31 July 2010

Weekend Cooking: Grilled Pizza

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I finally remembered to make pizza and take photos at the same time. It was an interesting experiment because Mr. BFR was not home during the grilling procedure, and I had to do a lot of tasks all at once. Plus the grill gets really hot, so it's not easy to get good photos. Oh well, I did my best.

I use a dough recipe from Lora Bordy's Pizza Focaccia, Flat and Filled Breads (William Morrow, 1995), and I more or less follow the grilling instructions published in a King Arthur Flour Baking Sheet a couple of years ago.

I make the dough in my bread machine, use my hands to form rustic pizzas, and grill them on my gas grill. I line half my grill with unglazed quarry tiles for finishing the pizzas. To see any of the photos full size, click on the image.

Pizza Dough
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water (and a bit more if necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
Add the ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Use the dough or pizza setting.

Forming Crusts and Initial Grilling
  • Olive oil for brushing
Just before the dough is ready, line one half of your grill with unglazed quarry tiles and heat the grill on high, using all three burners.

When the dough is ready, place it on a lightly floured surface and divide it into two or three equal balls. I make three pizzas out of this recipe because I like a thin crust. Put two balls of dough aside and cover with a tea towel. Sprinkle your peel with a bit of cornmeal.

Stretch out the the dough until it is the thickness and size you like. I make about a 10½-inch pizza because it fits my grill, peel, and tiles. Place the dough on your peel and brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Take the pizza to your grill, lay the peel on the tiles and then pick up the dough and place it, oil side down on the grill (remove the peel from the grill).

With the lid open, let the dough cook for 30 seconds. Take a spatula or your peel and rotate (do not flip) the dough 90 degrees. Then brush the top with olive oil and let the dough cook for 1 minute. Using a spatula or your peel, pick the dough up, flip it, and let it grill for 1 minute. Remove the crust from the grill without flipping it and transfer to a rack.

Repeat for the other crusts.

Making the Pizza
  • Pizza sauce (I use organic Muir Glenn)
  • toppings
  • Mozzarella cheese (I use part skim milk)
Close the lid on the grill to retain the heat.

Sprinkle your peel with some cornmeal, and place a crust on it, without flipping the crust. In other words, the side that was cooked for 1½ minutes should be facing up.

Spread on tomato sauce. Place your toppings. Top with cheese. Try not to go crazy with the cheese, otherwise the crust may get too dark before the cheese has melted. Or you can try turning down your grill.

Take your peel back to the grill and slide the pizza onto the hot quarry tiles. Close the lid and bake until the cheese has melted. This takes anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes depending on the temperature of your grill.

Repeat with your other crusts (I have two peels so I can cook the pizzas fairly quickly). Enjoy!

For pizza night this week I made a fresh basil and garlic pizza, a grated summer squash and hot pepper pizza, and an onion and black olive pizza. The basil was the winner for taste and the other two tied at a close second.

We have had a few different grilling techniques featured for Weekend Cooking this summer. Please share your own if you haven't yet done so.


Marg 7/31/10, 6:44 AM  

I have never even thought of trying to make my own pizza base! Looks good though.

wisteria 7/31/10, 7:18 AM  

That looks so yummy and I love your table ambiance.
Sounds like it is a fun thing to make and then enjoy.

Kaye 7/31/10, 7:44 AM  

homemade pizza can't be beat!! Your's looks totally scrumptious. I wonder if you can put your pizza on a baking stone on the grill. Have a wonderful weekend!

Julie P. 7/31/10, 7:45 AM  

I have never made homemade pizza, but my daughter and husband have. I bet they'd like to try it grilled!

Beth F 7/31/10, 7:50 AM  

Kay: absolutely put your stone on the grill. My stone (the one that lives in my oven) would take up most of the grill, which means that after I make the crusts I'd have to put it on and wait for it to heat up. That's my I line half the grill with the tiles, so I can keep the pizza production moving.

