By Charlotte Taylor / Photography by Lauren LaBoyteaux
Massive amounts of sunshine, swimming, and vacationing! Give me all the outdoor things, because this is my favorite season…as long as the air conditioner works. Warm summer nights and longer days tend to draw us outdoors where we can enjoy simpler meals. Grilling usually delivers the easiest of meals. It means quick clean up and more time to relax with family and friends. Whether you enjoy cooking indoors or out, the next time you light up the grill, why not throw on some pizza dough before the coals die out. Grilling the dough for flatbread pizza can even be done in advance, so you can enjoy it for another simple summer meal.
Like me, you may be new to grilling pizzas, but now it’s my new favorite. The best part about this trend is, you can use an outdoor grill or ‘grill’ indoors right on your stove. The dough can be as simple as store bought, or more involved with your favorite homemade version. The perks of grilling will give your dough that yummy char and flavor that we all love about grilled foods. Cooking on a smoking hot skillet or griddle indoors will not disappoint either. Oh so yummy either way!
To start, the hardest part will be deciding about the dough. Did you know you can usually purchase raw dough from your local pizzeria? Most grocers also sell a frozen dough, as well as, the refrigerated pizza dough in the biscuit section. Do what is easiest for you. The goal here is an easy yummy meal.
The second hardest part will be deciding on the toppings. Experimentation is the name of the game. Grab some hearty ingredients for the guys, some fru fru cheeses and pretty toppings for the girls. You could also do a buttery/sugary/cinnamon mixture for a dessert pizza. The easy part about this is, if you pre-grill the dough you can have a great family gathering or dinner party later by letting everyone make their own individual flatbread pizza. Then heat in your oven for just a few minutes right before serving!
What you need:
- 1 lb. dough (makes 2-9 inch pizzas) or 1 tube of canned dough (makes 6 or more individual pizzas)
- Cornmeal (for underneath the dough)
- Olive oil
- Assorted toppings (below)
- Grill, seasoned skillet/griddle or grill pan
What to do:
- Begin by preheating grill, griddle, iron skillet, or griddle pan. You want a fairly hot and almost smoking surface to get those nice grill marks. It’s amazing that the raw dough does so well and doesn’t ooze through the hot grill. If you plan to add toppings and serve immediately, preheat the oven to 450 as well (or you can finish off on the grill).
- Next, roll out dough (homemade or canned) onto a flat surface sprinkled with cornmeal. Cut dough into individual size servings (this makes them easier to get on and off the grill). Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When ready to grill, place oiled side of dough onto heat. *Cook for a few minutes, checking for nice color, then flip and cook for another couple of minutes. No need to oil both sides of dough. Remove from heat and let cool on a wire rack. Cover with toppings immediately or wrap and refrigerate for a later date.
*Don’t worry too much about cooking dough through at this point. The dough will be cooked completely when it’s heated and finished off in the oven. What you want is those nice grill/char marks on your dough.
Toppings (our favs):
- Lightly spread grilled dough with marinara sauce (homemade or purchased) and top with sliced pepperoni and a couple of slices of fresh mozzarella. Bake for about 5 minutes. Garnish with a basil chiffonade.
- Lightly spread grilled dough with pesto (store bought or homemade) and top with a few slices of mozzarella. Bake for about 5 minutes. Simple and elegant!
- Lightly drizzle grilled dough with olive oil, some caramelized onions and several globs of goat cheese. Bake. Top with a handful of arugula and prosciutto. So fun!
- Spread a few tablespoons of butter onto the grilled dough and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Bake about 5 minutes. Drizzle on some powdered sugar glaze and voila, dessert is done!
Making these is oh so fun! You can create a variety of flatbread pizzas to please everyone. Slice them into smaller bites for an appetizer, or let everyone create their own. However you do it, it’s quick, simple, and delicious. The next time you light up the grill, grab some dough to throw on and you’ll have a quick, semi-prepared dinner for another night! ENJOY!