Grilling Pizza, A True Taste of Italy
Nothing beats the taste of an authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, fresh out of the wood-burning oven. Unfortunately, Naples, Italy, home of some of the best pizzas in the world, is quite the distance to travel to experience this divine meal. Luckily, such an outstanding pizza can be re-created using the grill from the comfort of your own backyard.
To begin, prepare Williams-Sonoma’s Thin-Crust Pizza Dough or your favorite pizza dough recipe. After the dough is complete, preheat your grill on high. While the grill is heating, roll your pizza dough into 10-inch rounds, approximately ¼ inch thick. Do not make a raised rim (or crust) because this will interfere with the grilling process.
Set aside your prepared dough for a couple minutes. During this time get a small bowl of olive oil (used for lightly greasing the grill grates and pizza dough) and all of your desired toppings. Set them close to the grill so they are readily available. Grilling pizza is a very fast process, so it is important to have all ingredients and supplies close at hand.
Lightly brush olive oil onto the hot grill grates. This will keep your pizza from sticking. Sprinkle flour or cornmeal onto a cookie sheet, and lay your dough round onto the sheet. A floured cookie sheet will allow the pizza dough to easily slide onto the grill. Slide the dough onto the grill. Close the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, carefully watching to make sure the dough does not burn. The bottom of the dough will turn golden brown, and air pockets will begin to form.
After the bottom of the dough has reached a light golden color, remove it from the grill by sliding your cookie sheet or pizza peel underneath. You may want to lightly flour or cornmeal the surface again to ensure the pizza does not stick. Once the pizza is off of the grill, flip it over so the grilled side is facing up. Paint the grilled side with olive oil to enhance the flavor of the crust.
Next, add your favorite toppings. Start with the sauce, using only 2-3 tablespoons to help avoid making the crust soggy. The toppings come next, which also need to be kept to small amounts. Some suggested toppings are:
- Bases: marinara, pesto, flavored olive oil, barbeque sauce, guacamole, salsa verde
- Cheeses: mozzarella, ricotta, goat cheese, parmesan, gorgonzola
- Toppings: vegetables (onion, mushrooms, peppers, tomato), chicken, pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto, Canadian bacon, steak
Slightly reduce the heat of the grill, and slide your fully prepared pizza back onto it. Close the lid and grill again for 2-3 minutes, until the raw side of the dough is golden brown, and the cheese begins to bubble.
Take the pizza off of the grill, slice and serve! A taste of Italy, Buon Appetito!