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I’ve hosted pizza parties before, and while having 10-15 people over to make their own individual pizzas is fun, it has its down side too. Unless you have a large kitchen, crowding around a stove can turn a room into a messy sauna pretty quickly.

A perfect solution presented itself this weekend, when I was away at the lake for Labor Day. In a house without AC, I decided to finally give grilled pizza a try. Taking the party outside let everyone come and go from the grill as their pizza-making turn arose, but didn’t have the claustrophobia of my kitchen.

I had heard a few stories about how to grill pizza from friends, who assured me placing a pizza directly on the grill would work. My instinct, knowing how my dough tends to be more on the sticky, gooey side, was that the pie would fall straight through the cracks of the grill, so to prevent this, I took my typical dough recipe and adjusted it slightly, using bread flour, and letting the dough rise for a full hour.

For the party, I also tripled the following recipe, and formed five smaller pizza balls from the group. Below are my notes, and pictures of my first efforts. Super thanks to my friends who had done this before and manned the grill, assuring me it would work.

Finished pizza–all in one piece!

Grilled Pizza Dough

  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2 t. yeast
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. oil
  • 2 cups bread flour plus more
  1. Preheat the grill to a medium heat.
  2. Mix the yeast, oil, and water together until combined, then add it to the bread flour. Stir together, or knead by hand, until dough forms a solid ball. Add more flour, up to another quarter cup, until it looses its sticky consistency and forms a ball.
  3. Let rise for at least one hour, punch it down, and then work it into a flat dough, oiling your hands if necessary. A ball the size of your hand should flatten out to a medium pizza that is easily handled on the grill itself and serves up around 6-8 slices.
  4. Oil the grill grates, and one side of the pizza. Place the oiled side onto the grill and grill until the dough moves easily around on the grill and has browning marks on its side.
    Dough on the Grill
  5.  Oil the second side of the pizza, and flip it on the grill.
    Grilled Side Up

  6. Working quickly, spoon the sauce and all toppings except cheese on the grill. Note: Grilling shortens the cooking time of veggies, especially bell peppers or onions, so if you like those less crispy, consider slightly sauteeing them before adding them to the grill.
    Add toppings directly to grill
  7. Close grill cover and let the veggies cook on the pizza for 3-5 minutes. Move the pizza to the top rack if possible to avoid direct access to the heat and add cheese. Keep on grill until cheese melts, but be sure to watch the bottom and make sure it doesn’t get too crispy.
Two pies cooking at once.

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