Individual Grilled Pizzas (Pizzette alla Griglia)
When cooked on an outdoor grill, pizza emerges with a wonderfully smoky flavor, reminiscent of pizza baked in a wood-burning oven.
- For the pizza dough;
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup semolina flour
- 2 tsp. rapid-rise yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
Vegetable oil for greasing
- Semolina flour or unbleached all-purpose flour for dusting
- Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing and drizzling
- 3 cups shredded Fontina Val d’Aosta, Cacio di Roma, goat’s milk Gouda or other melting cheese
- 2 ripe summer tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, halved and cut into paper-thin slices
- 1 cup pitted Gaeta or Kalamata olives, halved
- 2 cups wild or baby arugula
- 1/2 cup finely shredded fresh basil
- Fine sea salt, to taste
To make the pizza dough, in a food processor, combine the 2 3/4 cups bread flour, the semolina flour, yeast and salt and pulse briefly to mix. With the motor running, drizzle in the warm water and then the 3 Tbs. olive oil. Process just until a ball of dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes. Pat back into a ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Put the ball of dough in the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high. If using charcoal, spread the hot coals across one half of the bottom of the grill and leave the other half clear to create a cool zone. If using gas, turn one of the burners to low. Lightly oil the grill grate.
Punch the dough down and knead briefly to remove any air bubbles. On a lightly floured work surface, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap 3 pieces in plastic wrap and set aside. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll and stretch the remaining dough piece into a round about 10 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough disk to a baking sheet lightly dusted with semolina flour or all-purpose flour and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Roll and stretch the remaining pieces of dough in the same way, stacking them between sheets of parchment.
Brush one side of a dough disk with olive oil and place it, oiled side down, on the hot part of the grill. Repeat with a second dough disk if you have room on the grill. Grill just until slightly charred on the bottom and the crust has begun to puff and turn crispy, about 2 minutes. Using tongs and a wide spatula or pizza peel, flip the pizza and move it to the cool area of the grill. Top with 3/4 cup cheese and a few tomato slices. Scatter some of the onion and olives over the tomatoes. Cover and grill until the pizza is browned and crisped underneath and the cheese has melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a warm oven while grilling the remaining pizzas.
Carefully transfer the pizzas to a cutting board and top each with some of the arugula and basil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti (Weldon Owen, 2011).