### Author Topic: A good grilled pizza?  (Read 5790 times)

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#### hotsawce

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##### A good grilled pizza?
« on: May 27, 2010, 08:30:04 PM »
A post on the Slice website had me wondering; has anyone made a legitimately good grilled pizza?

Often times, when grilling the pizza, the crust has an undesirable texture....too crackery thin, no cracker, strange texture, etc. Has anyone here perfected making a good one?

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 12:12:40 PM »
I'm going to go for a grilled pizza tomorrow!

I was wondering if someone could help me figure out a dough ball weight, though. Assuming I want to make the pie the thickness of Al Forno, about 1/8 inch thick, in an oblong shape about 13" x 9", what do you think would be a suitable weight?

#### Pete-zza

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 01:07:53 PM »
hotsawce,

If by "oblong" you mean a rectangle with one side longer than the other, then the dough weight for a 13" x 9" oblong-shaped dough would be:

DW (dough weight) = 13 x 9 x TF, where TF is the thickness factor.

I don't know what a typical thickness factor would be at Al Forno's, but one way to calculate it is to find an Al Forno dough recipe for grilled pizzas, convert the volumes to weights, derive the total dough weight, and then use the stated dough ball size and corresponding pizza size to calculate the thickness factor. You would then use the calculated thickness factor in the above expression. My recollection is that the recipe for the original Al Forno dough is given at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-live/al-forno-and-johanne-killeens-grilled-pizza-recipe/index.html. That might be as good a recipe to convert since the thickness of the skin is given as 1/8". You might need a digital scale to convert the volume ingredients to weights but you might also be able to use the nutrition data for specific ingredients at http://www.nutritiondata.com/.

Good luck. Let us know how things turn out.

Peter

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2010, 06:16:52 PM »
This is similar to the shape I'm going for http://i924.photobucket.com/albums/ad84/312DiningDiva/soccaflatbread.jpg and I'll be rolling out dough with a pin for the first time. It feels like sacrilege

#### Pete-zza

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 10:07:24 AM »
hotsawce,

I played around a bit with the recipe I referenced in my last post to see if I could calculate the thickness factor. There are some wide divergences in the amount of flour (2 1/2-3 1/2 c.) and pizza size (10"-12") with that recipe, so it is hard to nail down a single value for the thickness factor. One would have to make the dough in accordance with the recipe and note the amount of flour used and what size of pizza skin corrensponds to a 1/8" thickness. However, averaging the flour weight, using the "medium" method of flour measurement, I came up with a thickness factor of 0.081 for a 10" pizza and 0.056 for a 12" pizza. Averaging those two values, if that makes sense, the thickness factor is 0.0685. It looks like you will have to play around with the numbers to get the desired end product. I also noted from photos of the Al Forno pizzas that they aren't exactly oblong shaped. They seem to have a rustic, somewhat free-form shape approaching an oblong shape. That will also alter the amount of dough to use.

Peter

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010, 10:12:13 AM »
Pete-za,

I'll plug in that thickness factor and see what I can work out. I'm not looking to do an Al Forno shape; the oblong is just something I think would cool and might be easier to handle on the grill.

#### jeff v

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2010, 11:45:26 AM »
hotsawce,

Here is one I made- http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9349.0.html . I have made it again using the changes I described in the post with better results.

Jeff
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 01:14:20 PM »
Jeff,

That looks great and along the lines of what I'm going for. Why would you bump up the hydration, though? I don't have an IR gun, so I don't know how I'll be able to monitor the temperature of the grill. Hopefully it'll hit 500 to 550, though, as I want those nice grill marks a la Al Forno.

What do you think is the size of that pie? I might want to make mine a tad bit thinner, so maybe a 180 gram dough ball for me would be good.

Also, I have to ask, did you brush a lot of olive oil on the dough while cooking? I'm really going to slather it on. Oh, and did you use lump charcoal?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 01:19:16 PM by hotsawce »

#### jeff v

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2010, 04:07:58 PM »
Jeff,

That looks great and along the lines of what I'm going for. Why would you bump up the hydration, though? I don't have an IR gun, so I don't know how I'll be able to monitor the temperature of the grill. Hopefully it'll hit 500 to 550, though, as I want those nice grill marks a la Al Forno.

