Parfait! Grilled Margherita ‘Za!

07bGrilledZabfLOIt’s been a while since I posted about grilled ‘za!, and I’ve learned a few things to make the preparing and the grilling a but easier and less likely to have Rich slide the whole shebang down through the grill grates, necessitating a take away dinner from somewhere.

No, that has not happened here, but we’ve had a few new misses – and even with this batch, which makes two 9×13 inch or so ‘zas!, I learned a trick or two between the first and the second…

CornMealbfLOFirst off: and this is a big one: do not forget the cornmeal. The stuff literally let us slide the rolled out dough from the peel to the grill pan.

04aZaToppingsbfLOSecond: do not, unless you are a far more hale and hearty ‘za! maker than I (and you probably are, but still), try to top the dough before transferring it to your grill pan. Actually, with this method, that wouldn’t work anyway, ’cause we grill the dough a bit on one side, then flip it, so topping would need to be done once you are in the midst of grilling.

•1-1/2 cup warm water (110º)
•2 tsp yeast
•1 tsp honey
•3 cups all purpose flour
•1 cup whole wheat flour
•1 tsp salt
01bYeastFoamybfLO•1 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•2 tbsp olive oil (plus more for later)
•Corn meal

Margherita Topping:
•3 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/3 inch thick
•1 head smashed roasted garlic
•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 tsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•1/4 tsp sea salt
•1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
01dFlourMixedbfLO•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•Grated Parmesan
•2 oz Baby Mozzarella, sliced
•6 large basil leaves, chopped

* These amounts will make enough dough and toppings for two nicely sized (roughly 9×13 inches) ‘zas! If that’s more than you care to have at one sitting, simply transfer half the dough after rising, flatten it, and stash it in a lightly floured gallon sized freezer bag in the freezer. When next you want ‘za! (or flat bread, or calzone), simply 02aFlourYeastAddOilbfLOplace the bag in the fridge overnight and for a day while you’re out and about on bidness. When you’re ready to come back and make something, the dough should be ready.

Cool, no?

Let’s get started on the dough!

02cMoreFlourbfLOFirst, stir the warm water into the yeast and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Let this rest for ten or fifteen minutes, until the mixture is foamy and bubbly.

While the yeast is doing its thing, add the flours, the salts, and the peppers to another bowl and lightly whisk to combine.

When the yeast looks nice and bubbly, add three cups of the flour mixture to the yeast along with the olive oil and mix on low for two minutes – you will have a thick, sticky dough.

03aDoughOliveOilbfLOWith the mixer still running, add the additional flour mixture by tablespoonfuls or so – until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to cling to the dough hook. If you need to, add an extra half cup of all-purpose flour.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead the dough for four minutes or so, until it is smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a ball and pop into a bowl coated with olive oil (I use the mixing bowl, which the dough has so very nicely 03bAddTomatoesbfLOcleaned the sides of for me). Rotate the dough so that all sides are coated with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for one to four hours (or so) – this dough is wicked flexible.

Punch the dough down, turn again in the bowl, cover and let rise for another hour.

While the dough is on it’s final rise, combine the roasted garlic with the olive oil, sherry 06aDoughShapedbfLOpeppers, sea salt, and peppers, then add to a skillet warmed over high heat,

Reduce the heat to medium and add the sliced tomatoes and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down.

Remove from the heat and let rest until the ‘za! is ready.

Heat your gas grill to high.

06bDoughTomatoesCheesebfLODivide the dough in half, then roll out on a floured board.

Some ‘za! grillers say to place the dough directly on nicely oiled grates, but we are kind of klutzy, so used our trusty grill pan, which I measured and shaped our two pieces of dough to fit.

Apply a fair amount of cornmeal to your peel (or whichever board you’ll use to transfer the dough to the grill) and place the dough on top.

06cAddBasilbfLOArrange your grill pan over the grates and brush with olive oil to coat.

Reduce the grill heat to medium and slide the dough from the peel onto the grill pan.

Close the lid and cook for about two minutes, until the bottom of the dough is golden brown.

Brush the top of the dough with more olive oil, then flip over, topping the cooked side with the tomatoes, cheeses, and basil.

07cMargZaShrimpbfLOClose the lid and cook for another two minutes, until the bottom crust is also a lovely golden brown.

Remove to a rack and allow to cool for three minutes or so before slicing.

Ours was yummy, and we thoroughly enjoyed it along side some jumbo shrimp and a very nice, home made, cocktail sauce.

As for that sauce, I do have a really good recipe posted, but this one is mebbe even a bit better!

Details about that, next week!

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