Before we moved to Calgary, I had a list of things that I was hoping for in whatever apartment we chose to rent. A balcony or outdoor space was at the very top of the list. I have never had access to outdoor space in any of the places I’ve lived in before so I was dreaming of a herb garden, a chair to read on, and maybe even a BBQ. Of course, when we actually moved to Calgary and realized how difficult it was to find any place at all, my list of requirements became much, much shorter. The quest for outdoor space went down the drain. In the end, I love our apartment and I’ve even managed to keep a few pots of fresh herbs alive (which I love! Fellow apartment dwellers, don’t despair. You can keep a bunch of herbs alive as long as you have a nice sunny window.) but an indoor BBQ is obviously not a possibility. Luckily, we have very nice, friends that have an entire deck, filled with a multi-stage (home-built!) garden and a big BBQ. So, when they asked me if I wanted to try grilled pizza, I jumped at the chance.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a BBQ, this has to be on your must-cook list before the summer is over (or once the summer starts, depending where you are reading this from!). It was one of those meals that was really fun to prepare, cook and eat. I was very overly excited by the whole process. It was the most fun I have had cooking in a long time.
The dough worked out perfectly. I was afraid of so many disasters: dough sticking, dough burning, raw dough, dry dough, but it turned out great. The BBQ is so hot that everything comes together super quickly. You definitely get in the groove after the first couple of pizzas. The dough has a great charred flavour and a crispy base but is still chewy and soft on the inside. We had to brush the dough with olive oil but we couldn’t find a brush, so we used a few rosemary sprigs instead, which was actually really tasty. I found that I could taste the olive oil, especially on the simpler pizzas, so using something good quality is worth it. This pizza is a fun idea if you are having a party because the pizzas are personal size and everyone can choose their own toppings.
We made so many different types of pizzas. My favourite were the grilled vegetables and the margherita with tomato. Just keep in mind that it is important to grill your vegetables before they go on the pizza. Because the dough cooks so quickly, the toppings don’t have a chance to cook down very much when they are already on the pizza. So, anything you want cooked should definitely be prepared in advance. We charred some peppers, portabello mushrooms and zucchini. The double char action was really good. Topped with just-melted mozzarella it was a really fun, satisfying meal.
This recipe is from the Kichn. They have a lot of amazing tips if you want to check out their article. For example, if you don't want to let your dough rest overnight, they have instructions for that.
Definitely do a 'test' pizza first to make sure you have the timing right. Your BBQ may be hotter or colder than mine, so it's good to adjust timing as needed. The most important thing is to have all of your stuff prepared and laid out, you don't want the BBQ lid open, letting out all of the heat, for too long.
It's best to cook these in smaller batches until you are used to it. Once you get in a rhythm, it's much easier!
We didn't have a brush to brush the olive oil with, so we used a couple of sprigs of rosemary. Yum.
This is a really fun idea for a party. The pizzas are individual sized, so people can customize their toppings.
Mix the water, yeast and oil together in a large bowl.
Mix in the flour and salt and make a ball of shaggy dough form.
Dump the dough onto a countertop and knead it for 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and spring back slowly when poked.
Divide the dough into 8 equal balls.
Place balls on a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and place in fridge overnight.
Make sure to let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before you are ready to grill.
In a large pan, heat up olive oil over medium heat. fry garlic until it starts to turn golden.
Add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaves and oregano.
Turn the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Set sauce aside until ready to use.
If you are making a pizza with any grilled vegetables, make sure to grill them before you make the pizza.
Heat your BBQ to 450F and lightly oil and season your vegetables with salt and pepper.
Cook vegetables over indirect heat until they have grill marks and are fully cooked through. Remove from BBQ.
Cut vegetables, like peppers, into manageable pieces (sliced).
The most important part of grilling pizza is to be organized. Have all your toppings ready and laid out next to the BBQ.
The BBQ should be turned up to about 550F.
Roll out all of your pizza dough. The pizza should be about 5 inches in diameter and not too thin (about 1/4 inch thick).
Oil one side of your pizza dough.
Place dough on grill, oil side down.
Close the lid and let it cook for 90 seconds. There should be grill marks but it shouldn't be burned. There shouldn't be flames directly touching the pizza.
Open the BBQ lid, brush the side facing up with olive oil. Flip the pizza using tongs or a spatula.
Add tomato sauce, toppings and cheese. Close the lid.
Cook pizza for about 3 more minutes.
Remove from BBQ and serve. Repeat with any remaining dough.
Grilled Pizza was last modified: August 9, 2015 by