Have you ever made grilled pizza? If not, it’s a must. Especially with the July 4th holiday coming up. It’s so easy and so delicious and I guarantee that everyone will forget that they came to watch fireworks once they sink their teeth into chewy, cheesy pizza. We did this last week in a cooking class with the IMX=Pilates group and it was a hit. The dough was made using Peter Reinhart’s recipe from the book Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. Instead of making it with whole wheat flour, though, we used the ancient grain Kamut (freshly ground, of course). I have fallen hard for this grain. I’ve been making cookies and scones and pancakes and biscuits and bread and now, pizza dough. All delish. A few fun facts about Kamut:
- “Kamut” is actually the brand name. It is a variety of wheat otherwise known as khorasan wheat.
- Why is it branded? To keep the integrity of the grain. According to the official Kamut Khorasan Wheat website, Kamut shall:
1. Be the ancient khorasan variety of wheat
2. Be grown only as a certified organic grain
3. Have a protein range of 12 – 18%.
4. Be 99% free of contaminating varieties of modern wheat.
5. Be 98% free of all signs of disease.
6. Contain between 400 and 1000 ppb of selenium
7. Not be used in products in which the name is deceptive or misleading as to the content percentage
8. Not be mixed with modern wheat in pasta
- The orgin of Kamut is unknown. A U.S. Airman stationed in Portugal recieved 32 of the wheat kernals in 1949 from a friend and was told it came from a tomb in Egypt (last part is probably not true). There is much speculation on when and how it was introduced into Egypt and some even believe Noah brought the grain onto the arc with him.
- The kernals were shipped back to the U.S. and after 30+ years and a few failed attempts, it finally made a comeback in the 80′s.
So, it’s never exposed to chemicals. It’s not genetically modified. It has a restraining order against modern wheat, which has no standards whatsoever (unless the farmer who grows it chooses to grow it right). It’s protected, legally, from all that is wrong with so much of our food. That, my friends, is how our food system should work! And I haven’t even touched on the superior nutrional profile or, most importantly, the taste. Oh, the taste. That is what keeps me coming back. It’s so light and buttery tasting. The flour feels like fine silk. It’s high in protein and minerals, low in gluten and, this is a biggie, because of it’s low oxidation levels it loses little nutritional value after being ground. What’s not to love?
Ok, so let’s talk pizza now. Kamut flour + Peter Reinhart’s whole grain recipe = awesome pizza dough. Proven fact. Here is the modified recipe and below that I have included my very first video from an actual class to show the process of grilling the dough.
Whole Grain Pizza Dough
This recipe was adapted from Peter Reinhart’s book Whole Grain Breads. I highy recommend picking up this book. The recipe was written for whole wheat; however, any whole grain can be used. While I used Kamut, spelt would also work well.
The night before:
In one bowl combine 1 3/4 cup flour (whole wheat, kamut, spelt, etc.), 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until combined. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight. In a second bowl, combine 1 3/4 cup whole grain flour, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, and 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast. Stir until combined and then knead in the bowl for 2 minutes. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes and then continue to knead for 1 more minute. Cover and store in the refrigerator until 2 hours before making final dough. Let it come to room temperature before proceeding.
The day of:
On a floured surface, place the contents of each bowl on top of each other. Using a pastry cutter, chop the mass into at least 9 pieces. Place into the bowl of a stand mixer. This will make the mixing process easier. Now add the following:
1/2 cup whole grain flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablepoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix with the paddle attachment for one minute. Switch to the dough hook. Turn the mixer back on for 5 or so more minutes adding water or flour, as needed. The dough should be slightly sticky and soft but it should come away from the sides of the bowl, like a tornado.
After 5 minutes, dump the flour onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes and then continue kneading for 1 more minute. While the dough is resting, grease a sheet pan with olive oil. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each part into a tight ball. Place on the cookie sheet and roll around to ensure it is completely covered.
At this point you can refrigerate the dough balls until ready to use or use it immediately. If it will be more than a few hours, store each ball in an oiled, zip-topped bag. Otherwise, just cover it with plastic wrap (I like to put the entire sheet pan into a small trash can bag. You can even freeze it, if desired. When you are ready to use it, simply set it out at room temperature until it no longer has a chill.
To use: Stretch the dough out into an 8-10 in. circle and set it on a pan dusted with cornmeal. You can top it with your favorite toppings now and bake it at 450 degrees until the cheese is hot and bubbly OR you can follow the instructions in the video to grill it.
That was fun. Ok, we topped the pizza two different ways. One was a classic Margharita pizza with tomato sauce, mozzeralla, and basil. The other was topped with fresh figs, bacon, fontina cheese, and fresh thyme. So good. If you do not have access to fresh figs, go with dried. The combination of those flavors are perfect either way. I’ve included a photo (half eaten) with the recipe. Enjoy!
Grilled Fig and Bacon Pizza
6 8 in. grilled pizza crusts (recipe above)
4 -5 fresh figs sliced 1/4 inch (dried will also work)
1 lb. bacon
4 cups shredded fontina cheese
lots of fresh thyme
Divide the figs, bacon and cheese onto the pizza crusts. Sprinkle with fresh thyme. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.