I have also baked bread on the grill in the summer.

Beth 7/31/10, 8:05 AM  

We grill pizza all the time (I think I've actually shared a recipe on an earlier weekend cooking) but I had need seen anyone use tiles for finishing. What a great idea! I might be off to Home Depot today to look for tiles!

Sandy Nawrot 7/31/10, 8:12 AM  

When my sister visited awhile back, we tried this. The dough kind of got all smushed up and globby when we tried to flip it, but I will admit this was more of a user problem! I have friends that swear by this cooking method. Nevertheless, you have made me crave pizza.

caite 7/31/10, 8:16 AM  

That sounds fantastic. I know I have seen a video on Cooks Illustrated of them grilling pizza and I have always wanted to try it, but chicken out...

Michelle 7/31/10, 8:39 AM  

Um, yea....that looks amazing! Wanna be my personal chef?

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 7/31/10, 9:59 AM  

Oh. My. Gosh! Fantastic step-by-step directions and photos ... thank you! I've never tried this (I'm not the griller in the family), but we should - such a smart alternative to heating the kitchen with the oven in the summer!

Rikki 7/31/10, 10:07 AM  

Oh, the pizza looks so delicious. Great instructions, too.
I know that my post today is stretching the cooking topic quite a bit...:-)

bermudaonion 7/31/10, 10:21 AM  

That looks delicious! I wonder if I can use this as an excuse to buy a bread machine?

Kristen 7/31/10, 10:36 AM  

Great post! I love grilled pizza, in fact, I bought some dough at Trader Joe's so I could make some this weekend. We usually grill the dough and then finish the pizza in the oven, but I'm going to have to look for some quarry tiles because that is a great idea. We like to make individual size pizzas because it makes flipping the dough easier and we can each customize our toppings. Now my mouth is watering for pizza :)

Margot 7/31/10, 12:50 PM  

I love this whole post. I'm inspired to try something completely new. I've never added cornmeal to my pizza dough but I'm going to give that a try. Grilling pizza dough seems like it would give the crust a nice crunchy taste.

Andi 7/31/10, 1:13 PM  

Yum! My mentor in grad school introduced me to grilled pizza, and now I loooove it! The garlic basil sounds de-lish.

Meghan 7/31/10, 4:58 PM  

Ooh, the grilled pizza recipe! I'm definitely taking note of this - someday I'll have a grill. =)

chrisa511 7/31/10, 9:22 PM  

Mmmm...I love grilled pizza so much! I made pickles this week!!

Molly 8/1/10, 7:46 AM  

I made homemade pizza last weekend from a different cookbook, The Pizza Book by Evelyne Slomon. I thought of writing a Weekend Cooking review someday (my copy is actually autographed!)

I love to use pizza as a way to use up all the lefovers in the frig :) I have never tried grilling it though. Looks delicious!

JoAnn 8/1/10, 9:54 AM  

I've been thinking about it all summer, but I really need to try and make grilled pizza!

Heather 8/1/10, 6:35 PM  

Thank you, thank you, thank you SO much for this post! I tried to make grilled pizza once before and failed miserably. I will be trying this very, very soon!

I was late to the party, but I couldn't resist posting about the Blueberry Lime jam I just finished making. I tasted it before I put it in the jars and it tastes amazing!

Unknown 8/2/10, 3:53 PM  

I love pizza! I'm going to try this. I've never grilled pizza myself but I'm up for the challenge. Ok..I dont' cook...but I'll force the husband to try it. haha! I have a recipe for pizza sauce that is actually pretty good...so if I could make this dough..I would make almost all of it from scratch. love that!

Sheila (Bookjourney) 8/2/10, 5:33 PM  

Oh seriously yummy! I need to try this.

Carole 6/9/12, 8:08 PM  

Beth - so glad you were able to contribute to the pizza collection. It is now quite mouthwatering. For one thing I didn't realise there was any such thing as dessert pizzas!

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