Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to the summer grilling season. But if you're not in the mood for hot dogs or hamburgers, how about a pizza?
Here & Now's resident chef Kathy Gunst says that grilling brings great flavor to pizza, and is a lot easier to do than you might think. She shares her recipes and a brings a sample of her grilled pizza for host Jeremy Hobson to taste.
Kathy’s Note: You will want to leave at least 45 minutes to let the dough rise. If you leave it overnight it will have even more flavor. This dough makes enough for 2 big pizzas and 4 smaller individual ones.
1/3 cup warm (but not boiling hot) water
1/3 cup milk
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
½ teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus oil for the bowl
½ teaspoon salt
About 2 cups unbleached white flour, or a combination of white and whole wheat
In a large bowl mix the water and milk (the temperature should be lukewarm like a baby’s bottle). Add the yeast and stir to combine, making sure the yeast doesn’t clump up. Add the sugar, olive oil, and salt and stir. Gradually add the flour, adding only enough to make a dough that is not wet or overly moist.
Place the dough on a well-floured surface and using your hands knead it for 4 to 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Shape the dough into a large ball. Add the kneaded dough to a large bowl and add some olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Toss the ball in the oil so it’s coated on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for 45 minutes. The dough should rise and almost double in bulk.
Or, if you have time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the dough in the morning, punch the dough down, and let rise by letting it sit in a warm, dry spot for another hour. Then the dough can be rolled out and shaped.
Divide the dough into four equal size pieces (for making individual pizzas or in half for larger pizzas). Using your well-floured hands, stretch the dough out keeping it thicker along the crust and edges. The crust should be fairly thin but don’t pull so much that the pizza rips or becomes too thin. I like to make the pizzas about 11 to 12 inches long by about 7 to 8 inches wide, in an oblong shape.
Transfer the pizza to a well-floured pizza paddle or wooden board.
Makes 4 small or 2 large pizzas.
Note: You can also freeze raw dough after rising. Wrap dough tightly in plastic. Freeze for up to 6 months.
You can top your pizza with virtually anything you like: herbs, tomatoes, grilled vegetables, thinly sliced sausage, cured meats, shredded meats, seafood, flavored oils, pesto…and the list goes on.
In terms of layering, I like to brush the bottom of the pizza with a thin brushing of tomato sauce, pesto or olive oil and then add thin slices of tomatoes, other vegetables, meat and then thin slices of mozzarella and grated Parmesan on top.
Here are just a few ideas:
For more grilled pizza recipe ideas, check out the book "Patio Pizzeria: Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads on the Grill."
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