Grilled Pizza: Summery New Twist on a Classic

Grilled pizzaGrilled pizza"Grilling pizza is one of the easiest ways to make it homemade," Tony Gemignani, owner of five restaurants including Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco, tells Shine. "If it's done right, its as good as any pizza." And Gemignani knows his way around a pie. His flagship restaurant boasts seven ovens including wood burning, coal, and an electric model from Italy. The nine-time World Pizza Champion turns out 11 different styles of pizza and also runs a pizza school that offers 75 chefs a year the most rigorous certification outside of Italy.

Tony's tips for perfect grilled pizza:

Don't start with your heat too high. If you are using coal, pile on one side of grill to make an area with indirect heat.

Dryer dough (recipe below) holds its shape better for grilling. If you want to purchase dough, buy it in the morning so it's fresh. Also, pick one at the bottom of the stack in the refrigerator case-it will have been handled less and be colder.

Always bring dough to room temperature before cooking. Don't put cold dough on the grill or in the oven.

Roll or stretch the dough into your shape, put in on the grill to get some marks, and then flip it before topping with ingredients.

If the bottom starts to burn before the top ingredients are ready, slip it onto a metal pizza pan and put it back on the grill-this will give the top a few more minutes to cook.

Use fewer heavy ingredients to avoid a sloppy pie.

About 80% of the ingredients should go on after the pizza is cooked such as grilled meat, vegetables, arugula, or salsas.

Fresh tomatoes added at the end work better than a sauce. If you want to use tomato sauce, spoon on a little when the dough is partially cooked.

If you are building a pizza for the grill on a hot day, your dough might sweat. Dust your peel with cornmeal or semolina so it doesn't stick.

Tony GemignaniTony GemignaniPizza dough for grilling (adapted from Tony Gemignani)

Ingredients:

1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water (90 degree to 100 degree F)
¼ cup rye flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
¾ teaspoon table salt or 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ¾ cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

To make the dough by hand:

1. Begin by making a sponge. In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of the warm water. Add the rye flour and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ½ cup plus one tablespoon warm water, two tablespoons olive oil, salt, and 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour to the sponge. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough, incorporating as much of the flour as possible. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. It will still be a little sticky but shouldn't stick to your hands. Add the minimum amount of flour to the work surface to keep the dough from sticking.

3. Generously oil a large bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then place a clean, damp kitchen towel over the top.

4. Set the bowl in a warm spot (a pilot-heated oven is a good spot, or an electric oven turned to 150 degree F for 5 minutes and then turned off). Let the dough rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough, cover it, and let it rise for another 40 minutes. The dough is now ready to be rolled out. (If you want to make the pizza dough in advance, after the first rising, the dough can be punched down and placed in a large lock-top plastic freezer bag. Refrigerate the dough for up to 12 hours. Bring the dough to room temperature before completing the final rise. Alternatively, freeze the dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then bring the dough to room temperature before completing the final rise.)

To make the dough using a mixer:

1. Fit a heavy-duty stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. In the mixer bowl, stir the yeast into ¼ cup of the warm water. Add the rye flour and mix on low speed until combined. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel over the mixer to cover the bowl and let the sponge rise for 20 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ½ cup plus one tablespoon of warm water, two tablespoons olive oil, salt, and 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour to the sponge. Mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated and the dough gathers together to form a coarse ball, about 3 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes and then mix on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, about 3 minutes longer. Even if the dough seems too sticky, turn out the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead for a minute or two until it forms a smooth ball, adding up to 2 tablespoons of additional flour, if necessary.

3. Generously oil a large bowl (or use the mixer bowl), add the dough, and turn to coat on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then place a clean, damp kitchen towel over the top.

4. Follow step four above.

Basic method of forming and grilling pizza dough (for all recipes below)

Generously dust a pizza peel or large rimless baking sheet with flour and then cornmeal. Flatten the dough on a heavily floured work surface, sprinkling a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal over the flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle 12 to 13 inches in diameter. The dough should be about ¼ inch thick. If the dough shrinks back at the edges, gently stretch it by hand, being careful to keep the dough a uniform thickness. The dough does not need to be in a perfect circle.

Using your hands and working quickly, lift and transfer the dough to the pizza peel or baking sheet. Give the peel or sheet a few shakes back and forth to make sure the dough isn't sticking. Brush the grill rack generously with oil. Slide the dough onto the center of the grill rack, using a quick jerking motion with your arm. If any part of the dough folds over on itself, use a pair of tongs to unfold it. Immediately cover the grill. Grill until a crust forms and light grill marks appear, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Using the pizza peel or baking sheet, flip the pizza crust over and pull it off the grill. Cover the grill while adding the toppings. (If using a charcoal grill, shovel some of the charcoal to one side to create a cooler section. If using a gas grill, turn the center burner to medium).

