Since my wife (then girlfriend) returned from a trip to Europe
, she had been raving about European-style pizza. On our honeymoon, I too became hooked on the simple, yet delectable 'pizza marguerita'. For those who don't know, this type of pizza has an extremely thin crust, almost like a cracker, and sparse toppings - a marguerita pizza has a smear of tomato sauce, fresh basil and buffalo-milk mozzarella. With this pizza, less is more. Back in North America, we found it impossible to find, even in specialty bistros that touted authentic wood-fired brick pizza ovens. So we decided if you want something done right, you just have to do it yourself. This coincided with a kitchen renovation
, during which we were doing all of our cooking
on the barbecue
. We had bought a pizza stone so we could cook store-bought pre-made pizzas on the barbecue
, then decided that we could just make them from scratch. We search the internet
for "thin crust pizza" recipes, found many and experimented. Even though we've long sinced finished the kitchen, we still prefer to make our pizzas this way.
A pizza stone is vital as it absorbs moisture, so you get a nice, crisp crust. You can find them in most kitchen stores and Walmart. If you can't find one in more exotic locales, you might be able to find a potter who can make a custom stone - it's just an unglazed stoneware disk, smooth on top and about 1 cm thick. If you get one made, size it to leave about an inch gap around it, so your bar-b-q vents properly and you can get your fingers or tongs in to remove it. It's important also that you can still close your lid.
This recipe was found on the internet
(credit Robbie Haf) and modified slightly for this. As written, it makes a North American thin crust pizza. For European proportions, divide it in half and make two 12-inch pizzas. I wouldn't suggest doing a thick crust or pan pizza this way as it will likely burn on the bottom and be uncooked in the middle.
For authentic pizza marguerita (or margherita), use a minimal amount of tomato sauce, use coarsely-chopped fresh basil (cooked on the pizza) and fresh mozzarella. It's difficult to find 'buffalo-milk' mozzarella, so we use bocconcini.
Prep. Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 1 Pizza
.25 oz. pkt. active dry yeast (2 tsp)
1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
3/4 cup 110 degree(F) water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
pizza sauce - of your choice, as needed
shredded cheese - of your choice, as needed
toppings - of your choice, as needed
-Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; allow to rest for 8 minutes.
-In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
-Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture and mix well with a heavy spoon.
-Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.
-Working from the edges to the center, press dough into a 12" circle.
-Place dough on the pizza stone and stretch dough to edges.
-If desired, rub 1 tsp olive oil over surface of pizza dough
-Spread sauce over crust and top with cheese and desired toppings.
-Bake in a pre-heated, covered barbecue at high temperature for 8-12 minutes, or until edges are golden.
-Transfer pizza to a wooden cutting board (leave the stone to cool on the b-b-q), and enjoy!