Grilled Pizza

The pizza recipe notes that even though you should use a variety of toppings, keep in mind that this is a situation where less is more. Suppress the natural tendency to cover the entire surface of the dough.


Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the sugar. After five minutes, stir in the salt, cornmeal, whole wheat flour and oil. Gradually add the all-purpose flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough has formed. Place the dough on a floured board, and knead it for several minutes, adding only enough additional flour to keep the dough from sticking.

When the dough is smooth and shiny, transfer it to a bowl that has been brushed with olive oil. To prevent a skin from forming, brush the top of the dough with additional olive oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, until double in bulk, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Punch down the dough and knead once more. Let the dough rise again for about 40 minutes. Punch down the dough. If it is sticky, knead in a bit more flour. Makes enough dough for four 10-12 inch pizzas.

Suggested Toppings (or your favorites):

To cook the pizza: start your grill. This recipe must be done over a hot wood or charcoal fire. A gas grill, even fueled by wood chips will not do. Build the fire on one side of the grill. During the cooking process you will want a cool area in order to add the toppings without burning the bottom of the crust. If you are using a hibachi, build the fire on one side. For kettle-type grills, place a brick in the center of the bowl and bank the charcoal on one half.

On a large, oiled, inverted baking sheet, spread and flatten the pizza dough with your hands into a 10-12 inch free-form circle. Do not make a lip on the dough. You may end up with a rectangle rather than a circle. The shape in unimportant, but do take care to maintain an even thickness.

Be careful not to stretch the dough so thinly that holes appear. Don't despair, however, if small holes do appear. Though you cannot repair them, you can work around them. To avoid flare-ups, do not drizzle oil or filling into these holes.

When the fire is hot, use your fingertips to lift the dough gently by two corners and drape it directly onto the grill. Guide the dough into place over the fire. Within a minute, the dough will puff slightly, the underside will stiffen and grill marks will appear.

Using tongs, immediately flip the crust over, onto the coolest part of the grill. Quickly brush the grilled surface with olive oil or pesto. Scatter the combination of toppings you prefer over the surface. Slide the pizza back toward the hot coals, but not directly over the fire*. Using tongs, rotate the pizza frequently so that different sections receive high heat. Check the underside often to see that it is not burning. The pizza is done when the top is bubbly and the cheese melted, about 6-8 minutes.

*We found that once the topping was added to the crust, we were able to move it close to direct heat, turn to "toast" the other half, then slide the pizza to the cool part of the grill again and put the lid on the grill. This enabled the cheese to melt without fear of burning the crust.