Grilled Pizza with Fresh Herbs and Tomatoes

The first time I tried to grill pizza it was an absolute disaster. I used dough that was waaaay too pliable, I didn’t get the cheese melted to my liking, and I didn’t pay enough attention to the bottom of the crust which ended up BURNT.

Let’s learn from my mistakes!

My second attempt was wonderful. I used a sturdier dough recipe, had the grill at the right temp,added the toppings at the right time, and mostly, I paid attention! So let’s get started, eh?

Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 110°F)
  • 1 1/2 cups cool water
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • olive oil
  1. In a medium bowl sprinkle yeast over the warm water and let it stand for about 5 minutes or until yeast is bubbly. Then stir in the cool water.
  2. In a bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; pour yeast mixture into the well. Using a spoon, stir to combine. Gradually stir in as much of the remaining 4 cups of flour as you can with the spoon.*
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle any remaining flour over dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and shiny (about 7 minutes).*
  4. Brush a large bowl with olive oil; transfer dough to the bowl. Brush the top of the dough with more olive oil then cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 2 hours).
  5. Punch the dough down and knead it once more. Let it rise again for about 40 minutes. Punch it down again and divide it into 3 portions.
*This step can be done in a mixer with a dough hook attachment
Grilled Pizza with Fresh Herbs and Tomatoes
(makes one pizza)
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 portion pizza dough (see recipe above)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, etc)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Prepare a moderately hot charcoal grill fire. Set the grill rack about 3 or 4 inches above the coals.
2. Mix the cheeses together and then place them in the fridge to keep them firm while you prep everything else. I also like to marinade the tomatoes, garlic, herbs and oil together for about an hour before using, but it’s not necessary.
3. Oil a baking sheet and roll out your pizza dough into a shape that at least slightly resembles a circle/rectangle. It doesn’t have to be pretty! It should be 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and as even as possible.
(Yes, that is a piece of pvc pipe… It works really well as a rolling pin when you’re in a bind…)

4. When the fire is moderately hot (you should be able to hold your hand over it for a three count) use your fingertips to gently lift the pizza dough off of the baking sheet and place it on the grill. This can be a little trick so take your time (but not too much time or you’ll get burned!). Again, we’re not looking for perfection here. The dough will puff up slightly and the underside will stiffen.

5. Using tongs, quickly flip the dough over onto the coolest part of the grill rack.  brush the crust with olive oil and then top it with the tomatoes, garlic, cheeses, and herbs.

6. Move the pizza back towards the hot coals, but don’t put it directly over them. Try to rotate the pizza so that each part gets some high heat while making sure that the bottom is not burning. The pizza is done when the cheese is melted and bubbly (around 7 minutes or so).

Serve it up immediately! Maybe try it with a grilled salad? Why not!?

Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 110°F)
  • 1 1/2 cups cool water
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • olive oil
  1. In a medium bowl sprinkle yeast over the warm water and let it stand for about 5 minutes or until yeast is bubbly. Then stir in the cool water.
  2. In a bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; pour yeast mixture into the well. Using a spoon, stir to combine. Gradually stir in as much of the remaining 4 cups of flour as you can with the spoon.*
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle any remaining flour over dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and shiny (about 7 minutes).*
  4. Brush a large bowl with olive oil; transfer dough to the bowl. Brush the top of the dough with more olive oil then cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 2 hours).
  5. Punch the dough down and knead it once more. Let it rise again for about 40 minutes. Punch it down again and divide it into 3 portions.
*This step can be done in a mixer with a dough hook attachment

Grilled Pizza with Fresh Herbs and Tomatoes

(makes one pizza)
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 portion pizza dough (see recipe above)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, etc)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Prepare a moderately hot charcoal grill fire. Set the grill rack about 3 or 4 inches above the coals.
  2. Mix the cheeses together and then place them in the fridge to keep them firm while you prep everything else. I also like to marinade the tomatoes, garlic, herbs and oil together for about an hour before using, but it’s not necessary.
  3. Oil a baking sheet and roll out your pizza dough into a shape that at least slightly resembles a circle/rectangle. It doesn’t have to be pretty! It should be 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and as even as possible.
  4. When the fire is moderately hot (you should be able to hold your hand over it for a three count) use your fingertips to gently lift the pizza dough off of the baking sheet and place it on the grill. This can be a little trick so take your time (but not too much time or you’ll get burned!). Again, we’re not looking for perfection here. The dough will puff up slightly and the underside will stiffen.
  5. Using tongs, quickly flip the dough over onto the coolest part of the grill rack.  brush the crust with olive oil and then top it with the tomatoes, garlic, cheeses, and herbs.
  6. Move the pizza back towards the hot coals, but don’t put it directly over them. Try to rotate the pizza so that each part gets some high heat while making sure that the bottom is not burning. The pizza is done when the cheese is melted and bubbly (around 7 minutes or so).
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