Within the first week of my being bitten by the bread bug about three years ago, my oven had (quite literally) a meltdown, and the sight of poor ovenless me mooning around forlornly for the three weeks or so it took to get it repaired was a pretty pitiful one. Too bad I didn’t know about grilled pizza at the time.
I wouldn’t suggest waiting for an oven disaster, though, to make pizza on the grill. It is seriously, seriously good.
The idea is that the crust is placed directly on the grill grate to cook one one side, then turned over and the toppings added while the other side of the crust grills. Toppings should be simple and light, both because they don’t have a lot of time to cook and because, if you’re like me, you want the summer flavor of the lightly charred grilled crust to be front and center.
I topped my Pizza Margherita with a very simple tomato sauce of peeled, seeded tomatoes (six tomatoes yielded enough sauce for two pizzas), cooked until thick and seasoned with salt and pepper; thinly-sliced fresh mozzarella; and a few fresh basil leaves.
I am sending this to my wonderful friend Zorra (1x umrühren bitte) for BreadBakingDay #21, the pizza fest marking the second anniversary of BBD. Congratulations and thank you, Zorra, for two years of the best bread parties on the planet.
Grilled Pizza Margherita
- one 260-gram dough ball (recipe follows) per 10 – 12″ pizza
- about 3/4 cup tomato sauce per pizza
- fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- fresh basil leaves
- olive oil
- 50:50 mixture of flour and semolina, to prevent sticking
- Preheat a clean grill to medium-high. (You may have to experiment with this to find the right setting for your grill.)
- Roll, stretch, toss, or otherwise shape the crust dough into a 10 – 12″ round.
- Place the crust on a pizza peel that has been liberally dusted with flour-semolina mixture, and brush it with olive oil.
- Turn the grill heat down to medium.
- Flip the crust onto the preheated grill so the oiled side is down.
- Quickly use a dry brush to brush the excess flour from the crust, then brush the top with olive oil.
- Grill until the crust bubbles up, about two minutes.
- Use tongs to pull the crust back onto the peel. Use the peel to flip the crust over and back onto the grill.
- Quickly add the tomato sauce, cheese, and a few basil leaves.
- Close the grill cover and cook until the underside of the crust is nicely done, about two or three minutes.
- Top with a few more basil leaves.
Yield: 525 g (enough for two 10 – 12″ pizzas)
- Mix: 5 minutes
- First fermentation : 1.5 hours
- Divide and shape: 5 minutes
- Refrigerate: 4 – 12 hours
- In the bowl of a food processor with metal blade, combine the flour, yeast, and salt.
- Combine the water and olive oil in a liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, add the liquid in a thin stream.
- Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 90 seconds. Then knead the dough by hand for a few turns.
- Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and ferment at room temperature for about 1.5 hours, until doubled in bulk.
- Divide the dough into two pieces of about 260 grams each. Shape each piece into a ball and place onto a lightly-floured, parchment-lined baking sheet
- Slip the sheet into a large plastic bag and refrigerate for 4 – 12 hours.