Author Topic: Irish guy here attempting pizza  (Read 286 times)

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Offline johnon

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Irish guy here attempting pizza
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:37:12 PM »
I have this beautiful bbq and thought I should venture out of red meat.

Recently remolded my house and I have these extra pieces of granite from the sink hole, extra, etc.

I thought I would try cooking a pizza on my extra granite. I've read some articles that it works well. Read some others that said it doesn't.  My granite is 3/4 inch thick. Seems thicker granite is better using two zone.

I picked up some pizza recipes over at Kalamazoogourmet dot com that look easy.

Just made the dough and sauce.

I shall see how well this goes and if it doesn't go so well I have this down the street from me.  The owner was the first winner of Food Networks Pizza Competition a few years back.  The mushroom red wine reduction pizza is beyond awesome. It is also $35 or so.

Check out his pizzas.  mulberry-street-pizzeria dot com
 :pizza: :chef:


Offline Don K

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Re: Irish guy here attempting pizza
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 12:50:03 AM »
The granite may work...or it may not.

A friend of mine fabricates granite countertops for a living. Last year, I had him cut me a piece of scrap to fit my oven. At the same time he thought it was such a good idea that he cut one for his oven too.

About 20 minutes into the first preheat I heard a loud pop. The stone broke in two. My friend has been using his ever since and it has never cracked at all. They were cut from the same slab.

Granite and other natural stones have naturally occurring fissures. I suppose that under thermal stress that some of those fissures can turn into cracks.
The member formerly known as Colonel_Klink

Offline johnon

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Re: Irish guy here attempting pizza
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 02:08:55 AM »
Kommandant,

First off, I grew up on Hogan's Heroes!!! Great show. Wish it was still on in replay. "I know nothing....", Sergeant Shultz.

Here is what happened on my attempt.  I have a 36in DCS BBQ.  I put the granite right in the middle of the Q. It is oval'ish in shape. 17" x 15" inch.  The DCS has 3 burners.  I put the left and right on, leaving the middle off.  I started off at medium. Let it run for about 15 mins.  I have one of those infrared temp guns (mainly use it to entertain the neighbors cat), the temp after 15 mins was close to 200 degrees on the granite, it was about 15 degrees hotter on the edges of the granite and the middle was about 175.  I decided to turn on the middle burner on low. Low gets me about 250F when cooking meets.  30 mins later I checked it and the edges were up to 380F and the middle was up to 250F or so.  I turned up the middle to medium heat. Medium normally gets me about 375F.  45 mins later the outside edges of the granite were about 475F, middle was about 400F.  I left as is.  At 1 hour the edges were about 525F and middle was at 510F.  I turned down the left and right burner to medium, turned down middle burner to low. 

I then made a bad looking cirlce with my dough, put it on a piece of cardboard with cornmeal dusting. Cardboard was from the side of a case of wine.  I then slide it on to the granite. It took about 9 minutes to get a perfect color on the bottom of the pizza.  The top edges where slightly brown but not really. Middle of pizza was bubbling slightly. I did spin the pizza every few minutes. The front of the granite on the front edge of the BBq was about 20 degrees hotter to it seem to make sense to spin the pizza.   I pulled the pizza off, edges were still mostly white but clearly cooked.  The DCS BBq has an opening at the top back.  It is not enclosed like some bbq's. I think that is why the top didn't brown.  Using tongs I yanked the pizza onto a pizza pan, threw on the broiler to high and finished it off for 2 mins to give the top a nice colored brown.

The wife thought I was creating a disaster but then she had a piece and was surprised at how good it was. 20 years ago she made pizza's at Little Ceasar's.  Clearly she didn't know what I was doing as i made this pizza because she stood out front waiting for a truck to show up....

1st pizza was white wine based dough (3 cups of flour, yeast, honey, 1/4 cup of white wine, water), ricotta cheese as the sauce, drizzle of honey, cooked bacon, fresh thyme, and seedless red grapes.  Yes, gourmet foo-foo pizza. No greese, lightest pizza either one of us ever had. Excellent. Excellent crunch, dough was cooked perfectly and thick on the edges. Surprised myself.  Having read some discusssions about granite I thought I was going to blow the lid off the bbq from the granite exploding.  Didn't happen.

2nd pizza, red sauce (roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, pinch of salt, reduced down on stove), cheddar, ham, pineapple, mozzarella, and some a bit more cheddar. It came out awesome as well although I did put it in the oven for 2 mis to color the top. Wife loved it too.

Leasons learned:
Granite worked well, bottom didn't burn at all, crust was excellent.
Cardboard from a case of wine makes an excellent and cheap peel.
While the wife liked the lack of greese, I will put pepperoni, sausage, etc next time.
Granite doesn't explode, at least not the 3/4 inch stuff. Note that I put the top (smooth side/counter side down), rought side was up. I could really see how dry it was.  The cornmeal did not burn, it just turned a nice golden brown.

Next time:
I will try the good stuff flour and do San Marizino tomatoes.
I may also try spinkling sugar on the edges of the dough so I don't have to brown edges with the broiler. I have a lid to my wok too that I may try putting over the entire pizza to see if that browns the edges on top. I think my problem in this area is that the BBQ again has that opening at the top.  When I do steaks on the BBQ it gets up to about 750F which is great for searing but I also think it is why the top is open on the bbq. 
I will also use the smoker tray next time. Cherry or apple wood seems like it would be good.

My wife said lets do duck confett pizza next time. I guess that means it was a winner.
What I find odd is that my wife once worked at little ceasers and now she wants to put duck on a pizza???










Offline johnon

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Re: Irish guy here attempting pizza
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 02:23:51 AM »
I should mention that I really strongly believe that my pizzas came out very well not because of the granite, or the bbq, the ingredients or even reading this website for tips.  I really attribute 100% of my success to the 6 pack of Guinness. Additionally, in Ireland they teach you at a young age that the Italians are very good at what they do but any Irishman with some Guinness can do it better.

Offline Don K

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Re: Irish guy here attempting pizza
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 12:36:08 PM »
Shultz!!!

Yea I loved Hogan's Heroes too. They do show reruns of it where I am, although not as often as they used to. I think that I have seen every episode several times anyway. When I used to work for a Pizza chain in the 80's, they started calling me Colonel Klink or just "the Colonel", or Herr Kommandant, because my last name sounds a little like Klink. I would often show up to work with a monocle on just to mess with them.

You may be right about the Guinness. I know that my pizzas always seem much better after a few home brews. I make a mean cream stout that I'd put up against a Guinness any day. :P I put Guinness in my beef stew (yum).

Glad to hear that the granite worked out for you. If it was going to break, it probably would have done so when you first heated it up, like mine did.
The member formerly known as Colonel_Klink

buceriasdon

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Re: Irish guy here attempting pizza
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 12:48:01 PM »
I set my granite slab on a aluminum cookie sheet and never had a problem with cracking.
Don