Making Pizza on the grill has become an obsession for Kalle and I. Every weekend we have to try again. Now, what you have to understand about our process is that we have decided we MUST make our own dough. Oh, in the beginning we used the Publix dough, but it just seemed proper to develop our own dough recipe. This alone has been a hilarious undertaking.
For instance, I’ve never made bread in my life and knew nothing about properties of yeast and what it looked like when it “reacted.” The first attempt was on a cold day and I followed the instructions for warm water but nothing really happened.. it just sat there for 15 minutes doing nothing really that i could tell. Kalle re read the recipe and informed me that it called for 3/4 cups of water… somehow I’d put a 1 in front the the 3/4 and was trying to make it with too much water. Hmmmm so we threw out that batch and started over. OHHHHhhhhh wow, thats what it supposed to do! It gets foamy! So we added it to the flour and the salt and created the biggest kitchen mess you’ve ever seen. No matter what they say, start with the stuff in a BOWL! It helps contain all of individual ingredients while you are mixing it with your hands.
It always helps, in our opinion, to have a couple of glasses of wine (okay a bottle) while waiting for the dough to rise for an hour and a half. This will bolster you for the actual making of the crust and the potential for disaster that exists. Once you’ve punched down the dough once, its now ready to shape into a more or less round shape. We have definitely not gotten to the tossing method yet so the crust always looks a little like a foreign country or perhaps a state. We use jiffy corn bread mix to keep the crust from sticking to what ever it is we are making it on. This after trying grits and polenta and corn meal. We do work it with fingertips and manipulation. Now that its somewhat thin and flat the idea is to lightly grill one side only, bring it back in, but the ingredients on the grilled side, then take it back ou on the pizza slide, slide it onto the grill surface and cook it.
After preheatng our grill to 500 degrees we take our limp (but elastic) ill formed dough out and as the instructions say grab one side and gently flip it directly on the grill surface. A lot can go wrong here. Last night as we flipped gently towards the grill, not all of the dough made it to the grill surface. About a third hung over the outside of the grill. OH MY! trying to correct this resulted in the entire thing sticking and pulling off in irregular pieces. On top of that. It started pouring and we were trapped outside under cover. This caused a bit of anxiety in that the smokes and wine were inside….Ahh !
Since we had two pizza doughs we took extra care with number 2 and had some success with that one. Finally we were able to run inside during a break in the rain. I said, look, this is no problem, it will just be like Pizza nachos! We gamely proceeded, adding our home made sauce (roma tomatoes cooked with garlic onion and basil) to our piecy parts, putting the pizza quick sauce on Jakes larger better looking crust. We decided that it would be best to forgo grilling since the rain had resumed and went for the oven method: preheating really hot and placing low on the rack.
You know, we worked on dough, and sauce and were sooooo hungry that even though the bottom of the crust never got crisp, we ate it anyway and convinced ourselves it was delicious but um, i dont want the leftovers. It was an adventure filled with mirth. Kalle looks pretty “mirthy” in her picture there doesn’t she? Chuckle. During our “review” of the proceedure, we wanted to blame it on the rain causing the dough to be tooo elastic and hey? who’s to say. I cant wait to make another one… maybe this time, we’ll get it right and I know one thing for sure: we’ll have a blast making it!