Grilled Steak Pizza with Corn and Mango Salsa (adapted from Tony Gemignani)

Ingredients:

1 ear of corn, shucked1medium red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1" slices1Tbs. butter, melted16-8 oz. steakBBQsauce of choice (optional)1 dough ball (10-14 oz)4 oz. whole milk mozzarella, shredded4 oz. Monterey jack, shreddedFlour and medium-grind yellow cornmeal for dusting

Salsa (can be made in advance):1 ripe mango, peeled and diced1 Serrano pepper, diced1Tbs. lime juice1 tsp. cilantro, chopped1 tsp. garlic, minced1 Tbs. agave nectar or sugar1 tsp. apple cider vinegarPinch of sea salt

Start a barbecue grill on medium heat with either coals or gas. Baste corn with butter, wrap in foil and roast on a section of the grill with indirect heat. Repeat this method with the bell pepper. Flip occasionally to cook all sides evenly. Place steak on grill, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook to medium. Remove steak, corn, and bell pepper from grill; allow them to slightly cool. Slice steak thinly and toss lightly in BBQ sauce, if desired.

Cut corn kernels off the cob. Peel and chop the bell pepper. Add to salsa ingredients, Mix together well.

Shape pizza and place dough on grill: see Basic Method above.

Sprinkle mozzarella on lightly charred pizza dough and add sliced steak. Quickly place pizza back onto grill and close lid for 30 seconds. Check bottom of pizza. If dough has grill marks, transfer pizza to a metal cookie sheet or pizza pan. Close lid and continue cooking for 20 seconds. Remove any excess flour and cornmeal from the pizza peel or baking sheet and use it to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Slice into wedges, top with Monterey jack and fresh salsa and serve immediately.

Grilled Canadian Bacon, Pineapple, and Poblano Pizza with Fresh Mozarella (adapted from Tony Gemignani)

Ingredients:

1 dough ball (10-14 oz)

Vegetable oil

1 small, ripe pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices, leaving the core intact

1 poblano chile

Olive oil for drizzling

4 oz. Canadian bacon, thinly sliced

5 oz. fresh whole-milk mozarella, thinly sliced and blotted with paper towels to remove excess moisture

Fleur de sel (sea salt)

Freshly ground pepper

Flour and medium-grind yellow cornmeal for dusting

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat the center burner of a gas grill on high and the front and back or side burners to medium low. Brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Arrange the pineapple slices in a single layer directly over the hot fire. Place the Poblano pepper on the grill grate directly over the hot fire. Cover the grill and cook until grill marks appear on the pineapple and chile, about 3 minutes. Turn the chile and continue to char the skin. Turn the pineapple and grill until grill marks appear on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove the pineapple slices and set on a plate next to the grill. Turn the chile again and continue grilling until the skin is blistered and charred on all sides. Remove from the grill. Dampen a paper town and wrap the chile in the towel until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Use the paper towel to rub off the skin. Cut the chile in half, discard the core, seeds, and ribs, and cut into long strips. Set the grilled pineapple and chile next to the grill along with the olive oil, Canadian bacon, mozzarella, salt and pepper.


Shape pizza and place dough on grill: see Basic Method above.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil evenly over the lightly charred crust. Arrange the pineapple slices evenly over the pizza crust and top with bacon. Evenly distribute the mozzarella cheese over the top. Scatter the strips of grilled poblano over the top and season with a little sea salt and a few grindings of pepper. Slide the pizza back on the grill toward the hot section, but not directly over it. Cover the grill and cook the pizza until nicely browned and crisp and the cheese has melted, about seven minutes. Check the pizza after about three minutes. If the pizza is browning too quickly, slide it over to the cooler part of the grill to finish baking. Remove any excess flour and cornmeal from the pizza peel or baking sheet and use it to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Slice the pizza into wedges and serve immediately.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom, Green Onion, Pesto, and Fontina Pizza (adapted from Tony Gemignani)

Ingredients:

1 dough ball (10-14 oz)

¼ cup pesto, homemade or store-bought

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

3 large Portobello mushrooms, stems and black gills removed

1 bunch (about 8) green onions, ends trimmed

4 oz. Italian fontina cheese, thinly sliced

Freshly ground pepper

Flour and medium-grind yellow cornmeal for dusting

Vegetable oil for brushing

In a bowl, combine the pesto and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat the center burner of a gas grill on high and the front and back or side burners to medium-low. Brush mushrooms and green onions with oil. Place the vegetables in a single layer directly over the hot fire. Grill on one side just until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes for the green onions, 3 to 4 minutes for the mushrooms. Turn and grill until tender but still firm, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove the onions from the grill and set them on a plate next to the grill. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and cut into ½ inch strips. Set next to the grill along with the cheese and pepper.

Shape pizza and place dough on grill: see Basic Method above.

Spread the pesto evenly over the lightly charred crust, leaving a one-inch border. Arrange the mushrooms evenly over the pesto-coasted crust. Distribute the fontina cheese slices over the mushrooms, season with a few grindings of pepper. Slide the pizza back on the grill toward the hot section, but not directly over it. Cover the grill and bake the pizza until nicely browned and crisp on the bottom and at the edges and the cheese has melted, about seven minutes. Check the pizza about after three minutes. If the pizza is browning too quickly, slide it over to the cooler part of the grill to finish baking. Remove any excess flour and cornmeal from the pizza peel or baking sheet and use it to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Artfully scatter the green onions over the top. Slice the pizza into wedges and serve immediately.

Also on Shine:

Easy Homemade Pizza

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options