Grilled Pizza

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When the sun is shining, and the weather warm I can’t get enough of grilling.  One of our favorites is grilled pizza.  Once you get the hang of it you won’t be happy with doing it any other way.

I’m a bit of a nut – preferring to do everything from scratch – but you could easily purchase any part of these recipes ready made.  We have an Italian Deli right next to my work, and when I am pinched for time I buy ready made pizza dough from them when I pick up the cold cuts. 

If however, you like the process – then go ahead and give the whole thing a whirl. 

One thing I find really helpful is to pre-cook all the toppings.  For example, carmelized red onions taste way better than raw!  Thinly sliced, roasted potatoes make a great topping, as do roasted sweet peppers or sauted mushrooms.  Experiment with toppings you already love and try some new ones.

Pizza dough:

3 cups flour

1 packet instant (or Rapid Rise)  yeast

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp good quality olive oil

1 cup warm water

Lightly sift together flour, salt and instant yeast.  Combine olive oil and warm water – slowly pour into flour blend.

If you have a stand mixer, allow it to do all the work for you – kneading for about 10 minutes.  If not, go ahead and dig in there – something therapeutic about kneading dough after spending the day at a desk.

Once the dough has reached a nice soft workable mass (adding either flour if it is too wet or water if it is too dry) allow it to rest for a bit before forming pizza.

SAUCE

I like my sauce simple – toss grape tomatoes (1 packet) with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper – allow to roast in a 350 oven just until the skin starts to burst.  Blend well with some olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Adding a bit of tomato paste gives it more body.

To grill pizza, get your grill nice and hot.  Either oil one side of the pizza dough, or your grate.  Cook pizza without touching for 1-2 minutes, then lift and rotate to get great grill marks.  Do not flip.  Once you have rotated, close the lid and don’t peek – let it cook for 2-3 minutes.  This will take some experimenting with your grill to know the temperatures – you want it crispy but not burnt.

Once the grilled side is nicely done, it is time to put it in a cookie sheet, cutting board, or plate to dress.  DRESS THE GRILLED SIDE.  Don’t worry, the uncooked side will not stick to the surface.  Once you have dressed the grilled side, return it to the grill and allow it to cook for another few minutes until the uncooked side is grilled perfectly and your toppings have warmed through. 

A few suggestions for toppings:

Spicy hot capicolla, red peppers, olives, mozzarella and feta cheese

ham, sauted mushrooms, carmelized red onion and applewood smoked cheddar cheese

thinly sliced roasted red potatoes, thinly sliced zucchini, fresh rosemary and mozzarella

(try the potato pizza without the traditional tomato sauce – roast a garlic bulb, add enough olive oil, chili flakes and fresh basil to get a smooth paste – smooth over pizza before adding the toppings

salami, fresh tomato, sun dried tomato and basil

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