Save Time With Pre-made Dough or Crusts
Many customers came into
my pizza shop to buy raw
dough to grill or bake. Your
local pizzeria might also
sell dough for this purpose.
Trader Joe’s sells terrific
fresh pizza dough that grills
up beautifully. Pillsbury sells
decent pizza dough that
tastes great grilled.
Frozen bread dough is a
little different. It grills more
like bread than pizza crust.
It chars nicely with grill
marks, but comes out softer
because it has no cornmeal,
and because the ratio of
yeast is lower. I have also
grilled pita bread, and used
it as a small crust for pizza,
which works well too. A
prepared crust, such as
Boboli, works if you grill both
sides first to crisp it.
Thicker Crust Variation
Stir 1½ tablespoons dry milk powder into the yeasted water. Adding
dry milk powder creates a thick crust, more like those served at traditional
pizza parlors. This Sicilian-style crust has a crisp outer layer when grilled,
and will be softer than the thin-crust version. When you grill thicker dough,
use a slightly cooler fire, and grill for a few minutes longer. This way the
outer crust does not burn before the middle of the dough cooks through.
I prefer using unbleached flour for my pizza dough because bleached flour has
chlorine agents that remove nutrients such as beta-carotene from the dough.
These natural nutrients add flavor, color, and more nutrition to your pizza crust.
A little whole wheat flour results in a more robust and chewy crust. It also
makes the dough easier to handle on the grill. Up to 25 percent of the flour
could be whole wheat. Any more than that, and the dough becomes too dense, heavy,
and won’t rise enough. This recipe is easily doubled.
¾ cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
(about 2¼ teaspoons)
½ teaspoon sugar
1½ cups unbleached flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal,
preferably white, plus additional
for the pan
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive
oil, plus ¼ teaspoon for the bowl
Makes: two 12-inch (30 cm) pizzas
Note: This recipe makes two crusts. If you’re planning to prepare
only one pizza, grill the second crust anyway, because it will keep better than
dough. Crusts keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Then you’ll be ready to grill pizza anytime. You can even cheat by cooking the pizza in
the oven. Try 400° (200°C) for 12 minutes, and check toward the end to avoid burning.
Put the frozen crust right onto the grill. It will only take a minute to thaw. Or
defrost it in the refrigerator or at room temperature; it will thaw quickly, within a
Pour the warm water into a small bowl or measuring cup. (If the water is too
hot, the yeast will die. If too cold, it will not activate.) Add the yeast
and sugar and stir until the yeast dissolves into a smooth beige color. Let it
stand on your counter for about 5 minutes to prove that the yeasted water is active.
A thin layer of foam will appear at the top, indicating that the batch is good.
Kneading with a stand mixer: Add the flours, salt, and cornmeal to a 4- or 5- quart
(4 or 5 liter) standing mixing bowl. Use the dough hook attachment on the lowest speed to
mix the dry ingredients. Add the yeasted water and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix on
the slowest speed to allow the ingredients to come together. You may need to scrape down the
sides with a spatula. Then move to medium-high speed and knead for 2 minutes. The batter
should form a ball, unless it’s too wet or sticky. If so, add only enough flour to prevent it
from sticking. The dough should come off the sides cleanly and form a ball.
Kneading with a food processor: Measure all of the ingredients into the bowl. Use the
plastic blade made especially for dough. (The metal blade may tear the dough to pieces.)
Use a pulse action until the dough comes together. Continue to pulse the dough in quick bursts
for about 3 minutes. This technique keeps the dough from overheating.
Kneading by hand: Measure the flours, salt, and cornmeal into a large bowl. Add the yeasted
water and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well, stirring with a strong spoon. Lightly flour
a clean, dry countertop. Form a ball of dough, place it on the counter, and press down with the
palm of your hand. Fold the dough over itself and press again. Continue to roll and press the dough
for about 8 minutes until the dough is smooth. (You will feel the dough change. It will soften
and become more elastic.) Add only enough flour to prevent it from sticking.
Put the remaining ¼ teaspoon of olive oil in a medium bowl. The dough will be sticky,
so flour your hands before picking it up, and place it in the bowl. Turn it over several
times until it is coated in oil. This prevents a crust from forming on its surface as it rises.
Cover with plastic wrap, and place in a draft-free, warm place, 70° to 80°F (20° to 25°C),
for 2 hours, until it rises to almost double in appearance.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator overnight, or for 1 hour to firm it up.
Since this dough is slightly sticky, chilling the dough makes it easier to roll out.
Chilling it overnight gives the dough more flavor and texture. Dough will keep in the
refrigerator for 3 days.