Today and yesterday were sooo nice, I really wanted to Barbecue. Yesterday was too windy, and I had plans to go out to supper and see the new Harry Potter. So the plan for today was to make this for the first time ever, and if I do say so myself it was awesome. And I will probably make it again next week when I'm bored.
1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour
In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast (the water has to be this temp to activate the yeast). Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.
Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. (I just butter a bowl and cover it with a dishtowel, I also left it in the sun to rise)
Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Remove from bowl and shape into your desired pizza shape.
Greg made a pizza slice shaped pizza, mine ended up looking like PEI I just flattened it.
To Prepare the pizza (I used these directions I got from this site http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/07/cooking-class-bbq-grilled-pizza.html) :
Toppings: I suggest going a little lighter than normal on the toppings for a few reasons.
1. It will keep the pizzas easy to work with and easy to move around, etc.
2. The toppings will cook faster and be sure to be done if they're not piled on heavy.
3. Probably the biggest reason- the grill adds so much flavor and texture that you don't want (or need) to overpower it. Grilled pizza works great sauce-less, or try it with marinara, bbq, orgarlic alfredo.
Alright- let's do this step-by step.
First you need to preheat your grill. This is an important step. The rack needs to be nice and hot so the dough will start cooking immediately and the overall temperature needs to be hot in order to act like an oven when the lid is closed. I set my gas grill to medium-high heat, and leave the lid shut.
Next, get all of your toppings ready. You have to move very quickly while on the grill so everything needs to be prepared and easy to grab. I usually set up a platter with everything I need and keep it next to the grill.
You'll need: 1. Your toppings (cut, sliced, shredded, etc.) including sauce. 2. Some olive oil and a brush to brush it on. 3. A spoon to spread on sauce 4. A large spatula to flip the pizza When your dough is ready, roll it out with a rolling pin, or even just use your hands to press and stretch it. Now listen. Throw all of your preconceived pizza notions out the window. You don't need to make round pizza. No rules! Don't you feel daring??
Size: I find it easiest to make several small pizzas, especially if you're trying this for the first time. If you want to go big, don't go much larger than 2 pizzas per this recipe. That's about a 9-10" max. I like to do 4 small pizzas. You get a good 6-8" pizza that will easily feed one very hungry adult or a couple of hungry kids. Another benefit of doing several smaller pizzas is that you can try out a bunch of different topping combos. Kids love having their own! Once your dough is flattened out, drizzle a little olive oil on one side and brush it around
Now comes the fun part. Toss that puppy (oil side down) straight on the grill and then shut the lid immediately. You'll want the heat to stay inside so it acts like an oven and cooks the dough. The timing all depends on the heat of the grill and the thickness of the dough. But it usually only takes about 5 minutes or less. Have a spatula handy to lift up the dough and check it. You'll want to see nice brown grill marks, but avoid burning it. If you can tell that your dough is cooking too fast and too hot, you may want to use indirect heat. For a gas grill with multiple burners, turn off the burner directly under the pizza, but leave the others on. For a charcoal grill, move the charcoal to one side of the grill and place the pizza on the other side.
As soon as you flip it grab that tray with your toppings and put them on the cooked side right away. Shut the lid again and leave it shut. The second side cooks pretty fast. If the bottom of your pizza is done, but the top still needs to cook, you can place it on an upper rack if you have one.
Take a peek at the bottom crust and as soon as it's done and your cheese is all melty, grab a spatula and pull it off. I like to make a bunch of small pizzas and throw them all on cutting boards in the middle of the table and just let everyone cut into them.
If you have never done this, go start now so you can eat it tonight!