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Wood-Fired Pizza: The Howler



We love to travel, and experiencing new flavors is one of our favorite parts! There was one pizza shop we looked forward to visiting every spring. Their pizzas were unique, but every one we tried was a hit! We were disappointed to see they closed over the last year, so we wanted to recreate the recipe at home. The Howler, named by my husband, has a pesto base and is topped with cheese, chicken, jerk seasoning (trust us, it works), apple-wood bacon, ham, and banana peppers. We make a Neopolitan-Style crust that rises for 24 hours before going onto our hot grill. We prefer to make smaller pizzettes for a variety of options. Please note, that your dough will need a second rise before going onto the grill.


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We use our Traeger Wood-Fired Grill, and a pizza stone for this recipe.


Dough Recipe


We have a family of 6, and adapt the recipe by King Arthur Baking Company for our crust. We have found their '00' Pizza Flour works well! The original recipe yields 2, 10-12" pizzas.


Yield: 6-7 pizzettes


4 cups King Arthur '00' Pizza Flour

1 teaspoon sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons salt (We prefer French Grey Salt for our savory recipes, and bread)

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105℉ to 115℉)


1. Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Use a dough whisk or your hands to form a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 20-24 hours.


2. After the dough has risen, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Gently pull the dough out onto your work surface, and divide in half. I prefer to use a bench scraper. Form each half into a ball. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with olive oil, and transfer the balls of dough into the dish. Cover with a lightly floured dish towel, or a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour before preparing your pizzettes.


Pesto Recipe

Basil is abundant in our garden this time of year. We use our food processor to create a fresh sauce. We use extra for chicken pesto, added into our pasta sauce, and for dipping with a crusty baguette. Store extra in a jar or sealed container for up to one week.


2 cups of fresh basil leaves, stems removed

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 clove of garlic

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper


1. Add the garlic and salt into the food processor. Pulse 5 times.

2. Add the basil, pine nuts, and pepper. Pulse 5 times.

3. Add the cheese and pulse 10 times.

4. Turn your food processor on, and stream in the olive oil until combined.


Wood-Fired Pizza: The Howler

You will see in the photos below, that I like to prep my own pizza station while our grill is heating up. It allows me to work quickly and make a variety of pizzas. While this recipe is for our Howler version, we make what each member of our family likes best!


Place your pizza stone directly on the grill grates.


Preheat your Traeger Wood-Fired Grill (lid closed) to 500℉ for 1 hour. We used Traeger's Signature Blend Hardwood Pellets


Dough

Coarse cornmeal

Extra-virgin olive oil

Pesto

Jerk seasoning

Rotisserie chicken, shredded

Deli ham, diced

Applewood bacon, cooked and chopped

Pickled Banana Pepper Rings - we buy a hot variety

Shredded cheese - We prefer a blend of whole milk mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and romano cheeses)


Steps


1. Sprinkle a handful of coarse cornmeal onto your pizza peel, and set aside.


2. Gently flour your work surface. Take one ball of prepared dough, and use your bench scraper to cut it into thirds. Take one-third, and use your hands to gently stretch it into a small pizzette. Ours are usually about 8-10" in length and 4-5" in width. Don't stress about the shape, rustic is delicious! Lay this out on your prepared pizza peel.


3. Lightly brush the entire top of your pizza with olive oil. Add your desired amount of pesto, top with shredded chicken, and sprinkle with jerk seasoning. Top with shredded cheese, ham, bacon, and banana peppers. Give your pizza peel a little shake. Is your pizza moving freely for transfer? If not, find those sticky spots, and add more cornmeal.


4. Carefully open your grill and transfer your pizza to the stone. Close the lid, and head back to start your assembly again. Each pizza may take 10-12 minutes. I am usually prepping my fourth pizzette before I take off the first.


We hope your friends and family enjoy pizza night as much as we do!


Our favorite tools, photos, and printable recipe card are below! Enjoy!









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