Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Super Bowl Pizza Party

With the big game looming and my desire to show off my pizza skills growing, MBH and I decided to have a couple people over for the Super Bowl.  We were trying to keep it low key since MBH had to leave on travel early the next morning but this was not going to slow me down from lighting up the egg and drinking a few cold ones.  I had bragged about my pizza skills to our guests on several occasions so I went out to grab two dough balls from Publix and set off to defend my honor. 

Prep:
I cut the dough balls in half so that we could make 4 total pizzas.  We made the same sauce we had made for the original pizza cook (we have really come to love this chunky sauce) and gave it a while to simmer.  After letting the dough rest for about two hours we started to form the dough on parchment paper. 


We made one pepperoni pizza, one Nana's pizza with garlic, one mushroom and banana pepper pizza, and a buffalo chicken pizza.  The first three all contained the pizza sauce we had prepared, store-bought shredded mozzarella, and are pretty self explanatory but the buffalo chicken pizza was special.  For this pie I laid down a nice coat of Frank's buffalo sauce as the base.  I then added some baked chicken breast that had been tossed in the buffalo sauce and cubed, and then topped all of this with sharp cheddar cheese rather than the traditional mozzarella.


Buffalo chicken and mushroom pies ready for the grill.

Cooking:
I got the grill pre-heated to about 600º and had a bit of time to wait before the sauce was done and the pizzas were topped.  I threw the pepperoni pizza on first and let it go for about 10 minutes on the parchment paper and pulled it off for eating.  I threw the Nana's on next and went back in to try the pepperoni.  The pepperoni pizza was excellent but I noticed that the center of the crust was not as crisp as I was looking for.  So I let the Nana's go the same 10 minutes but then let it finish on the stone for an additional two minutes.  We then took a break from pizza making to watch the game for a bit and get a few beers down.  After and hour or so I went back out to throw the mushroom pizza on and the grill temp had dipped to around 450º.  I could have stoked the fire to get the temp back up but seeing as how I was ready to throw this pie on and the beer had eliminated my patience I just went with it.  I kept an eye on the pizza through the top opening of the egg and let it go for about 15 minutes and gave it two minutes directly on the stone.  I threw the final pizza on with the grill at about 400º and let it go until done (about 18 mins on parchment  2 mins directly on the stone.)  Then we ate..

Notes:
First, I think I may like using the store bought, shredded mozzarella better on the pies with lots of toppings.  The fresh mozzarella on the Nana's pizza really makes the pie and I will revert back to that next time.  Next, as mentioned above, the first pie was a little less done than I prefer (I like a crisp center crust) and, crustwise, I think the second pizza was the best.  Through all of the different scenarios I think the grill at 600º for 10 minutes on the parchment paper and 2 minutes directly on the stone makes the perfect pie.  I think that when making multiple pizzas, it is best to do them all when the grill is at its hottest and before it has a chance to cool.  As a general rule, the pizza turns out best when cooked as high and fast as possible. However, all of the pizzas were very tasty and I will definitely be making the buffalo chicken pizza again (maybe a little more buffalo sauce on the base). All in all we had more than enough pizza and got to see a pretty good game (suck it Ben Rapelisberger).  I had defended my honor and pleased our guests.

I took pictures of each of the final pies as they came off but this is the only one that did not come out super blurry.
Sign from God? I'll let you decide.

4 comments:

  1. What is the harm of cooking the pizza directly on the stone for the entire time? Nice write up!

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  2. There is absolutely no harm in cooking the entire time on the stone, a lot of people prefer to do it that way. When cooking directly on the stone most people use corn meal to prevent the pie from sticking and make it easier to get off when done. I don't like my pizza having a corn meal taste so I use the parchment paper. I put it directly on the stone when the crust is firm and there is no risk of the pie sticking to the stone. An added benefit of the parchment paper is that I can prepare the pies on the paper and easily transfer it from the counter to the peel and from the peel to the egg without worrying about sticking.

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  3. Looks good. Next step, make you're own dough!

    My parents use the publix dough a lot, but they like it super thin. However, the publix dough often recoils and gets too thick no matter what you do. But they discovered a trick. Sprinkle a generous amount of corn meal all over the dough, then roll out with a pin. The cornmeal assists in relaxing the gluten and will allow you to get a thinner crust.

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  4. That is very good information. I will try that for my next pizza cook. I love me some thin crust but had the same issues you were mentioning. My ultimate goal is to make my own dough but I am waiting on the KitchinAid mixer and dough blade attachment from the wedding registry...

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