Grilled Pizza. Yummy.

>> Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I have been making this all summer long. It couldn't be easier (or more economical) Obviously you can change this up any way you like to suit your family's tastes. You can also make your own dough if you're so inspired. Typically I'm not so inspired. Read: Lazy.

Anyway, here we go!
Ingredients:

store bought whole wheat pizza dough (1 lb size)
flour for dusting
olive oil
2-3 whole heads of garlic
fresh mozzarella (1/2 lb)
grated cheddar cheese, about 1 cup
fresh tomatoes, sliced
fresh basil*
salt and pepper


I've always had trouble with the premade doughs- getting them to rise properly and then getting them to stretch large enough to make a pizza. I'd roll them out and they'd snap right back like an elastic band and I'd wind up with some thick dough frisbee type thing, not a thin cripsy pizza crust. After much messing and many so-so pizzas, I think I've finally discovered a method that works for me (so far) every time.

Place the dough in a small bowl and drizzle it with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and crusting. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or cloth napkin.

Set it on the counter at room temp for about an hour.

If you're following my recipe for the pizza toppings, while your dough is rising, preheat your oven to 450 and prep your garlic. Slice the tops off your garlic heads, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap them tightly in foil and roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Once the dough has had it's hour to rise, remove the towel and literally punch the dough down to remove the air. Recover it and let it sit another 30 minutes or so.

While the dough is in those last 30 minutes of resting, I prep my other ingredients (shred my cheese, slice my veggies, etc). The garlic should be out of the oven by now and cool enough to handle. Squeeze the cloves out of their skins (should come right out) and into a bowl.
Drizzle with about a tbsp of olive oil (+/-) and sprinkle with a touch more salt and pepper. Mash up the cloves with a fork until you have a nice garlic paste to spread on your dough. (I am making a sauceless pizza)
Preheat your grill to high. Clean the grates well and then using a basting brush or a clean kitchen rag lightly brush over the grates with olive oil.

Rolling out your dough: For ease in transfer, I roll out my dough on a large cutting board that I can carry right out to the grill.
Dust the board with a pinch of flour and also dust your rolling pin. Roll the dough out in several directions, adding additional small pinches of flour as needed to prevent sticking. I also periodically flip the dough over while rolling to help keep the circular shape. They don't have to be perfect, they just need to be basically round enough to resemble pizza and thin enough so you don't end up with a dense, bready mass instead of a nice crust.

Carefully transfer the dough to the grill (If you're making a large pizza, I find the assistance of two big spatulas helpful for getting the dough off the cutting board and onto my grill) An alternate option is to cut the dough into smaller portions and make mini pizzas- much easier to move the dough around.
Allow the dough to cook for about 1-2 minutes, then flip and give it another 1-2 minutes. You may get some giant air pockets during this process. Just puncture them with the corner of your spatula and you're good to go!
Remove the dough from the grill and bring it back inside for topping- this is a lot of fun for the kids- When I have patience, I make the mini pizzas and let them pick out their own toppings and arrange them however they'd like. Today I am tired and hungry after a long day at the beach (I know poor me, right?) and so I opted to just make two large pizzas with basic ingredients that everyone in my house likes.

Use a spoon to scoop and spread your garlic paste across your grilled dough. Top your pizza(s) with the rest of your ingredients and then return to the grill to melt the cheese.
I turn the grill to low, sometimes I even turn it off depending on how hot it's gotten. Usually it takes about 6-8 minutes for everything to get gooey and delicious looking. Or maybe I'm just really hungry, so I pull it off when I can't wait any longer!
*Note: don't top the pizza with fresh basil before cooking. It will turn dark and slimy (although still taste fine). Instead, snip or tear it into small pieces and sprinkle it over the pizza as you bring it to the table. The smell is divine!

1 comments:

Go Green! August 5, 2011 at 1:21 PM  

Wow! I can't wait to try this one! It looks yummy!!

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