This recipe is one I’ve been perfecting over the past several years, and best made with the freshest of tomatoes from the garden. Pizza is personal. I’m giving you the way I make it, but you may find other toppings you like better.
Just like with pie, it all starts with the crust. You can buy pizza dough, but this recipe is pretty basic and easy to make.
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cups flour (all unbleached white or use half white and half whole wheat)
Beat yeast, sugar, and water until well blended. Let rest for a few minutes. Add salt and flour and mix until dough forms. Knead on floured board until smooth (3-5 minutes). Place in a warm bowl coated with olive oil. Cover with damp towel and leave in a warm spot. Allow to rise until dough doubles (approximately an hour). Punch down dough and roll into oblong roll on floured board. (I usually cut dough in half and place one portion in a zip-lock and freeze). Cut into 10-12 (full dough recipe) or 5-6 pieces and roll into a ball.
Roll out each piece into a thin circle and place on cookie coated with olive oil. Grill @400 degrees Fahrenheit on side with oil for two minutes or until a crust forms on the one side.
The trickiest part of the whole process is making sure the crusts don’t burn on the grill. You know your grill best. I’ve learned to do this by trial and error and mostly by hovering near the grill and watching.
After one side is grilled, make sure cookie sheet is still coated with olive oil and place crusts back on the cookie sheet with grilled side up. You are now ready to put the ingredients on top of the grilled side.
(For 6 pizzas – double if using full recipe of dough)
3-4 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 sweet or hot banana pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
Parmesan, salt, and pepper to taste
Place sliced tomatoes on the grilled side of crust. Sprinkle minced garlic evenly on top of tomatoes to taste. Salt and pepper the tomatoes to taste. Sprinkle basil and feta. Put on peppers. Finish with the mozzarella cheese. You’re now ready to put back on the hot grill.
You must be very careful at this point so you don’t burn the bottom of the crusts. Again, I’ve had to learn from practice. For my gas grill (which is very old), this method works the best. I put the pizzas on the hot grill and shut the cover leaving burners on high. After 2-3 minutes (without opening the lid), I turn off the grill and let the pizzas sit while the grill cools down. After 20 minutes, the cheese is melted and the crusts are not burned. Sometimes I take the pizzas on the cookie sheet and place under the broiler for one minute to ensure a bubbly cheesy top.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with grilling pizza. It’s been fun to taste and test this recipe over the years. It’s one my daughter asks for whenever she visits so hopefully when she’s here in October, we’ll still have some tomatoes.