Homemade is the first step to a signature pizza or flatbread on the grill. Every ingredient has a role to play. Flour provides body. Yeast, which can be stirred right into the flour, is the rising agent. Honey adds a touch of sweetness; olive oil, a little silliness. Salt enhances all the flavours, and water makes it all come together. With these ingredients, a quick stir in a bowl, maybe a little kneading, and time to rise, each dough in this chapter has a particular virtue for the type of grilling you might want to do.
Directly on the Grill Grates
If you want the easiest dough to mix, form, and then grill, it’s the Stir-Together Flatbread Dough . Moist, tender, and floppy, this dough can simply be patted out to any small to medium shape on a floured surface, brushed with olive oil, and grilled directly on the grill grates over the fire. You can add toppings after grilling. The second way to use this dough is to prepare an indirect fire, with the heat on one side and no heat on the other. Then, you can grill one side of the flatbread, turn it over and move it to the indirect side. Top it quickly with your ingredients, close the lid of the grill, and let the flatbread finish grilling for a few minutes. For a slightly sturdier dough that you can roll or pat into a classic pizza circle, the Classic Pizza Dough and its variations work well on a grill with an indirect fire. After mixing and forming, you can brush each pizza round with olive oil and place on a piece of parchment paper. Simply pick up the parchment paper and flip the unadorned pizza circle on the grill grates, quickly peeling off the parchment. Grill the pizza on one side, transfer to the indirect side with grill tongs, top with your desired ingredients, close the lid, and finish grilling.
Grill-Baked Focaccia in an Aluminum Pan
To make a thick focaccia with toppings, this method works exceptionally well. Use the Stir-Together Flatbread Dough (page 32) and place the batch of dough in a 12 x 10-inch disposable aluminium pan. Top the dough with your ingredients and place the pan on the indirect side of the grill or on top of two or three bricks that you have set on the grill grates to elevate the focaccia. Grill for 15 to 18 minutes with the lid closed, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the dough registers 190°F. The Basic Grilled Rosemary Focaccia (page 104) and Pepper Jack, Jalapeno, and Roasted Red Pepper-Filled Flatbread (page 106) employ this method.
Low-protein Italian flour, labelled on the bag as “doppio zero” or “00,” makes a silky-textured pizza dough that can be rolled very thinly. When you’re grilling brick oven-style, the heat in your grill is 550° to 700°F. You want a thin crust that goes onto the stone with a deft motion of the pizza peel and is easily removed with the pizza peel when browned and bubbling. The Brick Oven-Style Dough (page 34) works well for pizzas that bake on the pizza stone and require no turning to cook fully. Roll out the and put it on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel, rimmed baking sheet, or flexible cutting board. The cornmeal acts like little ball bearings or wheels to help slide the dough off the peel and onto the stone. You don’t want the dough to linger on the cornmeal for longer than 15 minutes because the cornmeal starts to soften and the dough will stick. After you’ve topped the pizza with your ingredients, you’re ready for the big move—sliding the pizza from the peel to the stone. If you’re nervous about this, practice the quick forward-and-backward movement with leftover dough, your pizza peel, and your kitchen counter. You’ll quickly get the feel of it. When you and your grill are ready, transfer the whole pizza from the peel to the stone. In a few minutes, your pizza will be done.