Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pizza on the Grill

Continuing on our quest to find exciting ways to prepare the chicken sausages we get from Papa Franks/Pete's Place, hubby came up with the idea to make pizzas on the grill.

Can I just say, O.M.G.  I am not a big pizza fan.  Blasphemous, I know, right?  I don't eat many carbs anymore, and pizza weighs me down for what seems like days.  But these pizzas were fantastic!

We started with homemade dough.  We modified the Basic Pizza Dough recipe from Steven Raichlen's The Barbecue Bible.  Let me just say, if you want to learn how to grill just about anything, this is the grill book for you!  We've tried many recipes and techniques from The Barbecue Bible and they've all turned out great!


2-3 hours for making and raising dough

1 envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons cornmeal (original recipe calls for fine 'white' cornmeal)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (original recipe calls for whole wheat flour)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for the bowl
3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, more as needed

We mixed our dough in our mixer using the dough hook.  You can also mix by hand or in your food processor.

Place 1 cup of warm water in mixing bowl and add the yeast and sugar.  Stir until the sugar dissolves, then let the yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes.  Stir in the salt, cornmeal, flaxseed and olive oil.  Turn mixer on low and using dough hook, gradually stir in enough all-purpose flour to form dough ball.  Mix until smooth and elastic.  The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky.

Lightly oil a clean large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl, brush the top with olive oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.  Punch down the dough.

Let the dough rise again until double in size, 40-50 minutes.  Punch the dough down.  The recipe makes enough dough for 2 - 9x13 pizza crusts.  We divided it into 3 equal sections so we could make individual pizzas.

The dough after we split into 3 sections.

Set up your grill for two-zone grilling.  In our case, our gas grill has 4 burners, the two on the left were on high, the two on the right were on low.

Stretch the dough on a cookie pan using olive oil. Using oil helps crisp the dough (as opposed to using flour).  Keep stretching until the dough is the thickness you prefer.

We like our crust on the thin side.

Grilling Instructions
Working with one rectangle of dough at a time and using both hands, gently lift the dough from the baking sheet.  Drape it on the grill grate over the hot (high heat) zone.  Within a minute or two, the underside of the dough will crisp, darken and harden and the top will puff slightly.  Using two tongs or a spatula, turn the dough over and move to the cool zone (low heat) of the grill.

Once you move to the cool zone, lightly brush with olive oil (or not) and begin putting your toppings on.

 Can you guess who's pizza this is?

Haley opted for regular pepperoni pizza.  And, yes, there are way more pepperonis under the cheese.  I just added the three on top of her pizza to be goofy.

This is MY pizza.  I used a very light roasted red pepper alfredo sauce and topped with mushrooms, green onions, yellow summer squash, the to-die-for spicy chicken sausage and mozzarella cheese.

We had grilled the sausage and veggies before we started the crusts.  These were the toppings for hubby's pizza... basil, sausage, mushrooms, yellow summer squash, tomatoes and red onions.  Everything was grilled except the basil.  He also added feta, goat and mozzarella cheese.

Jim decided to add a bit of pizza sauce after he'd assembled his pizza.

Once your toppings are loaded on, we grilled on cool zone (low heat) for about 15 minutes or so, until the cheese was melted and golden brown. Haley's cooked a bit faster because she had less toppings, so just ensure you watch it until it's cooked the way you like it!

This pizza rocked!  It's all about the crust!  It was flavorful, hearty, rustic and crisp.  And light.  It didn't weigh me down like normal pizza crust.

This isn't something to do if you're in a hurry, but it makes for a fun family event when you can all hang out and prepare it together.

We're thinking we might actually make a larger batch of dough, do the initial grilling and then freeze the grilled dough to use later.  That way, you can pull it out, defrost, toss on the grill to reheat and then add your toppings.

Yummy!  Yummy!  Yummy!

Til next time - find your joy!

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