Grilled Garlic Beer Flatbread
It’s stopped raining for two days. So, obviously, the grill needs to come to life. There is something beautifully primal about cooking over open flames, even if those open flames are produced by propane our ancestors didn’t have access to. The fire, smoke, heat much higher than your oven is able to compete with, grilling isn’t just another way to cook food, it’s often a better way to cook food. That glorious char is worth braving the possibilities of spiders under the grill cover.
A few tips for grillin’ like a pro:
- Preheat. You want the grates hot enough to sear on contact and the space under the grill hood to be hot as well.
- Marinate your meat. There is a lot of heat in there and it’s easy to overcook meat, especially poultry. Marinating meat, like these chicken skewers, gives you a little wiggle room and allows even over-cooked meat to stay juicy.
- Oil for flavor not for sticking. Contrary to popular belief, your meat and veggies will release from the grill when the char marks appear. No need to oil so the meat won’t stick. But it can add a little extra flavor, especially olive oil. But you’re better off oiling the food in most cases.
- Thermometer. If you want to get the perfect level of doneness, don’t leave it to chance. Get an inexpensive thermometer and take your meat off the grill when it’s 5 degrees below the temp you want, it will continue to cook even after you remove it from the grill.
- Grill. It. All. Not just burgers and dogs, vegetables, fruit, dessert and bread are all awesome with a little love from the grill. Pizza is one of my favorite grilled foods and a great way to feed picky eaters and people who don’t like meat.
- Skewers + Water. If you won’t have metal skewers and want to make a few meat or veggie sticks, soak bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from scorching or catching on fire. Put them on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, fill with water and place a heavy plate on top keep them submerged.
- Session beer. Ok, this isn’t a grilling tip but more of a reminder. If you’re going to spend the day drinking and hanging with friends (friends who may need to drive later), skip the high ABV beers and fill your beer tub with tasty, lower alcohol craft beers. Here are some of my favorite session beers for spring and summer.
- 2 ¼ cups (300g) bread flour
- 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp or 7g) rapid rise yeast
- 1/2 tsp (2g) garlic powder
- 3/4 cup (226g) beer
- 3 tbs (40g) olive oil
- 1 tsp (6g) salt
- 2 tbs unsalted butter, melted (olive or for vegan)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, yeast and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Mix until combined.
- In a microwave safe bowl add the beer. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, test temperature with a cooking thermometer and repeat until temperature reaches between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the beer to the stand mixer and mix on medium speed. Once most of the dough has been moistened, add olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt while the mixer is still running.
- Turn speed to high and beat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm room until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from bowl and add to a lightly floured surface. Knead several times, cut into 8 equal sized pieces.
- One at a time form the dough into 6 inch circles.
- Preheat a grill to medium high. Combine the melted butter, remaining garlic powder and salt.
- Place circles on the grill until the dough releases and the underside has grill marks, about 2 minutes. Brush with the top with the melted butter. Grill until dough is cooked through, about 2 additional minutes.
- Remove from grill, serve warm.