I usually prefer to cook on the grill when the weather is nice, but this week the weather has been total crap. Portland is notorious for rainy weather and this week has been no exception. I braved the cold and fired up the pellet grill to make some grilled flatbread pizzas and let me tell you, it was worth it!
I had made the pizza dough the previous Sunday and kept half the recipe in the fridge and put the other half in the freezer for a rainy day (like today…. see what I did there?). Pizza dough freezes really easily; just remember to freeze it after you’ve given it its first rise, then let it thaw in the fridge (in a bowl!) and let it have a second rise on the counter for about an hour to let it come to room temperature before you use it.
Let me share some first-hand knowledge with you: never keep pizza dough in the fridge as a ball wrapped in saran wrap. The dough will expand and burst through the saran wrap making a total mess out of your fridge. I’ve included my recipe for pizza dough for grilling at the bottom of this post.
Since I hadn’t planned ahead for this meal by purchasing pizza topping items, I had to dig around through the fridge and pantry to find some ingredients. I ended up deciding on three different types: a “traditional” version for the husband, a “gourmet” version for myself, and a “Thai” version because I just can’t help myself. And because I am STILL trying to use up that leftover peanut sauce.
For the “traditional” version I used pretty traditional pizza ingredients – go figure. We’ve got mozarella cheese, sliced ham, tomatoes, onion, and pizza sauce. I didn’t have any pizza sauce on hand so I made my own with tomato paste, a bit of water, and seasonings (salt, pepper, a touch of sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes). For the “gourmet” version, I pulled out all of the fancy schmancy jars I had in the fridge and said “good enough.” My mother-in-law sometimes brings over these awesome gourmet foods for us, and almost everything you see here is courtesy of her care packages. We have roasted red peppers, an artichoke heart, Parmesan cheese, olive tapenade, and garlic gold (in the bowl).
Garlic gold is something new to my life but it is incredible. It’s basically high-quality oil studded with these perfectly crunchy bits of garlic. It really is pure gold. I also used some mozzarella on the “gourmet” version to help hold everything together.
I separated my dough into four balls and over the course of about twenty minutes stretches and tossed them out into four little flatbreads. I tried to make them round but it just wouldn’t happen. I also tried throwing them up in the air and catching them on my knuckles which worked for a while until I got too cocky and dropped one. I laid them out on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal to keep them from sticking.
Once my grill was ready to go, I tossed the flatbread dough on with the cornmeal side up. I wanted to “bake” them on both sides and get grill marks but I also knew I wanted the cornmeal side to be on the bottom once they were done.
I let them bake for a few minutes on the non-cornmeal side, then flipped them….
…added the toppings…
Here they are in all their glory. The gourmet version was definitely my favorite, but my husband preferred the traditional ones (as I had predicted). The Thai version was also totally delicious, even though I had worried that it would be dry without any cheese on it. It was getting pretty dark by the time they were done so the pictures aren’t what they could be.
Here’s the recipe for the dough – everything else is just personal preference. Try topping with a few different types of cheese, or throw some pineapple chunks on with some ham. Get creative! Use up whatever you have in your fridge.
Grilled Flatbread Pizza Dough:
Makes: 8 personal-size pizzas (I saved half in the freezer)
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour (you can use all-purpose if it is all you have)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 package instant active dry yeast (2 heaping teaspoons if you have the kind in a jar)
- 2 Tablespoons oil (I use olive oil)
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- In a the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, and yeast with the paddle attachment on low. Drizzle in the oil and warm water until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium, adding in additional bread flour until the dough forms a ball. Knead for 3-5 minutes, adding in more flour as needed to make a fairly stiff dough. Remove from the mixer bowl and transfer to a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours).
- Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. If you plan on freezing half of it, now is the time. With the remaining half of the dough, divide into four equal portions.
- Stretch each piece into a rustic flatbread and transfer to a cornmeal-coated baking sheet.
- Turn your grill to high and placed dough directly onto grill.
- Close the lid and cook until bottoms are turning brown, 1-3 minutes. Move them around if necessary to ensure even cooking. Take the crusts off the grill and put them back on the baking sheet, grilled side up.I tried to put the ingredients directly on to the flatbreads and nearly burned my hand off. Spread grilled side with sauce, cheese, toppings, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Return to grill, close lid, and cook an additional 2-4 minutes, or until turning brown.
Recipe adapted from the Money Saving Mom.