Please pardon the dark photo. I am too lazy to brighten it up 🙂
Last night I felt brave and decided to grill some pizza. We’ve done this before, with mixed results, but it actually went quite well this time. It’s intimidating to do, grilling bread of any kind–I’ve done this with naan a couple of times, as well, and once it went pretty well and once it went pretty poorly. I think part of the issue is just mastering some kind of technique. To that end, I made some pizza dough, a good-sized batch, and broke it into three pieces. Then I sprinkled a lot of cornmeal on my kitchen counter and spread the dough into a 12″ long oval that was, oh, 8 or 9″ wide. Something like that. I then put a lot of cornmeal on a cutting board, and put that pizza on it. Then I repeated this process so that on my way outside to my hot and waiting grill, I had a pizza on the cutting board, one still on the counter, and one on my pizza peel. Lots of cornmeal is key, as it keeps the pizza from sticking. I also had another cutting board covered with toppings–a pile of mushrooms, a pile of spinach, a pile of feta, a pile of pepperoni–and a bowl of sauce. I set up a table near the grill and brought all of these things, along with a bag of mozzerella, outside. Then I opened the grill and slid the first pizza off of the peel and onto the grates. Thanks to all the cornmeal, it slid right off. The trick at this point is to leave it be–cover the grill, and peek at the dough every couple of minutes to make sure it’s not burning. When the bottom looks sufficiently browned and the dough seems to be at least halfway baked through, use a giant spatula or your peel to flip it over. Quickly, and without burning yourself, top the pizza, turn the heat down a bit, and cover it. A few minutes later the bottom should be browned and the cheese melty.
Grilled pizzas are delicious, and it saves warming your house up with a 450-degree oven, which is pretty unpleasant in the summer. I went through a bit of an acrobatic routine to swap the cooked pizzas with the raw pizzas, but I’d put a platter outside to put them on, so all was well. We enjoyed the smoky taste of the dough with the different toppings; my favorite was the spinach with feta and mozzerella, which you can (sort of) see here. Very tasty!