I fully expected that Peter Reinhart’s grilled pizza dough (based on the famed Il Forno grilled pizzas) would spank my semolina dough six ways from Sunday. Here’s the thing, though…
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying mine was superior. I have a long way to go before I can come near possessing the breadth (get it?) of expertise and knowledge that Peter Reinhart has attained. I can say, however, that both doughs were outrageously delicious. Mine had that little extra earthy flavor kick from the semolina. That alone gave my dough the little leg up that made it my preferred recipe.
Both Reinhart’s dough and mine were superbly supple. They stretched out easily, resisted tearing and were simple to work with grill-side.
Since there was no clearly superior dough it all comes down to personal preference. I’ll be sticking with my dough, but I’m eager to move on and try other pies from Reinhart’s “My American Pie”. Next installment of pizza madness will come in the form of Chicago style deep dish. Stay tuned!
One final thought. Even better than the pizzas was what we did with the leftover dough. Even we couldn’t finish off two full-sized large batches of pizza dough in one night and believe-you-me we’re no slouches when it comes to putting away a great deal of food. So the day after our pizza I was left with a large amount of pizza dough. I could’ve frozen it, but I forgot to make our daily sandwich bread with all my pizza preoccupation…
Necessity is the mother of invention and I am the mother of five hungry necessities. And so was born a lunch that got the stamp of approval from the entire peanut gallery. Fried pizza dough. It’s this simple.
Fried Pizza Dough
Leftover grilled pizza dough balls
Pecorino Romano Cheese
Optional: Marinara Sauce for serving!
Flatten a dough ball on a cutting board and use a bench knife to lop it into approximately 2″-3″ pieces. It doesn’t matter what size they are, it’s just that the dough spreads quite a bit and you’ll probably want to fit more than one piece in your frying pan at a time. Take each small piece of dough and stretch it out about Ritz cracker thin. This dough can handle it!
Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan (like a cast iron skillet) over medium high heat. When pan is hot, drizzle about 1 Tablespoon olive oil over the bottom of the pan and carefully lay the dough pieces in the hot oil. As the dough begins to cook, sprinkle a small amount of minced garlic and Italian seasonings on it.
After about 2 minutes the underside of the dough should be a nice golden brown in some spots and a dark crunchy brown in others. Flip the dough pieces and allow to finish cooking, about another 2 minutes. Remove to a rack in a warm oven and finish cooking all the dough pieces. Pile the dough in a large serving bowl and grate copious amounts of Pecorino Romano cheese over the whole works.
If desired, serve with marinara sauce.
Here’s what the little beauties looked like.