As promised, here is the 2016 edition of our grilled pizza recipe.
Early this summer, some friends sold all their worldly possessions and moved to Iowa. As part of their migration sale, we lucked into one of these grill inserts, and it's getting our grill up to about 800 degrees.
Which creates pizza bliss.
If you're serious about grilled pizza, I highly recommend, but even if you're just dipping your crusts into the marinara of backyard pizza grilling, this recipe won't steer you wrong. It is written for folks who do not have the fancy grill insert and it has very few ingredients, so you can probably make it this weekend if you want to.
(If you do happen to have the insert, I figure you're advanced enough in the world of pizza to know what to do, but the biggest difference is that you can put the pizza into the grill with the toppings on it already, because you don't have to flip it. Because the insert makes everything HOT.)
I'm not going to tell you how many times we had this for dinner last week--because we had a slew of dinner guests and wanted to give them our best--but no one was at all tired of it by the end. In fact, I'm kinda sorta craving another 'round. We have three days this weekend, after all. Why not spend one of them making pizza?
Grilled Margherita Pizza
(makes 2 pizzas)
For the dough
- 1 envelope pizza dough yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- about 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a dash or two for brushing as the pizza cooks
For the toppings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- a handful of fresh basil
At least three hours (and up to overnight) ahead of time, mix the dough. Begin by pouring the packet of yeast into the warm water. Add the honey, too, then stir. Add this mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on, slowly add the flour—using a little more or less, as needed—to achieve a dough that is neither sticky nor crumbly.
Form the dough into a ball, put it into a large mixing bowl, and pour the olive oil over the top. Cover with plastic wrap, and put the dough into a warm place to rise, punching it down a few times as your dinner schedule permits.
When you're ready to cook, heat your grill just as hot as you can get it. While we made great pizza without one for several years, if you have a pizza stone you can use it (allowing it to heat on the grill as the grill heats up, just like you would in your oven) to get a crisper crust.
As the grill heats, warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cherry tomato halves, then add the can of tomato sauce. Allow the sauce to barely simmer—just enough to thicken it—until your grill is at temperature.
When the grill is ready, divide the pizza dough into two balls and set one aside.
Roll the other out on a floured cutting board, then brush the top with olive oil. Place the dough olive-oil-side-down on your grill, and allow it to cook until the underside starts to crisp and darken. This usually takes a minute or two, but it will completely depend on your actual grill temperature, so use your eyes and nose rather than a timer.
Next, brush the top, uncooked side of the dough with olive oil, then flip the pizza over. Working quickly, top the pizza with half the tomato sauce and half the mozzarella. Put the lid on your grill and allow the pizza to cook for approximately 3-5 more minutes. Again, trust your eyes and nose over your timer.
(Tip for beginners: If the bottom of your pizza is starting to burn, but the top isn't quite as bubbly as you'd like it, finish it with 30 seconds under your broiler inside.)
Repeat this process with the second pizza. If you can't wait, you can go ahead and serve the first pizza while the second one cooks, but I find that—with little ones in the house—it's better to let the pizza cool for a few minutes and serve both together.
Just before slicing them up, snip a few basil leaves into confetti and sprinkle it over the tops of your pizzas. Enjoy!