What do you think is the size of that pie? I might want to make mine a tad bit thinner, so maybe a 180 gram dough ball for me would be good.

Also, I have to ask, did you brush a lot of olive oil on the dough while cooking? I'm really going to slather it on. Oh, and did you use lump charcoal?

The crust came out a bit dry which is why I decided to raise the hydration and oil amounts. The pizza is sitting on a regular dinner plate, so that should help w the size, and I used regular charcoal piled up on one side of the grill. I didn't brush any oil on while cooking, and maybe that would have helped with the crust drying.

Good Luck,

Jeff
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

#### pizzaboyfan

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2010, 05:12:27 PM »
I know this goes against all that is Pizzamaking, but we did some really delicious grilled doughs this weekend....using Trader Joe's dough over a charcoal grill.
I think they were perfect.
Not at all dry.

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2010, 10:31:14 PM »
pictures?

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2010, 10:45:57 PM »
HS,  just a tip I picked up a while ago for grilled pies.  keep your sauce hot to help melt the cheese,  and keep the cheese as fine as possible,  also at room temp.  This will help the melt after the flip and make.  As far as dough goes,  use any regular recipe wiht a bit of oil in it,  at like 62-65 percent,  all purpose or bread is fine.  I have used caputo 00 based doughs before,  but always end up with a underbrowned/overbaked crust so I would not recommend it.  Keep the heat on the edges only,  do not allow it to burn the center of your crust out.  Use a 1/4 turn to  finish the crust if you have parallel burners.  I use EVOO on the top/bottom before placing on the grill,  and on the new top as soon as it hits the grill.  Flip just before just before you think the bottom is looking perfect top and finish it off for a few minutes.  Sorry for the ramble,  but figured I'd keep going.  Good luck.  I would guess I am due for a batch soon.  -marc

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2010, 10:51:43 PM »
Good stuff to know. So you'd recommend oil in the dough, as well as brushed on the outside? Maybe i'll do one batch with oil in it, and one without. I've just never been huge with adding oil to my dough.

Thanks for the tips, especially the sauce one. It gives me a reason to actually do a semi cooked sauce (which I never do!)

#### scott r

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2010, 12:09:39 AM »
Marc, I like the sauce and cheese advice

These tips are right from the master of the grilled pie, Al Forno in providence RI.   To elaborate on grating the cheese as fine as possible, the way they do it is to turn it into snow.   The cheese is almost completely  frozen, then put in the robotcoup (or cuisinart) with the mincing blade, and pulverized.   Once brought back to room temp this cheese "snow" can melt just with the application of the sauce that is kept warm via a pan on the grill and the small amount of residual heat that existed from the flip of the dough skin.  All meats and veggies are par cooked.   Lump hardwood charcoal gives by far the best flavor.

Al Forno, and its spin off Bacaro do not use any oil in the dough, but the dough balls are VERY well oiled, which helps to create the awesome fried and smoked yet fresh flavor that is the essence of a properly done grilled pizza.  The flour is king arthur all purpose which browns up well on the grill.  Other than Neapolitan pizzerias, this is one of the few pizzerias in the northeast that is not using bromated flour.  Sauce is La Regina DOP san marzanos, and Buffala is often offered, so no expense is spared with the ingredients.    I wish everyone could try a pizza from one of these places, as it is right up there in quality and first impressions as a neapolitan or a properly done coal oven style pie.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 02:02:49 PM by scott r »

#### scott r

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2010, 12:21:27 AM »
al forno margherita

if done right the pizza should be tender and soft in the middle from the high heat, but with crisp edges.   The pizza should almost be like eating fried dough, but with a hint of smoke flavor (more than you would get from a neapolitan oven)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 12:23:23 AM by scott r »

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2010, 08:52:21 AM »
Scott,  nice writeup.  I thought you might let the whole cat out of the bag. -marc

#### jeff v

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2010, 10:48:16 AM »
al forno margherita

if done right the pizza should be tender and soft in the middle from the high heat, but with crisp edges.   The pizza should almost be like eating fried dough, but with a hint of smoke flavor (more than you would get from a neapolitan oven)

That's a great description scott. I don't make many grilled pizzas, but that gives something to shoot for this summer. I basically winged the dough formulation I used, so that's interesting to learn about Al Forno.
Thanks,

Jeff
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 10:58:00 AM by jeff v »
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2010, 01:11:42 PM »
A lot of interesting stuff. Is the mozzarella frozen and turned into cheese "snow" as well, or just the hard flavor cheese? do they put this on shredded, or in pieces like a neapolitan pie?

