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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Grill Your Own Pizza

Grill Your Own Pizza

Making pizza at home isn’t hard, but who wants to be cooped up in a hot kitchen when the weather is beautiful? Plus, sometimes you just want that authentic brick oven flavor from your favorite pizzeria. You can solve both of these problems, and enjoy a delicious, crispy, cheesy pizza at your next picnic or barbecue, by learning the secret trick to making pizza on the grill.

By now, you’re probably scratching your head. Pizza on the grill?! The very thought conjures up images of gooey dough and toppings dripping down through the grate. Grilling generally requires flipping food to get even heat exposure on all sides, but you can’t flip a pizza, can you? Actually, you can, and without any mess. The trick is to partially cook the dough before putting on the toppings.

Start by making the dough. You can purchase pre-made pizza dough and sauce from your grocery store if you don’t have the time to make them from scratch, but here are some easy recipes for sauce and dough for those who prefer homemade.

Basic Pizza Crust
Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 package instant yeast (.25 ounce)
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
8 ounces milk, warmed to 110 degrees
4 ounces water, warmed to 110 degrees

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add warmed liquids all at once to dry mixture. Stir until well mixed, incorporating all dry ingredients. Cover bowl with clean towel and set aside for 20 to 25 minutes, allowing dough to rise. Knead by hand 6 to 8 times on floured surface, adding additional flour to surface as needed to keep dough from sticking. Roll into desired shape and thickness.

Pizza Sauce
In a mixing bowl, combine:
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Once you have the sauce and dough, fire up the grill. Charcoal lends a nice flavor to your pizza, but any grill will do. If using charcoal, be sure to allow enough time for the coals to get nice and hot. A charcoal chimney, available at your local hardware or department store, will speed up the process.

Brush both sides of the pizza dough with a light layer of olive oil, place it on the grate, and close the lid. While the dough is cooking, assemble your favorite toppings. Good options include: shredded cheese and/or fresh mozzarella (sliced thin), fresh basil, fresh garlic (sliced), onions, kalamata olives, peppers. The sky is the limit. Add whatever you enjoy.

Using a pair of tongs, check the underside of the dough. Remove it from the grate when it is golden-brown. A few darker spots and bubbles will add flavor. On a separate plate or cooking sheet, flip the dough so that the cooked side is face-up. Add the sauce and toppings, and return the pizza to the grill until the bottom turns golden brown and the cheese melts. Slice and serve.

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