In the Kitchen with Peter Fillat
Pizza on the Piazza
Story & Photography by Christine Fillat
The pizzaiolo is the pizza maker. It is no simple job. It’s messy. You will end up decorated with flour, oil, and bits of garlic. My husband, Peter, learned the art of the pizzaiolo while on a semester in Florence, studying architecture. He doesn’t seem to mind the hullabaloo of the ingredients. He has perfected the art of the pizza on the outdoor grill. This is the finest pizza you will ever make. Pick your favorite toppings, make the dough, choose a lovely beverage, and be sure to be free with the olive oil. You too can be the pizzaiolo.
PETER’S THREE PIZZAS:
1. Grilled shrimp, grilled garlic, parsley, and olive oil (pictured ).
2. Tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula.
3. Tomato sauce, gorgonzola, mushrooms, and onion.
PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE:
• 5 1/2 cups flour
• 1 3/4 cups water
• Generous pinch of salt
• Generous pinch of sugar
• Package of yeast
Mix the dry ingredients together. Heat the water until it is warm like a comfortable bath. Pour the water over the dry ingredients, and mix this shaggy mass together. Mix with your hands, incorporating all of the flour, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is a nice smooth mixture.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area for a 30 minute rest.
After 30 minutes, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, dust with more flour. The dough is ready when you poke your finger into it and it bounces back.
Cut the dough into fourths. Hold one of these quarters of dough in your hands, thumbs on top. Using your fingers, tuck the edges under. Do this all around the dough; smooth the whole thing into a ball.
Coat the pizza dough balls with olive oil and place each into a separate bowl. You are now ready to grill your pizza!
Pre-heat an outdoor grill until it is nice and hot.
Cover a pizza peel or a cutting board with a good bit of cornmeal and flour. Place the pizza dough on the board and flatten it into the desired shape. Slide the pizza onto the grill and cook until the crust cooks slightly. Flip the dough and cook it on the other side.
While it is cooking, cover the pizza crust with whatever toppings you desire. Be sure to season with salt and pepper.
When the toppings have gotten to the desired level of doneness, slip the pizza off of the grill and serve.
Peter Fillat founded Peter Fillat Architects, a design studio headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The firm serves both the public and private sectors with a focus on architecture, interior design, urban design, and sustainable practices.
Christine Fillat lives on the Magothy River and is an aficionado of Chesapeake Bay cooking and living.
From Vol. 4, No. 3 2013
Annapolis Home Magazine