The Problem with Pizza

Had a grill pizza malfunction the other night.

Not the first time I’ve had a cooking problem… won’t be the last, I’m sure.

I’m sure everyone has them. Amateurs, professionals, some guy making macaroni and cheese on a hot plate or a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. You make miscalculations, you swing for the fences and whiff terribly. Sometimes, it’s just a brain fart.

The High Priestess can tell you all about the time I was attempting bacon wrapped scallops. They looked good, but the bacon was undercooked and the scallops were overcooked. It was like trying to chew a small rubber ball. I was annoyed because I was really hungry for them, and also because scallops aren’t cheap and I had desecrated bacon.

I remember another one where I was making a big pot of clam chowder and it would not reduce and thicken. I was dumping in corn starch, just trying to thicken it up when I realized I had covered the pot.

File that under the “brain fart” category.

This brings me to the pizza malfunction. We were having nice weather and I thought it would be nice to make a pizza on the grill. Dragged out the trusty old Pampered Chef pizza stone, got it on the Traeger and got it fired up.

IMG_9875While the stone was preheating, I opened the dough. I had worked with premade pizza shells before, but this is the first time I tried to use a dough ball. I was thinking I should probably use half of the ball, but as I stretched it out, it didn’t seem too thick. I spread cornmeal on the cutting board I was using, but should’ve used a little more.

If you’re keeping score at home, less dough, more cornmeal.

IMG_9876I spread the sauce and cheese, then I added sliced Campari tomatoes. Looked very good. The stone had preheated and I was ready to rock. Until I couldn’t get the pizza off the cutting board and onto the stone (See, I had cheaped out and never bought a pizza peel). After much cursing and gnashing of teeth, we managed to move the pizza, but my carefully applied toppings had all kind of pooled in the center.

Oh, well, what can you do?

Let it cook for around 10 minutes, the opened the grill.

It was the doughpocalypse, y’all.

IMG_9878Even with the crazy amount of dough, the pizza tasted good. Sauce and cheese were good, tomatoes rocked. But the dough.

So. Much. Dough.

We wound up with a pizza that was around two inches thick at the thickest point.

So, the moral of the story… if you think you’re using too much dough, you probably are. Oh, and spend the money on a peel.

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