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Redemption Pizza

It’s been a while since we’ve done two posts in one weekend but alas I had to get this one on the board given the Knuckle Sandwich debacle! Heather and I have done a few pizzas before on the Big Green Asian Egg but tonight we absolutely aced it! If you want to wood fire the best pizza ever, follow these simple instructions:

The sauce:

  1. 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced

  2. 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  3. 1 28 ounce can tomato puree

  4. 1/4 cup red wine

  5. 1/2 cup water

  6. 1/8 cup olive oil

  7. 1/3 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

  8. 1/5 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

  9. 1/5 teaspoon dried thyme

  10. 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

  11. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  12. Kosher salt to taste

Lightly sauté the minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until golden. Then add the tomato paste and fry with the garlic. Add to the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

The dough (makes 2 pizzas):

  1. 3/4 cups of water

  2. 1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast

  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour

  4. 1/2 tsp salt

In a small bowl, heat your water until it feels just about lukewarm. Add the yeast to the water and use a fork to stir it into the water. Set it aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve. It’s ok if the yeast doesn’t bubble, but it should be entirely dissolved and the mixture should look like thin miso soup.

Measure out the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Use your hand or a whisk to combine it. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together.

When it comes together into a ball turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn’t yet gotten worked in. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and its smooth and elastic to the touch–about five minutes worth.The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. Use a bench scraper to divide the dough in two. Tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Work one piece of the dough in your hands and form it into a large disk. Lay the disk of dough on the parchment paper.

Working from the middle of the dough outwards, use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. Repeat with the second piece of dough. The dough will stick to the parchment paper, making it easier for you to roll out. You’ll bake the pizza right on the parchment paper on top of your pizza stone. As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment, and you can slide the paper out before serving.

The toppings:

For tonight’s pizza we decided on the sauce, beef pepperoni, prosciutto ham, artichoke hearts, black offices, garlic, mozzarella, cheddar and salt & pepper. Here’s where you can play around a bit or a lot. Place whatever floats your boat on your pizza. Experiment, have fun with it and try out different combinations.

The Egg:

Preheat the Big Green Egg to 500 degrees F with your plate setter in and the legs down. Add your pizza stone about three minutes before you’re ready to fire up your “za”… When ready, gently place your rolled out pizza onto the pizza stone. Set your timer for 8 minutes and do one pizza at a time. While you’re firing the second pizza, the first can rest on a rack and cool down a bit…nothing worse than burning the roof of your pallet with a scorching dolup of pizza sauce! After the first three minutes, you can easily (but carefully) remove your parchment paper, enabling a more even cooking of the crust.

Set it on the table, sprinkle some extra garlic granules on top, pour a cold glass of beer and tuck in!  Great dinner…a bit of a faff, but well worth it!

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Overall Heather Rating: 9/10

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