One of the great injustices of apartment living is not having a grill. I’ve tried a few questionable substitutions, including a tailgating-esque fiasco on the fire escape. Beyond the obvious safety concerns, it’s just not fun to negotiate a window entrance with a platter of juicy burgers.
It simply is not summer without a real backyard ‘cue, so this past weekend I ventured to Jersey, usurped a friend’s grill and threw a make-your-own grilled pizza party.
Individual pizzas are perfect for a crowd of disparate eaters and a pizza topping station is second only to an ice cream sundae bar on the excitement scale. It’s also a great way to display August’s summer harvest.
Make the dough a day ahead and your party day prep is no sweat.
All-Purpose Pizza Dough
One packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1½ teaspoons sugar
4-1/4 cups flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1. Place 1½ cups warm water in a medium bowl. Stir in the yeast and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center, pour in the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Transfer the rough dough to a floured work surface and dust with some of the remaining flour. Knead for 7 to 8 minutes, adding flour a little at a time as necessary until the dough is smooth and springy.
3. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1½ hours. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 9 portions, wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap.
4. When ready to top, press dough ball flat, rest 5 min, then stretch or pat out, using as little flour as possible.
To Grill: Place rolled dough directly on the pre-heated grates over high heat to crisp the crust, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and place over low heat, then top at will and cover grill until heated through.
How to Achieve the Right Temperature:
Gas- set one burner to high and the other to low
Charcoal- bank coals on one side of the grill
Wood- the best way to grill pizza is over a wood fire. To impart that smoky flavor without testing your Cub Scout skills, just scatter soaked woodchips over your coals.
Suggested Flavor Combos-
• Pesto and grilled peach slices
• Chopped tomato, basil (bring out whole bunches and allow guests to snip their own) and mozzarella (use bocconcini balls, which are already perfectly sized)
• Jarred roasted red peppers and crumbled cooked sausage
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