Summer is winding down, no question about it. It was dark by 7:30 last night as we grilled pizza out on the deck. Individual lumps of dough, olive oil, an array of toppings and you have the makings of a party.
We’ve grilled pizza before, but thanks to a Food Network show that Frank watched with our granddaughter, I think that we’ve perfected the process. He was eager to try the technique of forming an individual pizza, brushing both sides with olive oil, and grilling both sides before removing it to allow each person to choose his or her own toppings. Back to the grill, with the cover down, just long enough to melt the cheese.
For the dough: I used a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook, but this can be kneaded by hand. And yes, you can buy dough at a local pizza shop or the grocery store, but this is a great dough and worth doing!
5 cups all purpose flour (King Arthur)
2 TBS (or two packets) yeast
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1. Make a well in the dough and add the yeast. Add a little water and start mixing.
2. Add the salt once you’ve incorporated about half of the water.
3. Keep adding water until you’ve added the two cups. Knead until you have a soft, smooth dough.
4. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a big bowl. Coat the lump of dough with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a draft free spot for about an hour.
5. When the dough has risen, deflate it and divide it into individual portions. Roll in flour, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
For the toppings:
Anything you like works here. The key thing is that cooking time for toppings is very brief – just long enough to melt the cheese – so cooking some of the toppings ahead of time is a good idea. We used onions, red bell peppers, artichokes, mushrooms, tomatoes, sausage, and both shredded and fresh mozzarella cheese. We also had pesto, basil olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
And the fun part:
1. Each person gets to form individual lumps of dough into a flat pie. You’ll need a board and extra flour for this operation.
2. Brush one side of the dough with olive oil and put it on the grill oil side down. Once it’s on the grill, brush the top side with oil. When one side is done, flip it over to cook both sides.
3. Remove to a plate and get creative with the toppings.
4. Pop it back on the grill, cover down, just for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.
5. Repeat if you want more than one!