (removing all excess flour with a 2" paint brush) and sprinkling corn meal before transfer to the Peel, I also brushed olive oil on the top surface before adding a heavy layer of pizza sauce and all of the other ingredients. My thinking was that the oiled surface would prevent or reduce the moisture transfer to the cooking dough from the sauce and other ingredients. Other than the blackening, I liked the final crust results. Getting the right cooking heat and cooking time should results in getting the pizza I like. And I figured that I can make 6 10" pizzas for the cost of a medium 'Round Table' pizza. You can't beat that savings.

beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
Niiice going, Donald! :D

Luv the choice of toppings, and am a big fan of Round Table myself. I do distinguish between pizza and pizza pie, and there are times when more really is more. Or I could say there are so many styles of pizza, I believe it is hard to argue for the best overall style.-- Yet another beauty of a block party like this! :cheers: :bbq:
Got beer???

Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 282

For me, grilling is a waltz on the razor's edge between cooked and burnt and you try to get as close to the latter as possible, without going over the edge. I'd rather have a slightly overcooked pizza crust than slightly undercooked. Anyone grilling the crust directly on the grate without a stone?

beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
Steven wrote:
For me, grilling is a waltz on the razor's edge between cooked and burnt and you try to get as close to the latter as possible, without going over the edge. I'd rather have a slightly overcooked pizza crust than slightly undercooked. Anyone grilling the crust directly on the grate without a stone?

Well, I certainly harmonize with the preference for a slightly overcooked crust than an undercooked one. I find the flavors and texture are more well developed to my liking that way. The infusion of smoke is the prevailing reason I take a pizza to the pit. So I can cook it any which way I please. I am not a big fan of stones, however-- too many hard luck stories of stone breakage. Alternatively to a stone, I am a huge fan of the GraniteWare pie pans. Those pans heat up to temp instantly, and there is no need to cook the crust somewhat prior to topping it. Still, I luv my cast irons as well. Though the irons take a little time to get up to temp, they proviide that wonderful deep dish or pan effect, where the dough develops into that magnificent flavor and texture one would expect from a great pan pizza. And when done on the grilll with the smoke infusion, well, that takes it up to a whole new level.

I like to setup my pit with my charcoal racks and get my pouch of hickory chips a goin', something like this before I get the pizza on the grill.
Image

From last week, here's one I prepped using the GraniteWare pan. This is prior to letting the dough rise a good hour or so before cooking. I also used 100% whole wheat flour.

Image

Perhaps I'll cook up some CI pan pizzas tonight, and post the pics later. Then maybe later this month, do a direct grilled crust pizza. :cheers: :bbq:
Got beer???

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7500
Location: Stoughton, WI
Nice half-and-half job, BC!

I haven't cooked one directly on the grate (yet) but I did get some decent results with a perforated grill sheet. However, I spread the dough directly on the sheet so some of it went through the perforations, and the little pieces made a bit of a mess when I used a spatula to free the pizza from the sheet. Mrs. Chicken did not approve. :wink:

beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
ScreamingChicken wrote:
Nice half-and-half job, BC!

I haven't cooked one directly on the grate (yet) but I did get some decent results with a perforated grill sheet. However, I spread the dough directly on the sheet so some of it went through the perforations, and the little pieces made a bit of a mess when I used a spatula to free the pizza from the sheet. Mrs. Chicken did not approve. :wink:

Many thank you's, Brad :D

I, too, have cooked with grill screens in the past and appreciate what kind of rascals they can be at times. Seems to me that no matter how many pizzas one has done in the past, there's always one or two that can and will get away. I remember when many a moon ago I worked in a pizzeria restaurant. The owner changed out the wooden peels for flimsy metal ones. Well, I was pulling a pizza from the oven and it slipped off the flimsy peel. Silly me tried to save the thing in my arm, and the pizza scalded the devil out of me. Rather than getting any sympathy, the owner was somewhat irked by my incompetence!

I did actually get around to making a deep dish pan pizza pie yesterday. Oh, and did I ever miss not having Daylight Savings Time. But this pizza did come out especially tasty. I'll post the pics a little later. :cheers:
Got beer???

Post Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:38 pm
beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
Just another alternative way of doing things... yet, Oh what a way! I brought out my large, cast iron skillet, fitted a dough to it, and prepped the grill to get some generous hickory smoke going. I first let the dough rise in the pan.

