If you want to break out of your typical grill fare of steak or burgers or brat, give pizza a try.
Yes, pizza on the grill. It will deliver a crispy and smoky pie, the way you would expect a pizza to have been served in Italy hundreds of years ago. You can do it on either a charcoal or gas grill, though I prefer charcoal.
The homemade pizza dough is the star. It is easy to make, especially if you have a bread machine. If you don't, you can make the dough the traditional way, or you can buy pre-made pizza dough at the store.
The recipe for whole wheat dough is below. I like the nuttiness of a whole wheat crust. Substitute white flour for the whole wheat flour if you prefer a more traditional crust.
Toppings can be anything you choose. That’s what makes grilled pizza fun. Everyone in the family can create his or her own masterpiece.
The key is to get the grill very hot, and to render down hickory chips prior to cooking the crust. Once the coals are gray and the hickory quits flaming, you are ready.
The grilling of the crust is the most important part of the process.
Place the pizza dough on the grill and let it cook for two minutes or so over direct heat. You will begin to see the dough bubble up a bit, and the side exposed to the hot coals will turn slightly darker with beautiful grill marks.
Once that happens, take the crust off the grill. Do not walk away. It happens quickly.
Flip the crust over and assemble your pizza by placing the toppings on the cooked side of the crust. This is important, since we want the uncooked side to cook as well.
Let your imagination run wild with toppings. Nothing is off limits. BBQ sauce, pineapples, chicken, fresh mozzarella, herbs, artichokes, seafood - whatever flavors you love will work.
Once the pizza is assembled, place it back on the grill and close the lid. In 8 to 10 minutes, you will have an authentic Sicilian pizza that is your own special creation. Enjoy!
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
See the Demo
Watch a video of how to grill pizza at www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5xyofoHowQ
Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a weekly column for CNHI News Service. Contact him at www.BBQMyWay.com.