Grilled Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza

So, for a long time I wondered if pizza could ever be as good at home as it is at a restaurant.  I have been making pizza at home in my oven for a couple decades now, with my nieces and nephews and now my own children.  It has always been something I’ve just done for the kids,  it makes a huge mess, they have a blast and we end up with mediocre pizza.  Well those days are a thing of the past.  I realized that my beloved oven was giving me subpar crust!! After switching the whole operation over to the grill, I began to work on the dough recipe.  Turns out that the recipe that came with my kitchen aid mixer wasn’t giving me the best dough possible…shocking right?  I found that combining bread flour and regular flour I get a crispy crust that still has a bit of chew to it. Adding to all of this, I have abandoned my kids toppings and making a pizza just for me! Although, they are currently filling leftover pizza dough with Marshmallow Fluff and Chocolate, I might have to get in on that.   You can do most of the work on this pizza the day before, or if you are having a lazy day Saturday, you can spread the work out throughout the day.

So, I know you all think I start this process with making the dough, but you are wrong! I started with my onions.  I love caramelized onions, but to really make them great, you need to cook those suckers for a long time, I am talking at least two hours long time.  I start with onions, a little sugar and a little salt.  I think the sugar helps to bring out the onions sweetness and helps with the whole process.  I sit them on the stove over a low heat.DSC_0030

Every so often I stir them, and after an hour I add a little water to prevent them from drying out.

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After two hours, we have caramelized onions..and they smell amazing!  I could probably have let them go for a little longer, but I am getting hungry.DSC_0047

So, while my onions are on the stove I start on my dough. First I fill a bowl with some warm tap water, no need to get scientific here, just basic warm water.  Toss in some yeast and some sugar and give it a little stir.  Wait ten minutes and you should be seeing some bubbles. I would say you it should look like the top of a draft beer.

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Now comes the time to add the flour.  I am doing two cups of bread flour and one cup of all purpose flour.  This gives the crust the crispiness that I love so much, but if you don’t have any desire to buy bread flour, go ahead and use regular flour.  You will have a chewier crust but it will still work just fine.  Anyway, I add the flour, some olive oil and some salt and give that a couple stirs with a wooden spoon until it comes together a little. Then I pour it all onto a floured surface.

 

DSC_0034 Then I just beat that dough up.  You can do this in the mixer with a dough hook, but I really enjoy kneading dough.  I just kinda punch it and push it around and flex my muscles a little and feel all sorts of strong.  Eventually the dough looks even and smooth and I stop.   If the dough is sticking to everything just add more flour till it doesn’t stick anymore.  I then toss the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

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After a couple of hours my dough has doubled in size.

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Now I turn that out onto a floured surface and punch it down a little and divide it into three balls of dough.  You could probably do four, but I really think this works best for three individual pizzas.  Cover your dough with kitchen towel and let it rest for another half hour.DSC_0059

So, while my dough was rising and my onions were cooking, I get started on my mushrooms.  I promise, this pizza is worth all of this work!  And remember you can do this all a day or two before, just wrap your dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge.  Take it out a half hour before you want to grill your pizzas.  Anyway, back to the mushrooms.  I slice up baby bellas today, but any mushroom combination would work well here! I like to saute my mushrooms with a little white wine and some fresh sage and thyme, and of course butter.DSC_0055

Almost time to grill my pizzas!!  Just need to get the cheese ready to go.  I crumble up my goat cheese, and I also like fresh mozzarella on this pizza.  I grate that up so it melts evenly.  It adds such a nice creaminess.  I also will grate Pecorino Romano over the top of the pizza.DSC_0050

I use a rolling pin to roll out my dough, gone are the days where I try and throw it in the air (ok maybe one or two throws just for fun) and once everything is ready to go I start up the grill.  While I start it up, I also use a paper towel and oil the grill.  The grill needs to get up to 500° before I put the pizza on.  I close the lid and let it go for two to three minutes.  You can see the dough puff right up.

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Now, I flip the pizza and start adding the toppings.  Yes, I know it looks like a Christmas stocking.DSC_0063

I like to start with the onions and mushrooms.  DSC_0064

I must’ve touched the camera lens with mushroom fingers. Next come the three cheeses. What a great sentence that was.

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I close the lid and just let the cheese melt while the bottom of the pizza get cooked and crispy and even though I have already consumed this pizza my mouth is watering again.

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I top the pizza with some finely chopped fresh thyme.  This really is the perfect pizza in my opinion.

Grilled White Mushroom Pizza

Dough

Ingredients

  • 1¼ Cup Warm Water
  • 1½  tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 – 1½ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Combine Water, Yeast and Sugar in a medium bowl.  Let sit for ten minutes.  Add Bread flour, 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour, Olive Oil, and Salt to the bowl and mix to combine. Kneed dough on floured surface until dough becomes smooth.  Add more Flour as needed. Put Dough into oiled bowl cover and allow to rise for one to two hours until it doubles in size.  Divide dough into three balls and let rest covered for half hour.

Pizza Toppings

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Onions Sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp Water
  • 12 Oz Baby Bella Mushrooms Sliced
  • ½ White Wine
  • 1 tsp Fresh Sage Chopped
  • 2 tsp Fresh Thyme Chopped
  • 4 Oz Goat Cheese Crumbled
  • 8 Oz Fresh Mozzarella Grated
  • 3 Tbsp Grated Pecorino Romano
  • Salt and Pepper

Caramelize onions in 1 Tbsp of butter with Sugar and Salt.   Cook over low heat stirring occasionally.  Add water as needed to prevent drying out.

Meanwhile saute Mushrooms with 1 Tbsp of Butter, White Wine, Sage, and 1 tsp of Thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until all liquid is gone and mushrooms are cooked through.

Roll out your dough to roughly a quarter of an inch thick. Prepare Grill by oiling grate and Setting heat to High.  Take dough and all ingredients to Grill.  Lay out dough on grill and close lid for two to three minutes.  Using Tongs flip Dough over and start adding toppings to your pizza.  Finish Pizza with a sprinkle of fresh thyme, salt and fresh cracked pepper.

 

 

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