Mains

Summer’s Last Gasp Deserves a Grilled Pizza Farewell

0 comments
Jump to Recipe

We have arrived, friends, at the tail end of summer.  Schools are starting and, here in Maine, the evenings are getting chilly enough to close windows and don socks as soon as the sun goes down.  Before you know it there will be frost.  The warning signs were all there: dawn, which used to occur at the shocking hour of 4 am(!), has gotten lazy and doesn’t bother to show up until 5 and the sun struggles up an hour later.  Pretty soon we will be driving to work in the dark and coming home in the dark… and sad, depressing reality.

So with summer on the downswing, we should go out with a bang, yes?  In my opinion a grill’s highest calling is pizza.  Burgers and chicken are great – I make them all the time, but pizza on the grill is transcendent.  Hear me out.  If you are lucky, your oven can fight its way up to 500°.  It will take forever and not be very efficient.  Professional pizza ovens get significantly hotter than that.  I’ve gotten my gas grill up to a face-melting 750° in less than 15 minutes.  So if you want to get that great, blistered char with the crisp outside and the chewy inside crust – fire up that grill baby!

So with summer on the downswing, we should go out with a bang, yes?  In my opinion a grill’s highest calling is pizza.  Burgers and chicken are great – I make them all the time, but pizza on the grill is transcendent.  Hear me out.  If you are lucky, your oven can fight its way up to 500°.  It will take forever and not be very efficient.  Professional pizza ovens get significantly hotter than that.  I’ve gotten my gas grill up to a face-melting 750° in less than 15 minutes.  So if you want to get that great, blistered char with the crisp outside and the chewy inside crust – fire up that grill baby!

Grilled Pizza Margarita

Course: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Intermediate
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

Adapted from NYT Cooking and Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • For the Crust
  • 3/4 C Warm Water (175ml / 6oz)

  • 1 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (4g / .25oz)

  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil, plus more for the bowl (30ml / 1oz)

  • 2 C All Purpose Flour (240g / 8.5oz)

  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt (3g / .25oz)

  • For the Sauce and Toppings
  • 3/4 C Tomato Sauce* (175ml)

  • 1 Lg Clove of Garlic

  • Salt and Pepper

  • 8 oz Aged Mozzarella Cheese; Coarsely Shredded or Torn (227g)

  • Olive Oil

  • Fresh Basil for Serving

Directions

  • Make the Crust Dough
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the Warm water and the Yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • While your Yeast proves, combine the Flour and Salt in a medium mixing bowl, stirring together with your fingers.
  • After 5 minutes, the yeast should be foamy. Whisk in the Olive oil. Sprinkle the Flour-Salt mixture over the Yeast and put the bowl into the mixer, fitted with the dough hook.
  • Mix on low speed until the dough comes together into a shaggy mass.
  • Increase the speed to medium and kneed until the dough is smooth and stretchy, about 5-7 minutes. If you are making the dough ahead of time, this is where you hold in the process. Transfer to am oiled container and store, tightly covered in the fridge for up to 48 hours or sealed in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to a month. Allow the dough to thaw completely in the fridge before continuing.
  • Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise at room temperature until nearly doubled. About 1 hour – or up to 2 if the dough is coming from the fridge.
  • Make Sauce, Toppings and Assemble
  • While the dough rises, grate the Garlic clove into a large liquid measuring cup and mix in the Tomato Sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Coarsely grate or tear the mozzarella and set aside.
  • Preheat your grill to High heat, setting all the burners to the same level – between 600° and 800° is ideal.
  • When the dough has risen, turn out onto a clean surface and divide into 4. Stretch each piece into a rough circle or oval, about 7-8 inches across. They won’t be perfect, don’t worry. The important part is that they are roughly the same thickness all the way across. Arrange the stretched dough on the sheet pans.
  • Take all your elements (dough, sauce, cheese) along with a small bowl of olive oil, a pastry brush and your grilling tongs and spatula and move outside. Arrange everything within easy reach, because the next part can go fast.
  • Brush each piece of dough with a little oil and lay on the grill, oil side down. Quickly brush the tops with a little oil. Depending on the size of your grill, you may have to work in batches.
  • Grill with the lid open until the bottoms have nice grill marks and are starting to brown. The edges will be dry and the surface bubbled – about 5 – 7 minutes on my grill
  • Remove the crusts from the grill and lay then, grilled side up, on the sheet pans.
  • Reduce the heat of your grill to medium.
  • Divide the sauce between the pizzas and spread into a thin layer using the back of a spoon. Top with cheese.
  • Using a grill spatula, return the pizzas to the grill and close the lid. Cook until the edges have started to blister and char just a little. The cheese should be melted and the sauce bubbly. On my grill this takes about 3-5 minutes.
  • Let the pizza rest for 3-5 minutes, then top with basil and drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.

Notes

  • Equipment:
    Stand Mixer Fitted with the Dough Hook
    Measuring Cups and Spoons
    Whisk
    Medium and Large Mixing Bowl
    Large Liquid Measuring Cup
    Box Grater
    Micro-plane
    Gas or Charcoal Grill
    Grill Spatula
    Pastry or Basting Brush
    2 Sheet Pans
  • *You’ll want to get plain tomato sauce, not jarred pasta sauce. I prefer unsalted tomato sauce, but if you can’t find it, the regular kind will work, just don’t add any additional salt.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*