Dishing the DivineYum!

grilled pizza

June 12th, 2011 · 8 Comments

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Summer break has officially come and I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce you. Summer break, meet readers. Readers, meet summer break. There. Now that introductions have been made¬† we can settle into the real business of how the heck to get this amazing pizza into your mouth as fast as possible.Grilling pizza has always terrified me. Let’s think about how many things can go wrong, shall we? First off, there’s the obvious: what happens when the entire pizza falls through the grill grates? Or, worse yet, what happens if you’re cooking the pizza and the dough just kind of melts through the grates? That would be a nightmare. Or you add your toppings and then they fall into the coals? Isn’t all of that doomed to happen?

No. Not with this recipe. Cook’s Illustrated has come up with a dough that won’t melt through the grate. And unless you have spectacular aim, I found it difficult to get the entire pizza to slip through the gaps in the grate. As long as you place the dough down against the grain, it won’t fall through. And your toppings are added after the pizza is half cooked, meaning that they stay on the “crispy” side and therefore won’t fall off. All will be fine, I promise.

All this doesn’t mean that this pizza is mere child’s play, though. You really do have to have all your ingredients prepped and all your tools lined up. But once you put the dough on the grill and realize that it really won’t melt into a gooey, charcoal mess, I promise it’s easy.

Will I make this again? You bet. On Wednesday, in fact, when our friends are coming to eat dinner and celebrate summer break with us.¬† And next time, I will replace the garlic oil mixture with pesto. I can’t wait. It’s going to be phenomenal. :)

grilled pizza

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 4 grilled pizzas

Ingredients

dough:
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup water, room temperature
2 cups bread flour (11 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 tbsp whole wheat flour (optional)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp instant yeast
topping:
1 1/2 lb medium plum tomatoes (5-6), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 tsp table salt
6 oz fontina cheese (I used 3 oz Jarlsberg cheese and 3 oz mozzarella cheese because that's what I had on hand)
1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
sea salt or kosher salt
spicy garlic oil:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 tsp)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. FOR THE SPICY GARLIC OIL: Cook olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to sizzle 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
  2. FOR THE CRUST: Combine oil and water in liquid measuring cup. In food processor fitted with plastic dough blade or metal blade, process bread flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine running, slowly add liquid through feed tube; continue to process until dough forms tacky, elastic ball that clears sides of workbowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. If dough ball does not form, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time and process until dough ball forms. Spray medium bowl lightly with nonstick cooking spray or rub lightly with oil. Transfer dough to bowl and press down to flatten surface; cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in draft-free spot until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. When dough has doubled, press down gently to deflate; turn dough out onto work surface and divide into 4 equal-sized pieces. With cupped palm, form each piece into smooth, tight ball. Set dough balls on well-floured work surface. Press dough rounds with hand to flatten; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  4. FOR THE TOPPING: Meanwhile, toss tomatoes and table salt in medium bowl; transfer to colander and drain 30 minutes (wipe out and reserve bowl). Shake colander to drain off excess liquid; transfer tomatoes to now-empty bowl and set aside. Combine cheeses in second medium bowl and set aside.
  5. Gently stretch dough rounds into disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Working one piece at a time and keeping the rest covered, roll out each disk to 1/8-inch thickness, 9 to 10 inches in diameter, on well-floured sheet of parchment paper, dusting with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. (If dough shrinks when rolled out, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until relaxed, 10 to 15 minutes.) Dust surface of rolled dough with flour and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough, stacking sheets of rolled dough on top of each other (with parchment in between) and covering stack with plastic wrap; set aside until grill is ready.
  6. TO GRILL: Ignite 6 quarts (1 large chimney) hardwood charcoal or briquettes in chimney starter and burn until fully ignited, 15 to 20 minutes. Empty coals into grill and spread into even layer over three-quarters of grill, leaving one quadrant free of coals. Position cooking grate over coals and heat until grill is medium-hot, about 5 minutes (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill grate for 4 seconds); scrape grate clean with grill brush.
  7. Lightly flour pizza peel; invert 1 dough round onto peel, gently stretching it as needed to retain shape (do not stretch dough too thin; thin spots will burn quickly). Peel off and discard parchment; carefully slide round onto hot side of grill. Immediately repeat with another dough round. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles (pierce larger bubbles with paring knife) and bottoms are grill marked and charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes; while rounds cook, check undersides and slide to cool area of grill if browning too quickly. Transfer crusts to cutting board browned sides up. Repeat with 2 remaining dough rounds.
  8. Brush 2 crusts generously with Spicy Garlic Oil; top each evenly with one-quarter of cheese mixture and one-quarter of tomatoes. Return pizzas to grill and cover grill with lid; cook until bottoms are well browned and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes, checking bottoms frequently to prevent burning. Transfer pizzas to cutting board; repeat with remaining 2 crusts. Sprinkle pizzas with basil and coarse salt to taste; cut into wedges and serve immediately.
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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LeAnn // Jun 12, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Geeez does that look good. Another gorgeous photo.
    Rick has been grilling pizza for years and it is SO GOOD. And fast and less oven-y. Love-ity love it. Gonna have to try this recipe!

  • 2 Pretty. Good. Food. // Jun 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Gorgeous! Your photos are inspiring :)

  • 3 Noya - gluttonandstudent // Jun 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Wow I didn’t think making grilled pizza would be so intricate! I’ve always wanted to try it, and I’ll be sure to follow your tips when making it. Your’s looks delicious!

  • 4 Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 // Jun 13, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I’ve burnt pizza on the grill in the past, and also made a huge mess with the toppings so I’m excited to try this version. It’s beautiful.

    PS -I just failed the math test below. I think you need to tutor me.

  • 5 natalie (the sweets life) // Jun 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

    we LOVE pizza on the grill all summer and haven’t done it yet this year, thanks for the reminder and inspiration!

    your photos, by the way, are fab!

  • 6 Mary // Jun 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

    The pie looks delicious.The CI folks always come up with a great recipe. You’ve executed it perfectly. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • 7 Bakerbynature // Jun 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Ah, just another reason for me to FINALLY get a grill… yum!

  • 8 deb burow // Aug 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Made this and it was wonderful. During the process I found out that parchment and wax paper ARE NOT interchangeable!!! I have not ever used parchment paper and if a recipe called for it I used a brown paper bag. So I rolled the dough between wax papers, one dough on top of the other. They looked great, of course, until I tried to remove them. They were going nowhere! They were very stuck. Luckily a good friend who is a good cook was over for dinner. She helped me scrape them off the wax paper (we even tried throwing them in the freezer for a few minutes to no avail! finally peeled and rerolled, it worked fine, this dough must be veryyyyyy resilient. Only got three pizzas instead of four, but they were crispy and delicious, everyone loved them. And there was enough for 6 hungry people. Also helped that there was a lot of laughter and flour everywhere as we attempted to save the dinner. We have great friends.

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