grilled pizza crust

Just imagine …grilled pizza crust.  Fresh veggies.  Salty meats.  Creamy mozzarella.  Your favorite combination of toppings.  You’ll find that you won’t want to do take-out quite so often.

There are many fine recipes out there for making your own pizza dough. I hope to share my favorite with you at some point, but for now …we’ll concentrate on the grilling process. When you arrive home with your purchased dough ball (usually available at your local Italian bakery) you’ll need to allow some time for the dough to rise. Brush a large glass bowl lightly with olive oil. Place the dough ball in the prepared bowl …one that is about twice the size of the dough. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm area until doubled in size, about one hour.

If your kitchen is drafty or on the cool side, you can use your oven for this step. I turn the oven on as if I’m preheating it. After a minute or two, turn the oven off. You’ll find that it warmed the interior just a bit and it is the perfect environment for rising your dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using the heel of your hand, gently press and stretch the dough out toward the edges. We prefer thin crust in my household, so I try to stretch the dough to 1/4-inch or less thickness. Using a rolling pin to smooth it out helps with the process. If the dough is stubborn and wants to “shrink back” as you work, just give it a five-minute rest before continuing.

When you are satisfied with the results, brush the entire surface lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with coarse salt and you’re ready to fold for transport to the grill.

As long as you’ve brushed all areas of the dough with olive oil, there’s no need to oil the grill grates.

Some folks will add their toppings as the flip side cooks so that the pizza is finished off on the grill. I’ve found that, especially since we like to add several layers of toppings, finishing the pizza in the oven works well. There’s another bonus to consider with this method …you can make the crust, store it in the freezer and use whenever. Sometimes I’ll grill four to six crusts on a day when we are having pizza. Each extra crust fits perfectly in one of those jumbo plastic zip-lock bags. Great addition to the perfectly stocked freezer. They sure do come in handy when planning an impromptu gathering!

 

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grilled pizza crust

Servings 1 large pizza

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce pizza dough ball
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flour (for dusting)
  • coarse kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Brush a large glass bowl lightly with olive oil. Place the dough ball in the prepared bowl, one that is about twice the size of the dough. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm area until doubled in size, about one hour.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using the heel of your hand, gently press and stretch the dough out toward the edges. For a thin crust, stretch the dough to 1/4-inch or less thickness. Using a rolling pin to smooth it out helps with the process. If the dough is stubborn and wants to "shrink back" as you work, just give it a five-minute rest before continuing.

  3. Preheat gas grill to medium-high heat.

  4. When you are satisfied with the results, brush the entire surface lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with coarse salt. Gently lift one end and fold dough in half. Brush surface lightly with olive oil. Lift edge of long end and again fold in half, brushing once again with olive oil. Place oiled side of folded dough down on tray and oil again. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Dough is now ready for transport to the grill. 

  5. Unfold the dough and cautiously place it on the preheated grill grates. You may need to quickly stretch the edges to re-establish the desired shape. Close grill cover. After a minute or so, lift the edge of the dough to check on the progress. Once dough starts to "bubble" and grill marks are noticeable, flip the dough using metal tongs or a pizza turner. Cover grill and after one minute, lift the dough to check underneath. Once the char marks are apparent, the crust is ready to be transferred to a tray.  
  6. If not using right away, allow crust to cool completely before placing in plastic bag for storage.

 

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