Our Very Favorite Pizza Crust Recipe for Grilling + Five Tips for Grilling the Perfect Pizza
Just five simple ingredients, a stand mixer, and a couple hours rising time will net you this chewy, crispy pizza crust that's perfect for the grill.
Yield: 610-inch pizzas
1 1/2cupswarm water100 - 110 degrees
2 1/4teaspoonsor one packet active dry yeast
1/4cupolive oilplus a little more for oiling the parchment paper and working with the dough
1 1/2teaspoonskosher salt
Mix the dough
Stir together the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make sure your water is between 100 - 110 degrees (just a tad above lukewarm, but I always use a thermometer to be sure). Too cold, and the yeast won't activate. Too hot, and the heat can kill the yeast.
Let sit until the yeast dissolves and begins to get a little foamy, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer on low speed, add the olive oil, salt, and flour.
Knead the dough (the mixer does this for you)
Once the ingredients are fairly well incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed to begin the kneading process.
Knead (continue the mixer on medium) for about 8 - 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should be very stretchy - it will just kind of stretch and fall off of the dough hook when ready.
Let the dough rise
Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm-ish place away from drafts. I use a spot next to the stove on the kitchen counter or the dining room table. Let rise until doubled in side, about 90 minutes.
Punch the dough down, and let rise again for about 30 more minutes, until doubled again.
Shape the dough
Prepare six sheets of parchment paper. Lay the sheets on the counter or table, then drizzle each with a little olive oil.
After the dough is finished rising for the second time, remove it from the bowl and place it on a floured surface.
Cut the dough into six pieces.
With your hands, smear the oil on a piece of parchment paper, then grab a dough ball - you want spread the oil on the paper and handle the dough with well-oiled hands, so it all works out.
Now you're ready to shape the crust. You can place the dough on the parchment paper and just kind of spread it out into a circle with your fingers, or you can do like I do and shape it in the air first. I hold on to the edge and quickly rotate the dough so that it stretches and forms a nice flat shape, and then I place it on the parchment and stretch it out the rest of the way. I like to keep the dough on the thin size and about the size of a dinner plate. Much bigger and it can become difficult to handle on the grill. Note: If your dough shrinks and won't work with you, let it sit for about 5 minutes and try again. Another note: If the shaping process seems awkward and frustrating, don't worry! It will get easier and easier, the more you do it. And even when the crust assumes some crazy alien shape, your pizza will still be delicious.
One last quick rise
Let the shaped crusts rise on their parchment paper for about 10 minutes, until they start getting puffy.
Now grill and eat!
Now start grilling! With the grill on medium-high (about 350-400 degrees), flip a round onto the grill - dough side down, parchment side up. Peel off the paper.
Cook covered for 3 - 4 minutes, until the crust puffs on top and gets grill marks on the bottom. If the dough sprouts any big bubbles, go ahead and pop them if you can.
Transfer the crust to a cookie sheet or large platter, grilled side up.
Add your toppings and transfer back to the grill. Cook until pizza crust is cooked through, the toppings are hot, and the cheese is bubbly, about 3 - 4 minutes. If you have a barbecue with a lid, cooking them covered at this stage helps heat the toppings.
Remove from the grill to a pizza peel or large baking sheet, Cut into wedges and serve.
Doing the make-ahead thing? Here are a few tips.You can prepare the dough ahead and refrigerate for a couple of hours if necessary. My best results have been when I lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate after the first rise and before the second, for no more than a couple of hours.Entertaining: we've grilled pizzas for many-a-party and find we're best off when we grill the crusts on one side, up to the point of topping, and then set aside for until company arrives. Then we just top to order, grill 'em up, and serve to happy guests.Freezing par-baked crusts (this tip is my favorite): Grill one side well, place in a freezer bag, and freeze for super-quick dinners. Usually we'll just take the par-baked crusts directly from the freezer, place on a pizza stone or cookie sheet, top, and bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes. Yes - the crust is a little softer than if you grilled the pizza from start to finish, but it's plenty worth the convenience. When you've got muffin-tin-sized portions of homemade pizza sauce waiting in the freezer too, it makes super-quick work of Friday pizza night.