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Sunday recipe: Fire up the grill for smoky homemade pizza

Pizza is beloved by people from all cultures and backgrounds. It’s certainly easy to call a favorite pizzeria and order a pie with all your favorite toppings. But homemade pizza is easier than one might imagine. Invest some time into making “The Artisan” grilled pizza from Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas (DK) by Craig W. Priebe with Dianne Jacob.

Grilled pizza photo licensed from Metro Creative Graphics.

The Artisan

(Roasted Vegetables With Creamy Garlic Cheese)
Makes one 12 x 12 inch pizza

¼ fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced, lengthwise
½ red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled and sliced 1⁄4 inch thick on the diagonal
½ cup sliced red onions
½ cup broccoli florets
1 portobello mushroom cap, sliced 1⁄2 thick
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 grilled pizza crust (see below)
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 package boursin cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  2. To make the roasted vegetables, toss of all of the ingredients with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a shallow baking dish. Roast until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  3. Brush the grilled side of the pizza crust with the remaining olive oil. Dust with the parmesan and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Spoon the boursin on top, without spreading it. Pile the roasted vegetables over the pizza.
  4. The grill should still be hot from grilling the crust. Cook the pizza over medium heat or indirect heat for around 5 to 8 minutes. Check it after 1 minute by gently lifting up an edge of the crust with tongs or a spatula. If it is turning dark quickly, your fire is too hot. Move the pizza around the grill to get away from the heat. When the pizza is done, the crust will be crispy.

Before serving, garnish with the fennel tops.

Basic Grilled Pizza Dough

Makes two 12-inch crusts

¾ cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast (about 21⁄4 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon sugar
1½ cups unbleached flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal, preferably white, plus additional for the pan
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 teaspoon for the bowl

  1. Pour the warm water into a small bowl or measuring cup. Add the yeast and sugar and stir until the yeast dissolves into a smooth beige color. Let it stand on your counter for about 5 minutes to prove that the yeasted water is active. A thin layer of foam will appear at the top, indicating the batch is good.
  2. Measure the flours, salt and cornmeal into a large bowl. Add the yeasted water and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well, stirring with a strong spoon. Lightly flour a clean, dry countertop. Form a ball of dough, place it on the counter, and press down with the palm of your hand. Fold the dough over itself and press again. Continue to roll and press the dough for about 8 minutes until the dough is smooth. Add only enough flour to prevent it from sticking.
  3. Put the remaining ¼ teaspoon of olive oil in a medium bowl. The dough will be sticky, so flour your hands before picking it up, and place it in the bowl. Turn over several times until it is coated in oil. This prevents a crust from forming on its surface.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in a draft-free, warm place, for 2 hours, until it rises to almost double in appearance.
  5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator overnight, or for 1 hour to firm up. Since this dough is slightly sticky, chilling the dough makes it easier to roll out.
  6. Roll half of the dough out to about 12 x 12 inches. (This recipe makes two crusts)
  7. Grill the dough on an inside or outside grill that has reached around 400 °F. The dough should take about 3 minutes to cook. Watch for bubbles. To check whether your crust is done, lift the underside. It should be an even light brown with brown grill marks. A charred crust adds to the flavor.
  8. Pick up the crust from the middle, using tongs, and place it on a cookie sheet. Flip it over so the grilled side is face up. This browned side becomes the top of your pizza.