Since the dough is very well oiled, it almost seems like I should be stretching and forming it in a pool of olive oil instead of using a rolling pin. Maybe put a layer in a pan and stretch it to 1/8"?

Marc, I like the sauce and cheese advice

These tips are right from the master of the grilled pie, Al Forno in providence RI.   To elaborate on grating the cheese as fine as possible, the way they do it is to turn it into snow.   The cheese is almost completely  frozen, then put in the robotcoup (or cuisinart) with the mincing blade, and pulverized.   Once brought back to room temp this cheese "snow" can melt just with the application of the sauce that is kept warm via a pan on the grill and the small amount of residual heat that existed from the flip of the dough skin.  All meats and veggies are par cooked (which opens up some new taste combinations).   Lump hardwood charcoal gives by far the best flavor.

Al Forno, and its spin off Bacarro do not use any oil in the dough, but the dough balls are VERY well oiled, which helps to create the awesome fried and smoked yet fresh flavor that is the essence of a properly done grilled pizza.  The flour is king arthur all purpose which browns up well on the grill.  Other than Neapolitan pizzerias, this is one of the few pizzerias in the northeast that is not using bromated flour.  Sauce is La Regina DOP san marzanos, and Buffala is often offered, so no expense is spared with the ingredients.    I wish everyone could try a pizza from one of these places, as it is right up there in quality and first impressions as a neapolitan or a properly done coal oven style pie.

#### scott r

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2010, 02:06:19 PM »
hotsawce, yes, this is what they would do if they were using mozzarella, but they actually use fontina.    This process works great with both cheeses.   Yes, stretch and form in a pool of oil!

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2010, 03:15:18 PM »
Scott,  see even though you had told me some of the process,  i always applied oil to a stretched skin,  and it a pain in the...  this way sounds way better.  -marc

#### jeff v

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2010, 08:50:02 PM »
I've been thinking about an updated try of this pizza based on what I've read here, but am away from home for a couple more days. Any new news on the grilled pizza front? Recipes fpr Al Forno's dough are in numerous palces on the internet (and in one of their books I'm assuming) has anyone converted that to % and tried it? Would you?

Jeff

ETA: After reading a bit more I'm thinking it's more about technique than dough formulation. So, maybe I'll put together a new batch of dough and mess around with that when I get back.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 08:56:03 PM by jeff v »
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2010, 11:48:57 PM »
I've been meaning to try it, but haven't gotten around. I need to go buy some more mozzarella and tomatoes...and lump charcoal (which I understand is very important) and a chimney starter. I'm also running low on EVOO.

I'm looking forward to stretching it out in a pool of EVOO, though.

Scott, do you know the weight of the doughballs from Al Forno?

#### angdeer

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2010, 04:29:22 PM »
Love grilled pizza!  We make them at home in the summer for family outings. A great idea is to have everyone bring a topping and then combine all the ingredients on a table and let people make their own.  We own a pizzeria so we don't make people bring toppings but wine is always welcomed.

#### scott r

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2010, 09:51:21 PM »
I forget the dough ball weight, but I think it was around 450 grams.   Im sure the recipes on the internet are good, but at least these days the dough is much more basic than what they have said it is.  A friend of mine worked there and said it was just KAAP, water, salt and yeast mixed once a day.

#### hotsawce

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##### Re: A good grilled pizza?
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2010, 01:16:08 AM »
Scott, do you have any idea what temp the grill is at? I'm not really familiar with grilling, so I'm probably going to get a chimney starter. Should the charcoal be turning grey, starting to turn grey?

As for the ball weight, 450 grams seems like an awful lot of dough for, what, a 12 inch pie? I might try my normal dough ball weight of about 220-240 grams. Would the skin being too thin be bad for the grill?

And what technique is used as per cooking? Cook one side, flip to cold side, top, then cook again?

I'm really excited to try this. There has been some rain here, but I should be able to do it tomorrow.

hotsawce, yes, this is what they would do if they were using mozzarella, but they actually use fontina.    This process works great with both cheeses.   Yes, stretch and form in a pool of oil!

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