Grilled Summer Backyard Pizza

In the words of our artisan pizza maker friend Noel Brohner of Slow Rise Pizza, "Grilled pizza offers the best of all worlds: the top of the pizza is well-charred with grill marks; the crumb, light and airy; the bottom, just the right amount of crisp, crunch, and bubbly-puffy goodness. It’s just perfect for hot summer months when you really want to make pizza but don’t want to heat up your house. Using Cairnspring flour and fresh summer ingredients, grilled pizza is a summer classic anyone can master—and everyone will love."

Prep Time

1.5 hours

Bake Time

1.5 hours

Total Time

18-24 hours

Yield

6 medium-size pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 6 2/3 cups (800g) Glacier Peak bread flour
  • 1½ cups (200g) Sequoia all-purpose flour
  • 2 2/3 cups (650g) cold water
  • 1½ tablespoons (25g) kosher salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon (2g) instant dry yeast
  • Toppings of your choice
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for grilling

Baker's Notes

* Useful Equipment and tools:

  • Electric stand mixer, KitchenAid or similar
  • Assorted bowls
  • Aluminum half sheet pan
  • Metal pizza peel
  • Large metal spatula
  • Long metal tongs
  • Pastry brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Cooling rack
  • Pizza steel or pizza stone (for the grilling hack below)

** Make more dough than you need so you can do a few test pizzas before guests arrive. After grilling, let cool and then cut the pizzas into bite size strips and toss with olive oil, pecorino, fresh black pepper, flake salt, and herbs. Serve as appetizers with simple, rustic dips and tapenades.

***GRILLING HACK: If you find that your grill has a hot spot that is burning the pizza prematurely, place a pizza steel or pizza stone down on the “warm” side of the grill. This will allow the bottom of the pizza to bake more evenly, guaranteeing a crispy AND well caramelized bottom crust and a fully cooked crumb. That’s what I did and it worked great!!

**** Pre-Bake Topping Combination Ideas:

  • Pecorino, black pepper, Maldon salt
  • Grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes, anchovy
  • Grilled asparagus, roasted mushrooms, tarragon
  • Heavy cream, sautéed spinach, summer corn and bacon lardons

Generally, we suggest that you top your pizza with ingredients that are light and summery and will require minimal bake time on the pizza, particularly since there is no top heat source on a grill. Think white pies with grilled zucchini, roasted asparagus, or sweet cherry tomatoes.

***** Place the peel with the oiled and dimpled dough next to the grill in anticipation of placing it on to the grill. The transfer must be quick and intentional and will likely take at least a few practice runs before you master it. Expect the length, width, and overall shape to be “rustic” until you get the maneuver right.

****** Post-Bake Topping Ideas:

  • Fresh cheese: burrata, fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta
  • Cured meats: prosciutto, mortadella, salami, capicola
  • Grilled summer fruits: plums, peaches, apricots, figs
  • Pickled vegetables: onions, peppers, cauliflower, garlic
  • Infused oils: peppers, herbs, garlic
  • Shaved hard cheeses: pecorino, parmesan
  • Fresh lemon juice or zest

Finish grilled pizzas after they come off the grill with fresh items like baby arugula, fresh, young cheeses, cured meats, and pickled vegetables. Pestos and tapenades are also delicious. Bring out your best finishing oils and be prepared to shave your favorite parmesan, pecorino or even a fresh summer truffle if you’re so inclined.

Instructions:

Day 1* (see Baker's Notes)

  1. In a bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine water, the two flours and oil. Mix for 2-3 minutes at the lowest speed (speed 1 in the KitchenAid).
  2. Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Add yeast and mix for 1 minute at the lowest speed.
  4. Add salt and mix for 1 minute at the lowest speed.
  5. Increase the mixing speed to medium-low (Speed 2) and mix for 2 minutes.
  6. Increase the mixing speed to medium (Speed 3) and mix for 2 more minutes.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
  8. After the 30 minutes have passed, complete a Stretch and Fold: simply reach with one hand into the bowl and fold one side of the dough over into the middle, followed by the opposite side, and then the two alternate sides as if you are folding an envelope.
  9. Re-cover the bowl and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  10. Transfer the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Using a scale, divide it into 6 balls of 290 grams each.
  11. Transfer the dough balls onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours** (see Baker's Notes).

