Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pizza Party

Happy 4th of July, America!

Last night's pizza grilling endeavor was a huge success (and no fire extinguishers were necessary)!


Here's the play-by-play:  

1. I whipped up a double batch of my favorite thin crust pizza dough (recipe below) and froze half for a later date. Then, while the grill was heating up, I assembled and organized my toppings (organization is key for pizza on the BBQ!). I didn't take pictures until the pizzas were done because you have to move fast once those pizzas hit the grill!
  • For pizza #1, I used TJ's pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and red onions and mushrooms sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic.
  • For pizza #2, I used homemade pesto (recipe below), shredded mozzarella, sliced black olives, and crumbled spicy italian sausage.
2. Roll out your pizza dough nice and thin and rub both sides with a little olive oil. Sprinkle one side with cornmeal (don't use flour, it burns).

3. Once the grill is hot, put the aluminum foil with the dough on it down on the grate, cornmeal side UP. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes, then slide the aluminum foil out from underneath the dough, so the dough is right on the grill. It will start to puff up and bubble a little. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Use metal tongs to check the underside of the dough frequently. You want it browned with nice grill marks, but not charred/burned.

4.When the dough is ready, flip it over. It should not stretch or tear. If it does, you didn't cook it long enough. Here is where you have to be quick and organized. Top your pizza with the desired toppings. Don't use too much or your pizza will be too heavy and the dough won't finish cooking properly. The key here is simple pizza with quality ingredients.

5. When you're done topping the pizza, put the lid on the BBQ and let your pizza cook for about 5 minutes.

6. When your pizza is done (cheese should be nice and melted, dough should be cooked through - use your tongs to check the bottom again), slide the pizza off the grill with your tongs onto a waiting cutting board.



These were awesome! The crust was super thin and crunchy and the toppings were super fresh and delicious. Also, using the grill outside was so much nicer than heating up the oven (and, by extension, the entire apartment). This would be so fun to do when we have dinner guests over too! Since we don't eat very much meat, the BBQ doesn't get a whole lot of action, but I could see doing this at least once a week until it gets too cold.

In unrelated news, my SI is still super sore. I thought I might be able to run today, but I think I will do a spin workout and then some abs instead. This afternoon we are going to a fun 4th of July wedding at Santa Clara. It's not our normal celebration, but I'm still looking forward to some serious BBQ!

What are you July 4th plans? Do you celebrate with family or friends? Will BBQ be involved?!

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Yields 2 pizza rounds
This recipe is great - limited kneading and no rising! I use half whole-wheat and half white flour, but you could use all white if you prefer. I think all whole-wheat might make the dough a little heavy, but if you try it, let me know!

3/4c water
1/2t active dry yeast
2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1 cup WW)
1/2t salt

1. Heat the water until it feels barely lukewarm when you test it with your finger. Add the yeast to the water and use a fork or whisk to stir it into the water. Set this aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve. It's ok if the yeast doesn't bubble, but it should be entirely dissolved.

2. Measure out the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and combine.

3. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the water-yeast mixture in. Combine everything together (I use my hands, but it's kind of stretchy/sticky/gross. You can use a wooden spoon)

4. When it comes together in a semi-cohesive ball, turn it out onto the counter with any extra flour left in the bowl.

5. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth to the touch - about five minutes. The dough should be slightly tacky. If it's still sticking to your hands and countertop like crazy, add 1T of flour at a time until you reach the right consistency.

6. Divide the dough in two. Work once piece of the dough in your hands until it forms a large disc. Then set the dough back on your work surface (I like to use parchment paper if these are going in the oven) and use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. You can also use a rolling pin for this.

7. If this is going in the oven, top your pizza and then slide the whole pie (parchment paper included) onto your pizza stone. (As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment). If it's going on the grill, follow the steps I outlined above.

Fresh Pesto
Yields ~1 cup of pesto 

2c fresh basil
1/3c pine nuts or walnuts
3 cloves of garlic
1/3c olive oil
1/2 c parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine the basil and nuts in a food processor. Add the garlic and pulse a few more times.

2. Slowly add olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Scrape down the sides with a spatula as needed. Add the cheese the pulse again. Taste and season to your liking.


  1. Wow, those pizzas look fantastic! And grilling them is such a great idea. Thanks for posting the recipe for your pizza dough, I'm new to your blog but I really love it. That dough looks so easy, I can't wait to try it!

  2. I've been hearing a LOT about grilled pizza!!! I would try it, but I don't have a BBQ :(

    Happy 4th anyways!!!

  3. I'm impressed by the pizzas! Homemade ones are always as fun to make as they are to eat. One of these days, we'll get our BBQ set up and try it out!

    I meant to comment on your shoes the other day. SO cute!

  4. Seriously everyone has been grilling pizza!! As soon as I move me and the bf are DEF joining in the fun!