Let’s talk about my favorite food ever..PIZZA!!!
Ever since discovering the grilled pizza at Alforno Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, my Mom and I have been on a quest to perfect the art of grilled pizza at home.
Let me preface this post by saying it has taken COUNTLESS times to get this perfect, so don’t be frustrated if your first round of grilled pizza doesn’t go exactly according to plan.
Even somewhat over grilled pizzas will still taste delicious. The char smoky flavor from grilling the pizzas is such a nice compliment to the pizza toppings.
The first step is to make the pizza dough. You don’t have to make the dough, but it’s way easier than you may think and I always prefer homemade dough to store bought. But store bought will work just fine (insert Ina Garten meme)
The next key to grilled pizza is having all the mise en place ready to go before you start grilling your crust.
Whenever we make grilled pizzas we like to do about 4-5 different topping varieties but you could really just do a couple pies. Whatever you prefer.
The hardest part is not snacking on all the toppings..
Ok so the first step is to grill the doughs on ONE side. Preheat your grill to medium heat.
Make sure there is a decent amount of cornmeal or flour dusted on the pizza pans before placing your dough on them.
If you don’t have a very large pizza paddle just use 2 spatulas to help flip the dough on the grill and transfer the pizzas.
When you go to place the doughs on the grill, fold the dough in half and place it over your arm. Carefully roll the dough out on the grill, pushing the dough away from you. Note you don’t need to brush the dough with oil or anything (in fact you shouldn’t) because then the dough will burn easily. As long as your grill is clean, the dough won’t stick I promise.
The dough will start to puff up pretty quickly. You want to cook it for about 2-3 minutes on the first side. There is no need to close the grill in this step, the doughs will grill up very quickly.
When the dough starts to easily pull away from the grill check to see how done it is on the bottom. You want it to be lightly charred but not totally scorched.
Remember you’re only grilling one side of the dough at first. When the one side is done grilling, flip the dough back onto your pizza pan or sheet tray, with the grill marks facing up. Now it is time to top the grill side of the pizza dough. Meanwhile, turn your grill down to the lowest heat setting.
My family tends to do the same combinations every time. It is really just based on preference.
My personal favorite! Pizza sauce, caramelized onions, pesto, grilled corn, mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, grated parmesan, salt, and pepper
A family favorite: Pizza Sauce, barbecue chicken, sliced red onion, grilled corn, a mix of mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan cheese.
A must have classic: Pizza sauce, pepperoni, sliced mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, salt, pepper
And lastly, our 5 cheese white pizza: a brush of olive oil, mozzarella, smoked gouda, parmesan, fontina, goat cheese, salt, and pepper.
Now is the time to go back to the grill, which should now be set on the lowest heat setting.
Using a large spatula or two smaller spatulas, place the pizzas back on the grill, topping side up
Immediately cover the grill and let the pizzas cook for 2 minutes. After two minutes, move them around slightly to prevent any one area from getting too charred on the bottom and cover for another 2 minutes.
Keep repeating this step until the pizzas are the desired doneness you prefer. It should only take about 6 minutes total.
Now its time to garnish with fresh basil or whatever extra touches you prefer. Always red pepper flakes for me!
I like to slice the pizzas into small squares which allows everyone to try all the pizzas and go back for seconds, and thirds, without feeling guilty.
I hope you give grilled pizzas a try! Below is the step by step method again with my pizza dough and pizza sauce recipe as well as all the topping ideas!
Makes 4 12 inch pizzas
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 and ¼ tsp)
- 2 cups warm water (100-105 degrees F, think warm bath water)
- 5.5-6 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsps kosher salt
- In a kitchen aid mixing bowl mix yeast with warm water. Allow to proof for 5 minutes. You should see little bubbles appear on the sides of the bowl. That means your yeast is alive and well
- With a dough hook attached, Add in half the flower, mix on low for 2 minutes. Add in salt and remaining flour, (start with 5.5 cups and use 6 if the dough appears really wet), mix on medium speed for about 6 minutes until your dough forms a nice smooth ball.
- In a separate large bowl, place about a tablespoon of olive oil and brush it around the bowl. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm dry place (70-72 degrees F) to proof for 3 hours or until doubled in size.
- After 3 hours, punch down dough, and divide into 4 equal sized balls. Form each ball into a round shape and place on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 45 minutes.
- Either wrap each ball individually and refrigerate until ready to use or roll out immediately.
- Note, you can mix the dough by hand. Once the flour is incorporated, place dough on a wooden board and kneed by hand for about 10 minutes.
Makes about 2.5 cups
- 1 24oz can crushed toamtoes
- 2 tbsps kosher salt
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp calabrian chile paste (or red pepper flakes, use less if you don’t want it as spicy)
- 2 tsp black pepper
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped basil
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add in tomatoes, salt, sugar, pepper, olive oil, and calabrian chile. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes. Stir in fresh basil and set aside until ready to use.
*This will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza: Pizza sauce, shredded mexican cheese blend, grilled corn, sliced red onion, barbecue chicken (just rotisserie chicken tossed in your favorite store bought barbecue sauce. Garnish with more barbecue sauce, scallions, and cilantro.
Caramelized Onion Pesto Goat Cheese: Pizza sauce, pesto, grilled corn, pimento peppers, caramelized onions, shredded mozzarella, goat cheese, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Pepperoni: Pizza sauce, pepperoni, sliced mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, garnish with fresh basil.
5 Cheese: Brush dough with olive oil or garlic oil, fontina, smoked gouda, mozzarella, goat cheese, parmesan. Finish with basil, arugula, and another drizzle of olive oil.
My favorite summer meal by far!!
Speaking of summer, where are you?! I’m ready for ya.