Monday, September 5, 2011

Grillin' With Gayle: Pizza on the Grill

Gayle's back to guest blog. This time she's all about grilled pizza. She's done all the research and gathered all the important prep tips to make your grilled pizzas at home. 
Check out her Grilled Beet Salad recipe too. She's a pro. . . Thanks, Gayle!
I have been making pizza a couple of nights a week this summer on my grill.  I know this blog is supposed to be about being healthy and how does pizza fit in that category?  When you make your own pizza you get to control the ingredients.  Pick the best ingredients and cheeses so a little gives you way more “BAM” for each bite.

I like to start my pizza dough in the morning when I know I’m going to grill in the evening.  This gives your dough a little time to develop some flavor.  I start with my twist on the 5 Minute Artisanal Bread recipe (

In a large mixing bowl add
1 1/2 cups warm water
1T honey
1 1/2t active dry yeast (or instant, your preference)
Mix and wait 5 minutes.  Then add
1 1/2t salt (fleur de sel is my favorites)
3 1/4C flour... You can use all all-purpose flour but it will make a very soft dough, but a pizza crust taste we are all more accustomed to.  For a little more tooth (texture) try a mixture of half all purpose and half whole wheat.  (Kristin has been doing part white and part whole spelt with success)

Mix the ingredients with your hands until everything is incorporated and all the flour is moist.  At this point, you will have a gloppy wet pile of goo.  Walk away.  You want to make it pretty, but stop.  Wash your hands and cover the bowl with your damp dish towel and check back in 2 hours.  If you leave for work at this point and can’t check back in 2 hours, no worries.  Just skip the next step and your dough will still be awesome.

At this point when you uncover your bowl your dough will have doubled in size.  At this point I like to turn the dough.   This is a technique I got from Tartine Bread (book by same name bakery in San Francisco  In the bowl, with your hands damp, grab one side of your dough and gently pull it up and over.  Turn the bowl and do this on remaining 3 sides.  Take care not to tear your dough, just gently pulling and folding.  (picture making an envelope).  I like to do this 2 times, so cover with your towel and come back in another 2 hours and do it again.

If you went to work, just pick up here.  About an hour before you are ready to grill, dump your dough out on a flour dusted board and divide into 3 equal softball size balls.  Take each ball in your hand and gently turn the dough in on itself to make a ball with a smooth top (I’m not sure how to adequately describe this technique).  Let your 3 dough balls rest for about an hour.  (again this is a forgiving recipe; if you don’t have an hour, just let rest as long as you can.  I’ve done as little as 15 minutes)

Preheat the grill on high for at least 10 minutes before you are ready to cook.  This is where you set up your pizza station.  This pizza come together quickly; have everything ready to go when you begin. 

Side note, be sure your grill is clean.  Just before you toss your pizza on, give a brush to get off any bits and oil lightly (awesome trick from Steven Raichlen , BBQ genius - cut a small onion in half, skewer with a fork and dip in oil and oil your grill)

Roll out the dough to your desired thickness and drizzle one side with olive oil and toss on your hot grill.  Dot the dough with a fork or your tongs to prevent giant bubbles from forming.  If your grill is HOT, close the lid and leave for 2 minutes.  Check bottom and if not golden perfection give 1-2 more minutes.

Flip the dough and start building your pizza.  My favorite is a splash of tomato sauce (any jar stuff will do) topped with a nice cheese blend of pecorino romano and mozzarella or whatever’s in the fridge.  Add veggies, some spinach or grilled chicken and make it your own.  Close the grill and give it another 3-5 minutes for the cheese to melt.

If you eat one entire pizza (1dough ball w sauce and 2 cheeses) you are looking at roughly 875 calories.  If you’ve been to Take It Outside you’ve earned it. 

Some of my other favorite toppings are olive tapenade and goat cheese, grilled chicken and bbq sauce (last night’s leftovers) or hummus, spinach and goat cheese.  The topping options are limitless.  And if you skip the step where you dot your dough to keep it from bubbling, you’ll end up with a great crispy pita to dip in your hummus.

Also, in our house, dough ball #3 becomes what we call Coe’s Pizza Cookies.  Roll your dough out to about ½- 1” thickness.  Cut into strips then cut into 1” pieces and drop on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes until golden then turn off oven and let cool so they get extra crunchy.  Happy Pooch will guard the oven from any intruders.

Happy Pizza!

Gayle Emmich is a foodie and crafty living in SE Portland, with roots in Mississippi. You can find her mixing drinks weekends at New Deal Distillery, helping friends with their local businesses, and compiling recipes for her community dinners. Wanna be on her email list to hear about up coming dinners? Sure you do! Just email her at lulaharp.pdx at gmail dot com.


kate said...

Yum! I grilled pizza for the first time last week. It was so easy and so tasty! I can't wait to try your dough recipe - it looks great! Our favorite pizza toppings are olive oil with mozzarella and fresh tomatoes from the garden and olive oil with crispy bacon, caramelized onion and goat cheese.

emily jenkins said...

We love grilling pizza and I use the same recipe! My favorite combo is fig, goat cheese and carmelized onions. Yum!!! Thanks for sharing!

Gayle said...

I'm glad others are grilling pizza! So easy to get great artisan pizzas. Love both your combos!

matildajoseph said...

Yum!!! I can't wait to bake my pooches some pizza cookies. I want to make this recipe just to do that!

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