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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bread and Pizza Sub Baked on Outdoor Grill

We are in the midst of a heat wave here with temperatures soaring into the 90's (ºF) but with the humidex it feels over the 100's (ºF).  The air is so heavy that breathing outdoors is difficult.  Environment Canada has issued ozone alerts, smog alerts and humidex warnings.  Cooling centres have been opened in larger communities while anyone who can is staying indoors in the air conditioning.  This is the type of weather that I don't like to do much cooking that will put an additional strain on the air conditioning.

bread dough on grill
I was browsing through the easy recipes on the Life Made Delicious website.   A recipe for cooking a sub sandwich on the grill caught my interest so I decided to put my own spin on it.  I made a batch of French bread dough then divided into two pieces.  After shaping and proofing one loaf was placed in the oven while the other went onto the grill.  I know I should not have used the oven but it was the only way to compare oven baked to grill baked bread.  I've often mentioned here how I use the grill as an oven in the summer months but haven't shown much as to how I actually use it. 

I turned both burners on to heat the grill then turned one burner off so the bread would bake on indirect heat to prevent excess browning on the bottom of the loaf.  I placed the prepared loaf on a heavy, parchment paper lined oven pan.  Our grill is quite old as grills go, now onto it's eighth year of heavy year round use so a couple of things like the auto ignite and thermometer no longer work.  From experience though, I'm able to get the grill to the proper temperature for baking bread.  We've already bought a new dual fuel grill (more on that later) for when we move.  It's sitting safely in the crate in the garage.

bread baked on grill
Part way through the baking process I noticed the bottom getting a bit darker than I wanted.   So I carefully place a cake rack under the baking pan, raising it just enough from the grates to slow the browning.  The loaf of bread was looking good while filling the air with the wonderful aroma of baking bread.  Meanwhile the kitchen was smelling yummy as well.  I just love the smell of baking bread!

I've always wanted a wood fired outdoor oven for baking breads and pizza.  That just might be a goal for our new house if we ever get this house sold.

bread baked on grill compared to oven baked
I don't bake breads according to time but rather to doneness using the tap test.  Pictured are the two loaves of bread.  The oven baked loaf (top) was a bit smaller than the grill baked bread (bottom).  The oven baked loaf was destined for that night's dinner and sandwiches the next day.  The grill baked bread was just a little over a foot long, ideal for my grilled sub experiment.  The crust was nicely browned on both loaves of bread.  There was no difference in texture. 

Breads baked on the grill have a very subtle smokiness.   It is quite possible with breads baked on the grill to add a touch of additional smokiness if desired.  This is easily done using a small foil smoking packet of soaked wood chips of your choice.  The packet should be small enough to give just a hint of the smokiness, not overpower the flavour of the bread.  The hint of hickory in grill baked bread pairs nicely sliced ham for sandwiches. 
pizza sub on grill
Years ago when my husband and I were dating we used to get pizza subs at a little family run pizzeria, Bella Pizza.  The subs were wrapped in foil and warmed through in their pizza oven. They were delicious!  Unfortunately, the place closed down over twenty years ago so those pizza subs are only fond memories now.  I decided to make the grill baked loaf of bread into a pizza sub with my husband's help.  We sliced the loaf of bread in half the topped each piece with homemade pizza sauce.   We covered the bottom slice with sliced mozzarella cheese and cooked ham.  We wrapped the sub in foil then placed it on the grill to warm through (about 10 minutes).

The pizza sub was quite good!  It was a very quick meal to put together at about 15 minutes from start to serving.  There was minimal clean-up and no heat from cooking in the kitchen, perfect for a blistering hot summer day.  Subs done this way would make for a great camping meal as well.  I will definitely be experimenting with more subs on the grill!

[Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Connector program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.]

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