Pizza...on the grill, wha?

I don't really talk much about food here on my blog, but I do a decent amount of cooking.  Mainly, I do the desserts and snacks or appetizers, and David handles the main course most nights.  You see, David enjoys cooking more so than I do, but when I find the time, I like to try out new ideas and get my creative juices flowing that way.  This summer, I've attempted Lavender infused vodka for nice lemonade cocktails, I created a garlic aioli from scratch for an excellent BLT/BLAT (with avocado!) That attempt was pretty fun to get to use the immersion blender...and most recently, I attempted pizza dough.

So, I convinced David that we could have that woodburning outdoor oven pizza taste, without actually building an outdoor oven.  I'd seen soooo many posts on grilling pizza on both Apartment Therapy's Kitchn and Tastespotting, that I was starting to think I could actually do it.

(Image from the Kitchn)

So, I searched the interwebs and found a recipe for dough that sounded easy enough and went to it.  No rise dough?  Count me in! I doubled the recipe because I wasn't sure how big they would be, but we ended up with four small-to-medium size pizzas, but the normal recipe would've been enough for two people- I was just so excited! I would say a normal person would eat one pizza by themselves.

Home-made Thin Crust Pizza
Makes 2 pizzas
For the dough:
6 ounces of water
1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
(I added these to make the dough tastier)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp honey

Prep your grill by heating it until it reaches approximately 500 degrees.  Turn it on and let it be heating while you make your dough.  Also, it is a good idea to have all of your toppings ready to go by pre-slicing or par-cooking anything that might not cook while on the grill.  The pizzas are actually only on the grill 5-7 minutes, so unless your veggies are cut really thin, you might want to saut√©' them beforehand as I did with a mushroom/onion/garlic mixture.  And you definitely want any meat toppings to be cooked prior to placing them on the pizza.

(Our toppings included prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, feta, fresh basil, avocado, cooked mushroom/onion/garlic mixture, sliced Roma tomatoes and a shredded cheese mix.)

In a small glass or pyrex bowl, add the yeast to the water and use a fork or whisk to stir it into the water. Set this aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve.  It's ok if the yeast doesn't bubble, but it should be entirely dissolved and the mixture should look like thin miso soup.  I added honey to this wet mixture and stirred it in. 
Next, measure out the flour into a large glass mixing bowl.  Add the salt and garlic powder, use a whisk to combine. 
Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together. Drizzle a little olive oil over the dough if it is really sticky.
Prep the counter with two 12" x 12" pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper and a floured working area for kneading the dough.  When the dough comes together into a semi-cohesive ball in your mixing bowl, turn it out onto the floured counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn't yet gotten worked in.  
Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch--about five minutes. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it's sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it's smooth and silky.

Next, divide the dough in two equal portions.  Place each dough ball on your wax paper or parchment papers and work the dough into a disc shape and working from the middle of the dough outwards.  Use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick or less.  Repeat with the second piece of dough.  If you tear a hole in the dough, just tear some dough off the outside edge to patch the hole.
Tip: I also used some yellow cornmeal to dust on each side of the dough and this helped it from sticking to the paper and to the grill.

{Grill time:}
Take your dough (still on the wax paper) out to the grill and assemble a workstation with all of your toppings lined up, you will be "making" your pizza while it is on the grill.  Set up a table or bench near the grill so that you have easy access to everything.  Good grilled pizza is as much about the organization and logistics as it is about actual cooking!  Everything happens really fast once you place the dough on the grill.

Lay the dough on the grill, wax paper still attached, dough side down and then peel the paper off the top.  Let dough cook 2-3 minutes, with the lid open, until the dough starts to form bubbles as in the photo below, then flip the dough with tongs or a spatula.  Don't worry, the dough won't fall through the cracks!

After you flip the dough, begin brushing sauce on the cooked dough side, followed by your toppings.  Spread on a thin layer of sauce, some cheese, and desired toppings.  Keep in mind, it shouldn't be too heavily loaded, or the pizza won't cook well.  Close the lid and let cook a few more minutes. 

Remove the lid, then check that the dough isn't burning by lifting the edge with your tongs.  The edges should be crisp and well done, and the cheese should all be melted. Drag the pizza off with the spatula or tongs. Let cool for 2 minutes, then cut into pieces and eat!

{Our masterpieces:}
(Sliced tomatoes not cooked very well, had to go back on the grill)

Look at the yummy crust!!

Sliced avocado placed on the pizza after it's cooked is delish, as well as cracking a raw egg in the last few seconds of cooking.



The Blonde Mule said...

Yay! I'm so glad you posted how to do this. John & I can't wait to recreate it.

P.S. John & I were their test kitchen about a 2 weeks ago & I can vouch for the deliciousness of these pizzas!

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

a typical meal at my parent's house in L.A.

Eartha Kitsch said...

I didn't know that you have a blog. I'm excited! I can't wait to sit down and read through it. I'm also excited about this recipe. I've always wanted to do pizza on the grill.

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