 

Day 2

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit out for 3-4 hours in a cool place.
  2. Preheat the grill for at least 30 minutes before starting to cook.
  3. Set up two grill zones: 1) medium hot and 2) warm, approximately 600-625°F on the hot side and 475-500°F on the warm side*** (see Baker's Notes).
  4. Grill the pizza toppings to "Season" the grill before grilling your pizzas**** (see Baker's Notes).
  5. Brush the grill grates and then wipe with a well-oiled towel.
  6. Prepare the dough: Stretch the dough ball on a well-oiled sheet pan into any shape you desire, preferably oblong. Work the dough with your fingertips, dimpling and depressing it as you gently and evenly extend it.
  7. Flip the entire pizza over lengthwise once or twice to extend the dough to about 12" in length, about 4" inches in width. Try not to leave a thicker rim around the edges as with a hearth-baked pizza – the thickness should be even throughout, avoiding thin spots.
  8. Transfer the shaped dough to a well-floured pizza peel and drizzle or brush the top with olive oil.
  9. Bring the peel over to the grill, gently but firmly flipping the peel upside down as you flip the dough on to the hot side of the grill with the oiled side down and the dry side up***** (see Baker's Notes).
  10. Carefully adjust the dough on the grill using tongs if necessary. Close the grill top immediately.
  11. Prepare your toppings and keep a spray bottle filled with water for flame flare-ups nearby.
  12. The bottom of the pizza should char pretty quickly, maybe two minutes tops. The top of the pizza should begin to bubble almost immediately. Flip the pizza to the other side, carefully transferring it to the warm side of the grill.
  13. Add toppings sparingly and close the grill top as quickly as possible. Grill until the bottom crust of pizza becomes golden brown, inner crumb bakes completely and the toppings sizzle gently.
  14. Remove pizza with a metal pizza peel or large metal spatula and let cool on a cooling rack for a minute or two, allowing the bottom crust to crisp up and the crumb to set. 
  15. Plate, slice, and finish topping****** (see Baker's Notes).
  16. Serve and enjoy.

Baker's Notes

* Useful Equipment and tools:

  • Electric stand mixer, KitchenAid or similar
  • Assorted bowls
  • Aluminum half sheet pan
  • Metal pizza peel
  • Large metal spatula
  • Long metal tongs
  • Pastry brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Cooling rack
  • Pizza steel or pizza stone (for the grilling hack below)

** Make more dough than you need so you can do a few test pizzas before guests arrive. After grilling, let cool and then cut the pizzas into bite size strips and toss with olive oil, pecorino, fresh black pepper, flake salt, and herbs. Serve as appetizers with simple, rustic dips and tapenades.

***GRILLING HACK: If you find that your grill has a hot spot that is burning the pizza prematurely, place a pizza steel or pizza stone down on the “warm” side of the grill. This will allow the bottom of the pizza to bake more evenly, guaranteeing a crispy AND well caramelized bottom crust and a fully cooked crumb. That’s what I did and it worked great!!

**** Pre-Bake Topping Combination Ideas:

  • Pecorino, black pepper, Maldon salt
  • Grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes, anchovy
  • Grilled asparagus, roasted mushrooms, tarragon
  • Heavy cream, sautéed spinach, summer corn and bacon lardons

Generally, we suggest that you top your pizza with ingredients that are light and summery and will require minimal bake time on the pizza, particularly since there is no top heat source on a grill. Think white pies with grilled zucchini, roasted asparagus, or sweet cherry tomatoes.

***** Place the peel with the oiled and dimpled dough next to the grill in anticipation of placing it on to the grill. The transfer must be quick and intentional and will likely take at least a few practice runs before you master it. Expect the length, width, and overall shape to be “rustic” until you get the maneuver right.

****** Post-Bake Topping Ideas:

  • Fresh cheese: burrata, fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta
  • Cured meats: prosciutto, mortadella, salami, capicola
  • Grilled summer fruits: plums, peaches, apricots, figs
  • Pickled vegetables: onions, peppers, cauliflower, garlic
  • Infused oils: peppers, herbs, garlic
  • Shaved hard cheeses: pecorino, parmesan
  • Fresh lemon juice or zest

Finish grilled pizzas after they come off the grill with fresh items like baby arugula, fresh, young cheeses, cured meats, and pickled vegetables. Pestos and tapenades are also delicious. Bring out your best finishing oils and be prepared to shave your favorite parmesan, pecorino or even a fresh summer truffle if you’re so inclined.


Older Post