At the beginning of summer, it’s all about burgers, meats and veggies. As summer winds down, and the garden tomatoes are ripe, we start grilling pizzas. So the next time you’re craving pizza, don’t call for delivery, just fire up the grill! All you need are two easy recipes for homemade pizza dough and a quick pizza sauce, grated mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil. Paired with a simple salad and a nice glass of Shiraz, there’s nothing better. Grilling pizza gives it a flavor that no home oven can produce. The crust is perfectly crispy and nutty in flavor from the whole wheat flour, but still tender on the top because of the sauce. The smokiness that the grill imparts is by far the most delicious reason for grilling pizzas.
- Add the olive oil and honey to the warmed milk and stir to combine.
- Place the remaining ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment and stir to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, pour the milk mixture into the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the flour. Note: Depending on the temperature and humidity level, you may need to make slight adjustments. If the dough seems too dry, add water a teaspoon at a time. If too wet, add flour a teaspoon at a time.
- Increase speed to medium high and mix for 2-3 minutes.
- The dough will come together in one mass and will pick up all the bits of dough that were previously stuck to the sides of the bowl. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the dough and turn it to coat, and coat the sides of the bowl slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 1-2 hours.
- Combine all ingredients except tomatoes and Parmesan into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until salt and sugar dissolves and garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Turn off the heat and allow mixture to cool slightly to prevent the tomatoes from splattering.
- Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Allow the sauce to cool for about 30 minutes. Purée the sauce with an immersion blender and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Note: Remove the garlic clove before you purée the sauce for a mild garlic flavor, leave in for a more intense flavor.
- Refrigerate sauce if not using within 2 hours.
We have 2 Cuisinart pizza grill pans and can fit 2 at a time on our grill. Cooked pizzas are transferred to cutting boards and we assemble the remaining 2 pizzas on the same grill pans and cook. No need to wash the grill pans in between pizzas, but be sure to add additional oil before placing the second round of pizza dough on them.
- After the dough has risen, divide it into 4 pieces and roll each one out to roughly an 8 inch round.
- Transfer dough to a well oiled pizza grill pan and allow it to rest for at least 15-30 minutes before adding the toppings.
- Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce (recipe follows) onto rested dough.
- Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh sliced tomatoes. Season the tomatoes lightly with salt and pepper. Note: If using very juicy, watery tomatotes, place the slices onto kitchen towels to absorb some of the excess water for a few minutes before placing them on the pizza.
- Grill pizzas by placing the pizza grill pans directly on a preheated 400 degree grill and close the lid, leaving the handles outside. Every grill is different so do not walk away. Check the pizzas after a few minutes as they cook quickly. Use a spatula to slightly lift up the end of the pizza to check the crust. Pizzas are ready when the bottom of the crust is brown and the cheese has melted. Note: Too hot of a grill will burn the bottom of the crust while not cooking the top.
Cheers to smoky grilled pizzas!