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Summertime is Pizza on the Grill with Beer Time

Mario
Posted by Mario on Jun 28, 2017

 

My wife informed me that we would be having company for dinner last Sunday and that our guests would expect me to cook something delicious. I agree that's a fair expectation, but the situation put me in a bit of a bind, as I only had a couple of days to prepare while I had a lot on my plate (no pun intended). I was also not too thrilled about spending a lot of time in front of the range and oven heating up the whole house on the first official weekend of summer. So, what's a poor chef husband to do?  Fire up the grill and make pizzas!

pizzas with beer

It's no surprise that I'm discussing grilling, but this is the best time of year to utilize that very versatile piece of cooking equipment outside of your home. I like that fact that using the grill does not heat up your kitchen (and home), plus it gives you an excuse to have a beer or two while you tend to the grill. The best part though, is that I think the grill makes a better pizza then your oven, hands down. 

The homemade pizza dough recipe that I use is very simple and is actually a take on The Chopping Block's classic Neapolitan Style Pizza Dough. Instead of using the “00” Italian Flour, I use King Arthur brand Bread Flour. Nothing against the “00”, I think it makes great pizza, but out in the boonies where we live, it is not that easy to find and the King Arthur Bread Flour is a very nice substitute. It is unbleached, non-GMO, and it has a high gluten/protein content, so it makes nice stretchy dough. Here is The Chopping Block's Neapolitan Style Pizza Dough recipe and the optional changes that I have made. 

Neapolitan-Style Pizza Dough

Yield: 2 large pizzas, or 4 individual pizzas, or 8 mini appetizer pizzas

1 cup lukewarm water (110º to 115º)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 ¾ cups hard-wheat “00” flour (or 2 ¾ cups King Arthur Bread Flour)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt 

  1. Sprinkle the yeast on top of water a large mixing bowl and stir gently until dissolved. Allow to proof until slightly foamy and aromatic to ensure yeast is alive, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add oil, most of the flour and salt, and mix until incorporated.
  3. Work in most of the remaining flour. Turn out mixture, which may be slightly sticky, onto a floured surface.
  4. Knead several turns by hand until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Adjust consistency, if necessary, with a small amount of flour. Dough should be barely moist and no longer sticky.
  5. Shape dough into a ball, place it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled, 60 to 75 minutes, or in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. If rising at room temp, punch down the dough, roll it out, top it and bake. If refrigerating the dough, punch it down, let it rise again at room temp for 30 minutes, then roll it out, top and bake. They typically take about 8-10 minutes at 500 degrees.

Now, when it comes to baking the pizzas on the grill, there are a couple of things that you need to do. 

First, you need to use a pizza stone. We sell ones from Big Green Egg and Emile Henry that are both really great. If you are using a gas grill, the Emile Henry pizza stone works best. Whatever grill you are using, get it and the pizza stone up to 500-550 degrees together, do not heat the grill and then add the stone.

Second, you need to have a pizza peel, which is a tool that we use to get the pizzas on and off of the pizza stone. The Epicurean ones are my favorites.

pizzas ready for grill

Third, choose some great toppings. The sky is the limit here. Some of our favorites are:

  • Pepperoni and Mushroom with Smoked Mozzarella
  • Red Potato and Rosemary with Fontina, sprinkled with dressed Arugula after it comes off of the grill (My wife likes doing this to every pizza.)
  • Italian Sausage and Broccolini with Fresh Mozzarella 

pizza on stone

Wait, I said beer earlier! Don’t forget the beer! All of these pizzas would be great with a nice cold German Pils. Krombacher has got to be my hands down favorite, both for a warm summer night and a great pizza. 

pizza with beer

What are your favorite topping and beer combinations? Let me know in the comments. Then, sign up for our Pizza on the Grill hands-on class at Lincoln Square. We have two options in July:

 

Topics: pizza stone, Grilling, grill, Recipes, pizza, pizza dough, pizza peel

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