Image

Cooked the dough a little bit, then loaded the toppings-- sauce, 4 Italian cheese, salami, shredded chicken breast, olives, onions, bell peppers, sliced garlic, and jalapenos. This is the kind of pizza better cooked at a lower temp so that the dough can develop a full flavor.

Image

Here, the pizza does not look all that much more different cooked as when started, yet there is some coloring tinge from the smoke infusion.

Image

...But let's check out the bottom crust

Image

I was absolutely delighted by the way this pizza turned out. Crispy crust with a well developed fluffy interior, and a burst of flavors from the toppings-- a real pizza pie :D

Image

Image

Image
Got beer???

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7500
Location: Stoughton, WI
Great job, BC! That's how I want my bottom crust to turn out!

beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
ScreamingChicken wrote:
Great job, BC! That's how I want my bottom crust to turn out!

Why thank you, Brad! :D

Just break out your CI ware, and that's what it will do for you. I like to liberally coat the bottom of the pan with light olive oil and sprinkle corn meal on top of that. Not only does it offer wonderful added flavor and protection, but the corn meal also serves to mimic the perforations of a pizza screen.

I believe that you and I are alike in that we both appreciate the extra sauce and cheese and toppings. One of the beauties of a pan type pizza pie is that it allows you to do that, as the thick crust maintains the balance of the extra this and that. Thin crust pizzas can be easily overwhelmed.

Incidentally, CI griddles work splendidly as well. Here, I used whole wheat flou.r. These offer the advantage of being able to cut them into slices in the pan, and, if you have protective trivets to slip underneath, you can serve from them as well-- since CI takes forever to cool down, they'll keep your pizza hot as the devil for quite a time. :cheers: :bbq:
Image
Got beer???

Post Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:36 pm
Donald1800 rare
rare

Posts: 26
Location: Fontana, CA
With my experience with the 1st Pizza on a Cobb Grill AND my decades experience with my "Grandpa Leonard's World Famous Genuine Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread" (a humorous nod to George Herter's catalog), I broke the 'Scientific method' rule of "...only change one item at a time..." and reduced the cooking temp. by replacing the natural Mesquite chunk charcoal with Kingsford Briquettes and Hickory Chips, increased the pizza sauce to a huge amount that I like, AND used my home-made Whole Grain Wheat Sourdough for the crust, with the results a smashing success.

Experts in the baking industry will tell you that whole grain wheat will not rise with a sourdough culture - hence ALL commercial sourdough breads using white flour. They are essentially correct - EXCEPT for the unique captured culture of yeast and symbiotic bacteria in South Africa some years ago. This culture is so tough it also survived one day and night in the freezer when my wife, not understanding sourdough culture, put it in the freezer to make room for some other item.

To recap, this pizza has four meats and five vegies, six cheeses, a home made pizza sauce and a Whole Grain Wheat Sourdough Crust. The beer is BJ's Jeremiah Red from my Kegarator. Talk about gourmet!
2nd-Pizza_Plated.JPG
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My 'Plated Serving' is on 'Costco Fine China' suitable for all outdoor occasions.
Sourdough_Crust.JPG
Sourdough_Crust.JPG (117.53 KiB) Viewed 3424 times


There were no negative factors or disappointments with this second pizza.

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7500
Location: Stoughton, WI
You're living well, Donald! :thumbup:

That's interesting to know about whole grain sourdough. There's a lot about flour and yeast that I need to learn.

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7500
Location: Stoughton, WI
OK, here's my attempt at pizza. I started by forming some sausage into balls and lightly browning them without cooking them all the way through.
Image Image

I used the dough recipe from Mrs. Chicken's bread machine book and threw in some dried herbs. Maybe a few too many...the dough wound up being pretty stiff, even with extra liquid added. After managing to roll it out I formed it into the skillet over a dusting of cornmeal.
Image Image

I started with sliced provolone, added sauce and mushrooms, and finished with shredded mozzarella, the sausage, and a little more sauce.
Image Image Image

The last time I made pizza the bottom didn't cook enough so this time I started it over the coals and then moved it to indirect heat to finish. The crust did stick a little but I managed to get the pizza out of the skillet in one piece.
Image Image Image

Overall it came out pretty good but the crust was brittle on the sides and pretty tough on the bottom. I wonder if I'd left the provolone slices out the sauce would've softened the bottom without making it too soggy. But I'm getting closer - next time I'm going to use Beercuer's crust recipe.

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