Grilled Pizza
Grilled Pizza

Grilled Pizza

  

August 26, 2016

A perfect dish to utilize all those fresh veggies this fall! I was first introduced to Grilled Pizza a couple of years ago by the experts, Jessi and Matt Brown. Since then, it has become a popular way to enjoy summer and entertain friends and family. I am taking Grilled Pizza to the next level to show what Bon appétit calls a “blank canvas for perfect farmers’ market produce!" Experiment with some of my favorite combinations listed below or create your own. Watch Becky Low make this recipe on Studio 5

Ingredients

Topping Combinations

Ricotta + crisp cooked bacon + cracked egg with unbroken yolk + Parmesan + olive oil + cracked black pepper

Olive oil + Gruyere + cooked diced new potatoes + rosemary + garlic + Parmesan

Pizza sauce + Mozzarella + cooked Italian sausage + sauteed mushrooms + wilted spinach + sliced stuffed green olives

Alfredo sauce + garlic + Provolone + cooked shredded chicken + sliced green onions + diced tomatoes + Parmesan

Olive oil + Mozzarella + thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes + cracked pepper + salt and chopped basil after grilling

Olive oil + crumbled Blue + Brie + thin sliced pears + chopped walnuts + drizzle with honey after baking

Olive oil + Queso Fresco + roasted chili peppers + cooked chicken + garlic

Homemade Pizza Dough*

3 cups warm water, divided

2 teaspoons yeast, divided

1 tablespoon brown sugar

6-7 ½ cups flour, divided

1 tablespoon salt

1-4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together 1 ½-cups warm water, 1-teaspoon yeast and brown sugar; stir in 2 ½-cups flour. Cover bowl with a clean cloth and set aside at room temperature for 1-24 hours. NOTE: Dough will raise; occasionally stir dough down to prevent it from spilling over the bowl. The longer the dough rises the better the flavor develops.

When ready to proceed, stir 1-teaspoon yeast into ½-cup water. Stir remaining 1-cup warm water, salt and oil into sponge. Add yeast water and about 3 ½-cups more flour. Stir in enough more flour to make a soft dough that is slightly sticky. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Place sheet of heavy aluminum foil in center of grill, shiny side down to deflect heat. Preheat grill to 450-500 degrees. For 12-inch pizzas, divide dough into 6 balls and lightly oil surface to prevent drying until ready to shape (if needed, place dough balls in refrigerator to slow rising).

Flatten dough balls and toss or roll to desired diameter and thickness. Place dough on pizza screens or pan.

When your ready to create your perfect pizza choose one or more of the combo suggestions in the ingredient section. Less ingredients is best. Thinly slice or dice ingredients; pre-cook meats and vegetables; shred, crumble or slice cheeses; add fresh herbs after cooking. Add toppings to pizza.

Place your pizza on pre-heated grill, close lid and grill 4-8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bottom is browned (depending on grill and pizza).

Quick Method:

Stir together warm water, yeast and brown sugar. Beat in 2-3 cups of flour, salt and olive oil. Gradually add enough more flour until dough is stiff enough to handle but still slightly sticky. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (sprinkle surface with additional flour, as needed, to keep dough from sticking. Continue with dividing, preparing and baking as instructed above.

*May substitute pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store. Look for it in the bakery, deli, or frozen foods. If you don’t see it, ask for it.

Topping Tips

Less is best. Keep it simple! To start, choose one or two of the suggested topping combinations - then expand and experiment.

  1. Sauce: limit to about 1/4-cup per 10 to 12-inch pizza - it should not look like enough (red, alfredo, pesto). When sauce is not used, splash dough with a little olive oil and jump directly to the cheeses.
  2. Cheese: Nice to use a combination of 2 or 3 cheeses. Great pizza cheese include Parmesan, fresh and aged Mozzarella, Fontina, Queso Fresco, or your favorite cheeses.
  3. Use pre-cook meats and vegetables
  4. Add juicy sliced vegetables (like tomatoes) to a pre-cooked pizza crust (they have a tendency to weep and will make crust soggy.
  5. Add fresh snipped herbs, flake salt, and fresh ground pepper after it’s cooked, to “finish” the pizza and add “life” to your creation.
  6. Technique

    Gas Grill:

    The preferred method because there is more control over the heat. Grills, either gas or charcoal, vary greatly making grilled pizza not an exact science - which adds to the fun. Watch closely and expect a little trial and error. I like to grill a pizza blank as a tester. The grill should be HOT, around 450-500 degrees inside the closed lid.

    Pizza Stone:

    Creates a more even pizza cooking surface, but beware, sudden changes in temperature may break your stone. Preheat the stone and the grill at the same time on medium-high to 500 degrees.

    Direct Cook on Grill Grates:

    Pre-cook pizza crust before topping. Brush the bottom of the pizza dough well with oil and place directly on the pizza grates. Flip dough to grill both sides. Watch closely to prevent charring. Remove from the grill, add toppings and return to the grill to melt cheese and heat toppings.

    Pizza Screens and Foil:

    This is my preferred method. Pizza screens are relatively inexpensive when purchased at restaurant stores. Stretch or roll pizza dough to the diameter of the screen, gently place dough on screen (don’t press it down and into the holes of the screen or it will stick). Add toppings and place on hot pre-heated grill. Close lid and grill between 4-7 minutes. To help prevent bottom of pizza from over cooking, place a piece of heavy foil about the size of the pizza screen, shiny side down, on grill grates before heating the grill. (don’t completely cover grill grates with foil). Crimp foil on the grate to keep in place.

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