Pizza on the Grill

These were adapted from The Best Recipe, and were just about as a perfect kick-off to spring/summer as I could have wanted.  They were exactly right for an outdoor early supper, and dead easy to make while still looking kind of fancy and impressive.  This recipe makes 8 small pizzas.  If you don’t want to make that many, you can freeze the dough in individual rounds (separated by wax or parchment paper).

The dough:

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 cups room temperature water
  • 1 package dry active yeast (you could also use instant, but a slow rise is nice for pizza dough because it really develops that yeasty flavor)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp assorted fresh herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc)

In a 2-cup measuring cup, bloom yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water about 5 minutes or until yeast has dissolved and is slightly foamy.

Puree garlic, herbs, and olive oil together until you have a smooth paste.  Fry in a small nonstick skillet 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.

Add remaining 1 1/4 cup water (you’ll want 1 3/4 cup total) and oil/herb mixture to bloomed yeast in measuring cup.  Stir gently to combine.

In the meantime, combine flour and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Continue pulsing as you add the liquid, and process until dough forms a smooth ball.  You may not need all the liquid depending on elevation and humidity.  (But if you add too much, that’s fine too – pizza dough works best when it’s fairly wet.)

Turn dough onto a floured surface and work into a ball with your hands.  Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in warm place (oven with the light on is perfect) for 2 hours or until doubled in size.  If you want to do this a day ahead, let the dough rise in the fridge overnight.

Remove dough from bowl, cut into 8 equal portions.  Roll each into a ball and let rest 5 minutes.  Then flatten each ball into a pizza round and let those rest about 5 minutes.  (You can let them rest longer, but cover them with a tea towel or they will dry out.)

Prepare the grill (I like a chimmney starter) and build a 2-level fire with coals over approximately 3/4 of the grill.  For each pizza, brush the top of the dough round with olive oil then lay it over the hot coals oil-side down.  As soon as it’s down, brush the other side with more olive oil.  When you see the surface covered in bubbles and have good grill marks on the bottom, flip the dough over to the cool side of the grill and apply toppings to the cooked side.  Cover the grill to help the cheese melt faster.  Once you’ve got the timing down, it’s best to do 2 at a time so they’ll all still be warm when you’re ready to eat.


Grilled pizza can get weighed down by toppings pretty easily, so it’s best to keep things light.  I forewent sauce in favor of chopped fresh tomatoes, as well as a chiffonade of basil, some cooked sweet Italian sausage, chopped kalamata olives, and a combination of parmesan and mozarella cheeses.  Sadly, no pictures were taken.

Dylan was not nearly as impressed by the grilled pizza as the adults were.  His loss!

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