If you're like me, you probably love pizza, especially homemade pizza, hot out of the oven. When the weather warms up, however, you may be inclined to forgo homemade pizza, as the oven would just heat up the kitchen too much. You don't have to stop eating pizza in the summer however, if you cook the pizza on the grill. That's right, you heard me... on the grill. You're probably used to hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and steaks on the grill, but the high, dry heat of a grill is ideal for making a crisp pizza crust, and will add a nice flavor that you just can't get in the oven.
Before pizza as you and I know it was even created, the Greeks and Romans used wood fired ovens to cook flatbread. Eventually these flatbreads gained toppings, meat, vegetables, tomatoes, and evolved into what we know as pizza.
The first thing you'll want to do is to make sure that your grill is clean and well oiled to prevent the dough from sticking when you place it on the grill. Have everything ready to go before you even place the dough onto the grill. The crust will cook fast, so you'll need to have everything ready. You'll want the dough prepared and rolled out. You'll need to have all of the toppings near the grill to go onto the pizza, and you'll need to have all of your tools and utensils nearby and ready to go.
A note about the pizza toppings. Since pizza on a grill cooks so quickly, you'll want to go with lighter toppings, and toppings that don't need to be cooked. If you really want something on your pizza that needs to be cooked, prepare it before hand. Also, because of the quick cooking, the cheese may not have time to melt as it would if the pizza were cooked in the oven. So, keep these things in mind when you select your toppings.
For the dough:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 Package of yeast (a little less than 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp salt
2-4 cups flour
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and stir until the yeast is dissolved.
Add the salt and 2 cups of the flour, stir to combine. Add more flour as needed until the dough comes together into a ball.
Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a counter or table, and turn the dough out onto the counter. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
Lightly grease a large mixing bowl, and place the dough ball into the bowl, and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat your grill to medium.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Flatten each piece of dough, and stretch it into a circle about 1/4 inch thick, 6-8 inches in diameter. As you finish forming each crust, place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Lightly oil the grill when you're ready to start cooking. Brush one side of the pizza crusts with extra virgin olive oil, and place them, oil side down, onto the grill.
Cook the first side for 1-3 minutes. Keep an eye on the crusts so they don't burn. Brush the olive oil on the top of the crusts and flip them over.
Place the toppings on top of the pizzas, and close the lid to help the cheese melt. Cook the pizza for an additional 1-3 minutes, until you are happy with the crusts' finish.
Remove the pizzas and enjoy!
The important thing to remember is to work quickly once you have the pizza crusts on the grill, keep an eye on them and don't let them burn. If you follow these directions, you can enjoy grilled pizza this summer, without heating up your kitchen.
|About Author Tim Sousa :|
Tim is the author and webmaster for <a href="http://www.patiogrilling.com" target="_blank">http://www.patiogrilling.com</a> Stop by for some good advice on grilling and outdoor cooking.
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Article Added on Friday, February 20, 2009
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