Pizza on the BBQ

PIZZA ON THE BBQ - This is a great family dinner event or for entertaining a group of friends - everyone can make their own pizza with what they like on top - kids especially love to make their own.

 Pizza Dough - Makes 12-14 8" individual pizzas - Approximate time:  1-1/2 hours

 

(you can use a frozen bread loaf for two 8" pizzas if you don't want to make your own dough - just adjust your timing to allow the dough to thaw and rise)

 2 packages active dry yeast (about 2 tablespoons of yeast)

 

3 cups of warm water - not hot water or it will kill your yeast -

1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons of granulated sugar

1 tablespoon of kosher salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 cups unbleached flour - approximately - depending on the weather it may take more or less

 To make dough:  In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with all the sugar and mix well.  Set aside until you see bubbles appearing in the mix - this is to test your yeast to make sure it is alive - about 10 minutes.  If your yeast bubbles, go ahead and add the salt, olive oil and flour, one cup at a time mixing with your hand or stand mixer until the dough is the consistency of pancake mix.  If you are using a stand mixer with a dough hook, continue to add flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  If using a hand mixer, convert to mixing by hand using a sturdy wooden spoon, continuing to add flour one cup at a time until the dough is thick and somewhat sticky to the touch.  Remove the dough and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny - this will take a few minutes - put the dough back in a large bowl that has been greased with olive oil and flip the dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.  Hint:  While you are making your dough, you can turn your oven on to the lowest setting and then shut it off and then put the dough in there to rise.  Keep the dough covered until you are ready to use it - I will get a cotton (not terry) kitchen towel wet until it is damp and cover the dough with that.   Punch the dough down and shape into 12-14 small rounds.  If the dough is too sticky, just knead in a little more flour - keep the dough covered as you go.

 

 To make pizzas:  Spray your cold grill with oil and then get your BBQ hot - start out at about 350-400 degrees.  I use a gas grill so if it gets too hot and looks like you are going to burn the pizza, just turn it down a bit.  One at a time, stretch by the dough by hand and with a roller until it is about 8" round - it won't be exactly round and that's fine.  Place each round directly on the grill and cook with lid open or closed until the dough puffs and browns on the underside.  Remove from grill and slide onto a cookie sheet and turn over.  Put all of your toppings on the cooked side and then put back onto the grill.  Cover and cook until done - about 5 minutes depending on the toppings you use.

 

Tomato Sauce: 

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 8oz can tomato sauce

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

1 tbls olive oil

1 tbls Italian seasoning - crushed between your palms

1/4 tsp chili flakes

3 cloves minced garlic

Suggested toppings:

Roasted Garlic - Heat oven to 375 degrees
In a small glass baking dish, put about 20 or more cloves of garlic with skin on and cover with olive oil.  Bake in hot oven for about 15-20 minutes until the oil bubbles around the garlic.  Remove from oven and carefully cover with foil.  When cooled, remove the garlic and take the skins off with a fork or knife.  Save the oil and put garlic back in to keep moist. If you don't want to use the tomato sauce, you can brush the cooked side of your pizza with this oil and use a few cloves of garlic as a topping. 

Other toppings:   Dress up your pizzas with the usual mozzarella cheese, parmesan or romano and try other cheeses to compliment your toppings like fontina, goat or feta - some of the smoked cheeses are great too.

Use fresh mozzarella over an oiled crust, fresh thin tomato slices and fresh basil with a few roasted garlic cloves.

Use pesto over an oiled crust and top with goat or feta cheese, top with some parmesan cheese and olives - pitted kalamata olives are great.

Over an oiled crust, put sundried tomatoes, feta, fresh rosemary, garlic cloves and some drained and chopped marinated artichokes

Meat toppings:  Over the tomato sauce, use some grated mozzarella and cooked chicken slices or cooked sausage (Italian is great) or crispy cooked bacon, salami or pepperoini and top with chopped onions or thinly sliced red onion, sliced mushrooms (grilled shitake or other mushrooms), black olives and fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil and thyme.   Try some grilled shrimp on your pizza

Veggies:  Steamed asparagus or thinly sliced zucchini with mushrooms are great toppings over an oiled crust or with the tomato sauce. 
 

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