Friday, 5 August 2011

BBQ Pizza

Cycling to and from work this week, I’ve found myself peddling to the tune of "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that's amorrreeeeeee".  It must be something to do with my new Mediterranean mood.  It's annoying not only for others (being tone deaf I receive a lot of horrified stares from other cyclists) but also for myself - I only know the one line...   Let me tell you – it's nothing if not repetitive!  Anyway, in a predictably Pavlovian response I couldn’t stop hankering after all things pizza.  So, in an attempt to move on to a different theme tune (at this stage anything would be welcomed!) I decided to try my hand at making some pizzas at home.

Unfortunately not being equipped with a handy pizza oven or even a pizza stone to put in a regular oven I wasn’t really sure how to go about getting the bases nice and crispy – I was convinced my little oven would only create a soggy mess.  Having found this webpage I decided to give cooking them on the BBQ a go.

Sadly, I definitely need to work on my pizza spinning technique.  Having dropped several embriyonic bases on the floor, (one narrowly missing landing in the recycling) I once again resorted to using a cling filmed bottle as a make shift rolling pin.  But as a starting point they were pretty impressive, the BBQ is definately the way forward!

In the morning before work, make the pizza dough.  Mix together the flour, salt and yeast.  Add the water and oil and mix until it comes together as a dough. 
Knead for 5 minutes or so, place back in the mixing bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to cold prove in the fridge during the day. 

Alternatively you can make the dough just before cooking the pizzas and leave to prove at room temperature until it doubles in size.

Light the BBQ – you want the heat to have died down before you put the pizza’s on.

Dry fry the chorizo until it begins to crisp up and releases it’s oil (I used this oil to fry the onion in). 
Fry the onion slowly over a low heat until soft and sweet.  Add the balsamic and continue to heat until it has reduced to a sticky glaze.
Gently heat the spinach until it has reduced in volume but not completely wilted.

Knock back the dough and then divide into four equal parts.  Roll out each into individual rounds (or approximate rounds at least if like me rounds seem to be beyond you).  If you prefer thin crispy bases, roll them as thinly as possible – they’re reasonably elastic and will shrink and fatten up slightly after rolling!  Use polenta or semolina flour to stop the bases sticking to the work surface or rolling pin. 
Once rolled, place the bases on double layered aluminium foil.  At this stage you can leave them to rest about 15 minutes, or they can be kept for longer (until needed) in the fridge.

Cover the bases in the toppings (keep the rocket and parmesan back though – they go on later). 

Place the pizzas, including the foil, over the BBQ.  I moved the grill up slightly higher over the coals than usual so that the bases wouldn’t burn.
Cook for about 20 minutes, rotating and checking regularly.  If the bases cook faster than the toppings you can finish them off in the oven without losing the lovely crispness of the base. 
Once finished, sprinkle the rocket and parmesan over the mozzarella/basil pizza and serve.  Squisito!
Pizza Base Ingredients: (makes four medium pizzas)
500g strong white flour
1 large pinch salt
1 sachet fast-action yeast (7g)
275ml warm water
50ml olive oil

Chorizo Pizza Toppings:
5 heaped tbsp passata
150g chorizo, diced
2 handfuls leerdammer, grated
½tsp cayenne pepper

Goats Cheese Pizza Toppings:
5 heaped tbsp passata
1 red onion, finely sliced
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp fat (any to fry the onion in, oil etc.)
50g spinach, part wilted
2tbsp pinenuts
1tbsp capers
½ log of ash coated goats cheese (120g log), sliced

Antipasti Pizza Toppings:
5 heaped tbsp passata
2 handfuls of leerdamer, grated
2 handfuls of mixed antipasti (sun dried tomatoes, chargrilled artichokes, olives etc)

Mozzarella/Basil Pizza Toppings:
5 heaped tbsp passata
2 handfuls of mozzarella, torn
8 basil leaves, torn
2 handfuls rocket
25g parmesan shavings


  1. This looks AMAZING :)

  2. Delicious. Never would have thought of BBQ'ing pizza.