To recap: In my first pizza dough throwdown post I pitted Peter Reinhart’s grilled pizza dough from “My American Pie” against my very own Foodie With Family semolina grilled pizza dough recipe. The dough was prepared rested in the fridge overnight.
Now we move on to preparing the pizza.
Making sure you have everything ready to go before firing up the grill is as crucial in grilling pizza as it is in making a stir fry. Once the cooking starts things move very, very quickly. Here is a blow-by-blow account of how I made my grilled pizzas.
1. Prepare all toppings. I do mean all of them. Grate your cheese, cook any toppings that would need to be cooked on an oven-baked pizza. For instance, if you’re using bacon you absolutely must pre-cook it to the state you want it to be in when you bite it. If you put uncooked bacon on your pizza on the grill it will be only slightly less uncooked when the pizza crust is done. Remember to have a bowl of olive oil (preferably one infused with lots and lots of garlic) and a heat-resistant basting brush handy so you can brush your dough.
2. Gather all toppings on a large, rimmed tray or baking sheet. It is important to have everything together and within reach of the grill.
3. Oil a large cookie sheet generously. Pat each dough round out into about a 4″ circle and place on oiled sheet.
4. Gather your long tongs (and/or long handled spatula), and a couple clean tea towels. Don’t forget your large cutting board where you’ll be transferring the cooked pizzas.
5. Preheat one side of the grill to medium high and one side to low medium low (that’s like East South East on a map, but on your grill.) If using a charcoal grill pile your hot coals to one side and have a very low bed of coals on the other. This creates the different heat zones needed to properly cook a grilled pizza.
6. Gently press out one round of dough and lift it carefully. Stretch it as far as it will go without tearing. Carefully place over the hot side of the grill. Soon, the dough will start puffing up around the edges and you may see bubbles form. When you can get your tongs or spatula under it and lift it without it flopping over on itself you brush the top with olive oil (again, CAREFULLY! You’re working over flames, people!), move the dough to the cooler section of the grill and flip it over.
7. Sprinkle cheese(s) over the flipped dough and strategically dollop or squirt sauce so that you have it in several places on the dough.
8. Add small amounts of all your other toppings. A grilled pizza is a delicate thing. If you overload it you run the risk of it falling apart or not cooking properly.
9. Repeat with other dough balls, rotating as you cook until you’ve used all your toppings or all your dough. Save extra dough for tomorrow’s installment of our Grilled Pizza Dough Throwdown (Part III- wherein we critique the pizzas and use our leftover dough!)