Somewhat recently I saw Alton Browns Good Eats episode on grilled pizza. Being a pizza lover myself I’ve been on this journey seeking out the perfect at home pizza for what seems to be an eternity. Although we do have a back yard bread oven in the works sadly it will probably at least be one more year until we scrounge up the money and time to finish it. Stephens graciously critiqued my pizzas over the years and ultimately his wish list was thin-ish crust, a sweeter sauce and plenty of cheese. This is what I came up with and he swore up and down that it was the most delicious pizza he has ever had anywhere. The char was perfect, the sauce was sweet and it was topped off with a great spicy hot pork sausage. It may not be the picture perfect haute cuisine thats all over the food mags now days, no funky greens or shredded thingies, no perky gooey eggs just pure and simple… Pizza. Great pizza at that! It really reminded me of my all time favorite pizza (The Sporkie from Bertuccis), but I imagine if I’d slathered this with ricotta man-meat would have cried. Although I am a fan of thicker crusted pizzas I have to admit that these were the best balanced pizza’s I’ve had, still slightly chewy interior with a nice crispness to it.
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons molasses or sugar
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
In a larger bowl combine yeast, water, molasses, oil and salt. Allow to foam and bubble, using a spoon or spatula combine about half of the flour. Stir until smooth and gently add remaining flour. (Depending on the moisture and humidity in your area you may need a little more or less) Knead on a clean surface 5-7 minutes until its smooth and springy. Place in a lightly oiled vented container such as a plastic container with a hole poked in it, or simply cover the bowl gently with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator 4-6 hours. Take dough out of the fridge and divide into 3-4 pieces. I made 4 pizzas with this dough. Allow to rest at room temperature 1-2 hours.
extra virgin olive oil for brushing
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups pizza sauce
1 pound pork sausage, I used hot but you could also use sweet. (cooked and browned in a skillet)
Prepare your grill to high heat, I have a three burner gas stove that I used for this and turned all three burners on high until it was well over 500 degrees.
To roll out the dough flour your working surface and using a rolling pin roll the dough out flat until its your desired thickness and shape. I made mine about 1/8″-1/4″ thick in a rectangular shape, since my grill is a rectangle it seemed to make the most sense.
Prepare your working space around the grill. You will need oil and a pastry brush to brush your dough, tongs to move the dough around, sauce, a spoon to dollop the sauce as well as your cheese, toppings and whatever pan you want to hold the pizzas. Its important to have everything you need there, organization is always key but in this case you could set dough on fire…not that I did that or anything.
Brush one side of your dough with oil and place oil side down on the hot grill. Reduce heat to medium and grill until bubbles rapidly form in the dough. Brush the top side with oil and flip over. Dollop the already grilled side with sauce, as much or as little as you’d like. Top with cheese and toppings and allow for the cheese to melt. Rest the pizza 2-5 minutes and then slice and serve. In between preparing each pizza you will want to crank your grill back up. Repeat this process until you’ve made all four pizzas or reserve some dough for another use.