The trick to a perfect grilled pizza is all the preparations. Roast, sauté, cook, slice, and grate whatever toppings you like before you begin your grilled pizza journey. You’ll be adding those pre-cooked toppings to the pizza as it is grilling. The dough will only require a 3-5 minutes cook time per side.
Keep in mind, yeast is a living organism, so don’t kill it by burning it with hot water or salt. I add sugar to my recipe to feed the yeast. Why? Honestly – I’m in a hurry. I understood the whole slow eating movement – I tell parents all the time to try and slow down. Realistically- with school aged kids. I get it. Who has that kinda time. It seems impossible to get slow EVERYDAY when you have family expectations. So on days you cannot– this little trick will assist the yeast into producing gas quickly.
The yeast will reconstitute in the water, wake up and be hungry. The yeast eats- then it quickly begins to digest- thus, creating gas. (Yes, I know it’s funny, and trust me when I say the Kids will LOVE this Science lesson on C02) This step actually helps accelerate the dough’s rise faster.
Remember the important part bout the days end, is also being with your family so– It’s also okay to use uncooked- prepared store bought pizza dough if you are short on time. Many grocers carry great organic uncooked pizza doughs today without tons of preservatives. The pizza police wont come for you, I promise.
6 cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping dough
1 teaspoon active dry yeast ( rapid rise yeast if you are in a big hurry )
1/4 teaspoon sugar or honey
2- cups room temp water, as needed
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Whisk sugar or honey with the yeast in a medium bowl with 1 cup of the water. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes until foaming with bubbles.
In a large gallon sized food storage bag or bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attached, add the flour and the salt. Combine to distribute the salt throughout the flour. Make a well in the center of the flour if using the bag method.
Add the water with the yeast mixture, 1/2 of the remaining cup of water, and all of the olive oil. Close food storage bag by removing air and sealing all but a 1/2 inch up at the zip. Massage from the bottom of the bag up and incorporate well. Mix dough gently to form a nice dough ball. Add more of the 1/2 cup remaining water if water if needed. or, start the mixer on medium speed and mix until dough hook forms and ball. if using a stand mixer continue to knead the do until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. About 5 minutes. remove into a lightly oiled bowl. If using the food storage bag method – knead well until it all comes together and forms a ball. Open the food storage bag, and transfer the dough ball to a large clean lightly floured surface. Hand knead about 10 minutes until dough seems smooth. Resting in-between if it becomes unmanageable. ( this is the gluten forming which is rubber-band like. Just let it relax and return after a minute or two ) once dough seems smooth– place in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover dough ball with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature (about 72° F degrees) in a draft-free area until surface until dough has doubled in size, about 1.5 hours. ( Use RAPID rise yeast instead of regular dried yeast and the rise will happen faster)
When dough has risen, transfer on to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide and cut into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions. Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, an additional hour.
This dough recipe can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in a gallon sized plastic food storage bag with rolled in a little bit of flour and chill in fridge until ready to use. Just make sure to unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2–3 hours before shaping. ( do not use rapid rise yeast if waiting three days to use the dough)
To Make The Pizzas
During the last hour of dough’s resting, heat your pestos or sauces and sauté your vegetables, grate your cheeses.
Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with floured hands stretch the dough into a rectangle or triangular form the best you can. Free form is the way to go with grilled pizzas. Oil both sides lightly with a good quality cooking oil. Set on a clean baking sheet so you can carry out to the grill successfully.
Carefully spray the grill with cooking spray. ( Back away because the flame will rise. ) Once the grate is well oiled, place your raw dough on hot cooking grates-do not attempt to move it. Cook for 3-5 minutes and flip when the dough is released from the grate when given a nudge. Should see golden grill marks and some crispy edges. Flip.
When both side are cooked through, move pizza crust to indirect heat ( a side of the grill where the heat element is turned off below.) Add warmed pesto or pizza sauce, or leave plain — and then add your choice of warmed cooked toppings. Top with cheese, melt by closing lid or covering with a foil tent.
Finish with flavored oil ( see my recipe here ) and serve. So delicious!
Variations : Add fresh chopped herbs to your dough or fresh chopped garlic for an additional favor layer.