I have a couple of blog entries that I should have posted in August but I was so busy, including a trip to Florida for a week, that I just kept putting it off. So I finally had to bite the bullet and sit myself in front of my computer and write about this wonderful grilled pizza. By the way the term bite the bullet comes from pre-anaesthetics days where soldiers who unfortunately needed amputation of limbs from war injuries were given a bullet to bite on to help endure the pain and prevent them from biting off their own tongue, while the limb was sawed off. Of course writing about grilled pizza really isn't painful at all, as a matter of fact it brings back memories of a delicious way to make pizza without heating your kitchen in the middle of a sweltering summer.
First you have to prepare the dough and you can use any favourite pizza dough. This one happens to be Fougasse Dough by Patricia Wells that I've written about before. The dough is divided; I've divided it into four pieces and each piece is stretched out on parchment paper to fit half of my barbeque grill. The parchment paper helps to transfer the dough to the grill.
The dough is placed under a large plastic tent where they are left alone to rise for about half a hour or so.
When the grill is preheated and ready I transfer two sheets of dough to my deck table.
I lift one of the sheets and quickly and nimbly invert the dough onto the hot grill. When I first heard of grilling pizza I had visions of dough dripping down between the grills making a sloppy mess. Instead as soon as the dough hits the grill it coagulates and firms up immediately. I leave the parchment on the dough until it has firmed up and then peel it off carefully. At this point with your tongs on hand you lift a corner of the dough to inspect for grill marks and to access if the heat has to be adjusted. You don't want it to be too hot otherwise the dough will burn before you put the toppings on.
I completely forgot to take pictures of toppings ready to go, so please imagine a bowl of tomato sauce, sliced mozzerlla, fresh basil leafs, and sliced prosciutto nearby.
When the underside of dough has nice grill marks like this and the top has bubbled up you turn it over and quickly start adding the toppings. It is also wise to wear oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat. At this point I add another sheet of dough on the other half of the grill.
Really you can add any toppings you wish. The key here is to not overload the dough. I think the simplicity of a Pizza Margarita works very well here. I upped the anti on a couple of the pizzas by adding sliced prosciutto after they came off the grill. I think this method of cooking pizza is the next best thing to a wood burning oven. It is incredibly delicious. I especially like to have it with a mesculin salad which makes quite a memorable meal.
I wish those poor soldiers had had this to bite on instead of that awful bullet.