Summer is here and that means grilling season. So today I'm going to revisit one of my favorite things to grill - pizza.
Some of you are probably raising a brow right now, but just hang with me and you'll see how easy, and delicious, it really is WITHOUT heating up the kitchen.
For starters, you've got to have the right crust. Yes, you can use the pre-made store-bought crusts, but they won't satisfy the way a good homemade crust will. And if you're going to take the time to make a good crust, you may as well make extras to keep in the freezer. Then you can have pizza anytime you like.
For one batch of dough, you will need:
- 1 cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)
- 2 tsp. sugar
- one packet (or 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast (I use the rapid rise)
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 3/4 tsp. coarse salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Mix water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the top of the water and let mixture stand until foamy, roughly 5 minutes.
While you're waiting, pulse flour and salt in food processor to mix.
Add the olive oil and yeast mixture and process 20-30 seconds, until the dough comes together in a sticky ball.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes.
Form into ball and place dough in a large, oiled bowl, turning until dough in coated.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm, draft free area until doubled in size (about an hour).
Punch dough down and turn onto lightly floured work surface.
Using a large knife, quarter dough.
One at a time, shape dough wedge roughly into a ball. Place the dough ball on the work surface and, with your hand cupped over it, roll it on the work surface until the surface of the dough is smooth.
Place dough balls in a large resealable plastic bag and refrigerate up to 48 hours. The dough will continue to rise, but this resting period is what makes the crust soft on the inside, crispy on the outside.
Let dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping, or freeze for up to two weeks, letting frozen dough sit at room temperature two hours before shaping.
On a floured work surface, press each dough ball into 9-in. round. To make mini pizzas, cut each dough ball into three or four pieces before shaping.
Now this next part varies, depending on what type of grill you have. In general, you want to use indirect heat. Oh, and if you don't have a grill, feel free to use a 400 degree oven.
Here's how to do it on the grill:
Lower the heat on one side of the grill to low. Oil the grate on that side of the grill. Move the shaped dough to the grill. Lower the edge of the dough onto the oiled grill. (Mindy says, the size of your rounds will determine how many you can comfortably fit on the grate at one time.)
Cover the grill and cook for roughly 3 minutes, until crusts begin to bubble and brown. Loosen crusts with a metal spatula, recover and cook for one more minute. Flip crusts over; cook until beginning to brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
Top pizzas as you please and return to grill until toppings are hot and cheese is melted. Sorry, I was so busy cooking everyone's pizzas, I forgot to take a pic of the finished product. But it sure was delicious.
This is especially fun for a party, because everyone gets to build their own pizza. Simply set up an assembly line of every pizza topping you can think of, along with plenty of grated mozzarella, maybe some parmesan... Oh and don't forget the sauce. I usually make my own by pulsing Italian style tomatoes (the ones with the basil, oregano and garlic) in the food processor, then adding a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. Then just let your guests have at it. (Note: Have the crusts pre-baked before everyone arrives)
We've done this many times over the years and everyone loves it. Why have pizza out of a box when you can make it an event!
Now it's your turn. Do you love to grill? If so, what's your favorite thing to grill? What's the weirdest thing you've ever grilled?
Three-time Carol Award finalist, Mindy Obenhaus, lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children, two dogs and countless cattle. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining and sometimes adventurous manner. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at mindyobenhaus.com.