Making the Dough
– 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
– 1 cup warm water
– 1 envelope active dry yeast
– 3 1/2 cups bread, semolina flour or all purpose
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 extra virgin oil
1. Proof the yeast: Place the warm water in the large bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. After 5 minutes stir if the yeast hasn’t dissolved completely. The yeast should begin to foam or bloom, indicating that the yeast is still active and alive. (Note that if you are using “instant yeast” instead of “active yeast”, no proofing is required. Just add to the flour in the next step.)
2. Make and knead the pizza dough: Using the mixing paddle attachment, mix in the flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil on low speed for a minute. Then replace the mixing paddle with dough hook attachment. Knead the pizza dough on low to medium speed using the dough hook about 7-10 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix the ingredients together and knead them by hand. The dough should be a little sticky, or tacky to the touch. If it’s too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour.
3. Let the dough rise: Spread a thin later of olive oil over the inside of a large bowl. Place the pizza dough in the bowl and turn it around so that it gets coated with oil. At this point you can choose how long you want the dough to ferment and rise. A slow fermentation (24 hours in the fridge) will result in more complex flavors in the dough. A quick fermentation (1 1/2 hours in a warm place) will allow the dough to rise sufficiently to work with. Cover the dough with plastic wrap.
4. For a quick rise, place the dough in a warm place (75 to 85 degrees) for 1 1/2 hours. For a medium rise, place the dough in a regular room temperature place (your kitchen counter will do fine) for 8 hours. For a longer rise, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours (no more than 48 hours). The longer the rise (to a point) the better the flavor the crust will have.
Preparing the Pizzas
Ingredients (1 recipe of pizza dough or store bought pizza dough)
– 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
– 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
– 1 1/2 cups grap tomatoes
– 1 small white onion halved and thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
– Cornmeal for dusting
– 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and cut olives crosswise. Combine tomatoes, olives, oil, onion, vinegar, and minced garlic.
2. Generously sprinkle a cookie sheet with cornmeal; place dough onto center of an 11-in. (28-cm) circle. Slide crust off the cookie sheers onto center of the grill. Grill crust, covered, 3-6 minutes or until golden brown. Turn crust over using lifter.
3. Spoon tomato mixture evenly over top of crust; top evenly with cheese. Cover and grill 3-6 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottom of crust is deep golden brown. Carefully remove pizza from grill to serving dish using lifter. Sprinkle pizza with basil and serve.