All summer long Tim and I have been grilling our own homemade pizza. And each time we sit down to eat it, we promise each other that “next time” we're going to take pictures and some videos for Tim's blog. Tonight we finally remembered to get the camera out!
Why We Do This
To back up just for a sec, we've been having a good time this summer finding new ways to trim our budget and do more, with less. It's been an adventure, and one that I've enjoyed very much because
1) I'm Scottish
2) The economy isn't improving quickly and it's high time I started saving money wherever I can.
Doing more with less is rewarding!
Simple, Easy and Inexpensive
This pizza was my answer to delivery pizza. I refuse to eat the frozen stuff from the store and hate shelling out over $20 for 2 measly 12” pizza's with little flavor and fewer toppings.
Total cost for two of our homemade grilled pizza's? About $10 if you go to extremes with your toppings. Less than $5 if you use mostly leftover meats, homegrown veggies, etc for toppings.
The most expensive ingredient is always going to be the cheese. We buy the cheapest part-skim milk mozzarella on the market. We actually found that it tastes and melts better than some of the more expensive name brands.
The dough is purchased at Walmart in the frozen foods aisle. It's a white bread dough that you'd normally toss in a loaf pan and let rise as it thaws. The flavor isn't nearly as earthy and intense as homemade pizza dough, but it also doesn't require a whole lot of work and it's inexpensive and easy to store.
First the recipe with pics, and then the video's. Please excuse any fat fingers and pink, wrinkly hands that get in the way of the lens as we go along. =)
Ingredients for the Mountain Home-made Pizza on the Grill
2 Loaves Frozen Bread Dough
Early in the day place the loaves in a lightly oiled dish, turning once to coat the tops of the loaves. Then place in a warm place. I like to put mine in my microwave and leave the door propped open so the light inside warms the interior. It's just about the perfect place to raise dough!
Your choice on this one. Thin sliced veggies, pepperoni, cooked sausage, olives, etc are always good. Get creative or just use whatever you have in the house.
Again, it's your choice. Top the pizza with whatever you like best.
Extra bit players you'll need
Spaghetti Sauce – Homemade is awesome, but canned will do just fine. Whatever works best for you.
Basil – dried, fresh, chopped, crushed....use whatever you have!
Cutting boards or cookie sheets to hold the pizza's
2 Spatula's and 4 hands to move the pizza's around
1 Pizza cutter or a large sharp knife
A hot barbeque grill
Watch Part 1 of the Video “Mountain Home-made Pizza Process”
Part 1 (2:20)
How To Cook a Mountain Home-made Pizza on the Grill
Now we're ready for some assembly. Did I mention that this pizza tastes a whole lot like brick oven pizza? Grilling is what adds that flavor!
In the morning: Take 2 loaves of frozen bread dough, place them in an oiled pan and turn once to coat. Cover the pan with saran wrap and set in a warm place to rise all day.
When you're ready to make pizza at night:
- First, heat your grill to 400 degrees. While the grill is heating, sprinkle cornmeal on 2 cutting boards or cookie sheets (turn the sheets upside down to make it easier to slide the pizza's off)
- Now grab the first hunk of thawed, risen dough, fold it in half so that it's a square lump and then start gently stretching the dough out into a 10 – 12” circle. I don't pat or roll the dough since that tends to develop too much gluten, which makes it too elastic. Think rubberbands and you'll get the picture.
- If the dough gets too elastic and starts to shrink back as you stretch it simply set it aside for 10 minutes to relax and while you wait start stretching the second piece of dough.
- Once the dough is stretched to your liking, place it on the cornmeal dusted pans. It's now ready to go onto the grill!
- Take an extra person out to the grill to help you slide the dough off the pans and onto the hot grill. This part can be tricky (see our video), but don't worry, the dough is very forgiving so you can reshape it once it gets onto the grill. Close the lid and wait 4 minutes.
- Open the lid and check the bottom of the crusts. They should be golden brown and the top should look dry and bubbly, not moist, but also not fully baked.
- If they aren't quite done, close the lid and check once per minute till golden.
- While you have your helper person grilling the first side of the dough, head back to the kitchen and slice meats and veggies for the toppings. This is also the time to open a can of spaghetti sauce and to grate half of your cheeses. Slice the other half of the cheese and set aside.
Watch Part 2 of the Video “Mountain Home-made Pizza Process”
- When the helper person hollers at you to come help him/her, dash outside and grab the pizza dough off the grill. As you remove each pizza, flip it over so that the golden baked side is up. This is the side that gets the sauce and toppings.
This is important: Once the dough is off the grill, turn the temps down a bit so that you reach about 300 – 350 degrees with the lid closed. If you're using charcoal, move the coals to the back of the grill so that the heat is indirect and won't burn the crusts.
Now it's time to “dress” the pizza.
We found that putting grated mozzarella onto the sauce before placing the topping really adds to the taste, texture and “meltiness” of the total pizza. You only need a light layer of the grated cheese.
Add your toppings!
Finish off the pizza with sliced mozzarella and a light drizzle of olive oil and then, this part is important, sprinkle generously with basil.
Grab your pizza and your helper (who hopefully was assembling the second pizza while you did yours) and head back to the grill with a spatula in your hand.
Open the top on the grill and carefully, using four hands and 2 spatulas, slide the pizza's onto the grill surface. Set the pans and spatulas aside, close the lid and monitor the temps to be sure they stay between 325 and 350.
Leave the pizza's for about 8 minutes, then open the lid and check to see if the bottoms are turning golden brown with a bit of “brick oven” blackening around the edges. The cheese on top should also be melted but not a gooey mess. If they aren't quite done enough, close the lid and then check them every 2 – 3 minutes thereafter.
While your helper person is carefully watching the pizza's on the grill you have time to scoot inside the house to clean up the pizza clutter and grab plates, napkins, a pizza cutter (or large sharp knife) and a couple of forks for wimpy people who are afraid of getting a little messy. =)
When the pizza's are done, slide them back onto the pans and bring them in the house! Just be careful when you carry them in because the cooked crust isn't sticky like the uncooked dough and if you tilt the pan even slightly your dog will be dining on delicious pizza in the backyard.
I hope you enjoy your homemade grilled pizza's as much as we do. Once you taste them you just may never order a take out pizza again!
Hope you enjoyed our simple (but quite detailed and long) process to making your own Mountain Home-made Pizza. Please leave a comment or questions for us. We love to hear from you guys and gals.
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