So often what we need is right in front of us. So often our cravings take us to eating that which is unhealthy. The unhealthiness is not of function of the food, but the process and processing that takes place in making the mass produced variety of it...think burger, think kabob, think chicken and chips. Do they all need to be unhealthy, are they by nature unhealthy....NO.
I need pizza. Not the cardboard and canned variety so often seen across my present city, but a healthy one with home grown veggies and a bit of flavour. I live in the U.K.. Don't get me wrong, I love London and its amazing farmers markets, the bounty of seasonal food, the temperate climate. But pizza....NO. Not a fan of the things that pass for pizza here.
I crave thin crust, I crave a bit of homemade sauce. I crave it now. What I crave often leads to late night bad food choices here in London, but this pizza craving is so easily taken care of.
We are talking about flat bread pizza. No fiddling around with rising doughs... just quick simple kneading dough since i need pizza!!!! Flat breads can be made in a pan, in your oven, or as we do on the BBQ. Combined with a BBQ inspired sauce and some cheese and you have pizza faster than it takes for your family to decide on a pizza to order and have it delivered!!!
WHAT YOU NEED
200g ( roughly 1 and 2/3 cups) strong whole-wheat flour
200g (roughly 1 and 2/3 cup) strong white flour
2 pinch salt
60ml ( 1/4 cup) olive oil
240ml (1 cup)water
1T dried mixed herbs
WHAT TO DO
- Heat pyramid pile of coals in your BBQ and continue recipe (Do not cook over BBQ till coals are glowing grey and you have flattened the pyramid out, banking coals to one side to create a high and low heat area in your BBQ area so you can control your cooking).
- Sift flours into bowl, add salt, and make a well in the middle.
- Add oil and water into the “well” and slowly incorporate into dry ingredients.
- Shape dough into a soft (not sticky) ball, adding bit of water or flour as necessary.
- Knead on floured surface (or in mixer with dough hook) till smooth and elastic (5 minutes)
- Let rest for 30 minutes (if you have the time and are not in a pizza frenzy as i can be).
- Roll out ½ cm/ 1/4 inch thick.
- Clean and oil the grill rack.
- Place dough on BBQ for 30 seconds to 1 minute till lightly browned on one side.
- Flip dough over to uncooked side, quickly brush with sauce and toppings, and cook covered for 30 seconds to one more minute.
MORE DISHES TO WASH
For softer pizza: Place toppings on pizza once dough is placed on BBQ during step 9.
For indoor pizza, crank up your oven to 200 Celsius ( 400 F) and cook with same method albeit a longer cooking time.
Funky summer pizza: roast whole beet root bulbs with fennel seeds, splash of olive oil, and dash of balsamic vinegar. When finished, peel and puree. Saute the beet root greens. On your flat bread pizza spread the beet sauce, layer the greens and then sprinkle with Stilton cheese...
Having a curry, make some of this flatbread pizza better known as Chapatis!!!
Are you gluten free...easy, sub gluten free flour and add a teaspoon of xantham gum to the liquid mix.
Toppings...come on of course use the grill...meatballs, portabella's, courgettes, peppers...you name it...
We almost forgot the easiest sauce ever....on the grill while you are rolling out your dough place a half dozen halved tomatoes ( a splash of olive oil and a crack of black pepper never hurts), and one large onion...cook till charred and soft. Puree this with a garlic clove, a couple tablespoons of tomato paste ( puree) and some fresh herbs...DONE and ready for the BBQ again!!!
So the truth of the matter is in summer, its hot ( okay warm here in London) and I seem to crave real flame focused food. Often beer induced, charcoal crusted cooking outside on the BBQ. No pots to wash, no pans to clean up, just me and the BBQ cooking everything from sauce to dough, side dishes to desserts ( have you marinated a peach ever with lime and lime zest and grilled it??? Try it and serve with some Greek style yogurt with mint!!!!) Crank up the heat and enjoy the BBQ now, today, before the air turns chilly and your cravings turn to the hearty fare of winter....