I grew up with a pizzeria on every corner but not too many grills in backyards. Maybe that’s why I never thought of grilling pizza until the last few years. If you haven’t tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing. The dough is so delicious, it always gets nibbled en route from grill to kitchen.
Make your own pizza dough (see recipe below) or ask your local pizzeria to sell you a dough ball. Depending on where you live, they might look at you oddly, but if it’s a place you frequent, they should be happy to oblige you. Tell them you’re going to put it on your grill. The ones in the supermarket will do in a pinch, but they’re a poor substitute.
Spread a thin coat of olive oil onto a cookie sheet. Stretch out the dough and drizzle with more olive oil.
Getting the dough onto the grill takes a little practice. You can see what works for you. This is what we do: Bring the cookie sheet over to the grill. Pick up the dough by one edge, swing it out and plop it onto the grill. It’s going to be irregularly shaped, but perfectly delicious.
A simpler method which we find ourselves using more often (it’s so much easier) is dividing the dough into smaller portions to make smaller, “personal” pies.
Flip the dough when it’s lightly browned. When both sides are golden, remove dough from the grill and turn the grill down to med. (You want a cooler grill for heating the pizza with the toppings).
Grilled pizza tastes best with fresh toppings. Layer the following:
- fresh tomatoes, sliced
- fresh basil leaves, whole
- dash of dried oregano
- freshly ground black pepper
or try this version with a garlicky cream sauce and shrimp: Shrimp Bella Venezia Pizza ala Bertucci’s
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE
- 4 1/4 + cups bread flour
- 1 packet (2 1/4 t) yeast
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1 3/4 c water
- 2 T olive oil
Whisk together 4 c flour with yeast and salt. Mix in water and oil until incorporated.
Knead on a lightly floured counter, adding remaining flour as needed to prevent sticking. Knead until the dough forms a smooth ball (10-15 minutes).
Transfer to lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled (1- 1 1/2 hours).
Divide dough into three pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
Stretch each ball into a 12-inch round on lightly greased cookie sheet. (Don’t stress too much about getting it perfectly round, since it will look more like an amoeba once you get it onto the grill). Pull up the dough on one end and flip gently onto the hot grill. This might take a little practice. You can always divide the dough into 4 (or even 5) balls for smaller, personal size pizzas the first couple of times.
Grill until dough is blistered and edges are golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Turn the grill down to med/low.
Add your toppings. (Try to resist tasting the hot crispy dough before you finish assembling your pizza. We
rarely never succeed). Return to the grill until the topping is hot and cheese is bubbly.
Dough can be refrigerated for up to 16 hours. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before dividing and shaping.