Author Notes: It was pretty groundbreaking when my mom first made pizza on the grill. It sounds like something you'd need a fancy pizza stone or brick oven to accomplish successfully, but with her method (she just flops the dough straight onto the hot rack), you can achieve both nice grill marks and a crisp crust worthy of your favorite pizza joint. The only requirements are a great dough recipe and a sturdy spatula. This dough was adapted from my spent grain bread recipe, so it's tried and true and promises to live up to your highest pizza expectations. You can easily multiply the recipe's ingredients in equal ratios to invite the entire neighborhood and throw a killer pizza party (we like to call it pizzapalooza.) —cdilaura
grams whole wheat flour
grams all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
grams yeast (if letting it rise 1 hour, otherwise double if using dough immediately)
grams kosher salt
Olive oil, as needed
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (the flours, yeast, salt, and sugar) until well combined.
- Create a well in the middle and slowly add half of the water, stirring with a butter knife (this is an easy tool to pull sticky dough from). As the dough comes together, add the remaining water to the center and stir with the knife to bring in the remaining flour, working from the center outwards, to minimize the amount of dough that sticks to the side of the bowl. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not smooth at this point. If it is too sticky, add a few pinches of all-purpose flour.
- Cover the top of the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate and form gluten bonds.
- Dip your hands and a bread scraper into olive oil to coat to prevent dough from sticking. Loosen dough from sides of the bowl and gently work it into a smooth ball.
- Lightly drizzle olive oil onto a counter or marble working surface and spread it out with you hands to oil both your hands and the surface.
- Transfer the dough from the bowl to the oiled surface and, taking care not to pull or tear at the dough, gently stretch it into a rectangle shape.
- Gently stretch the dough by grabbing it from one of the long ends, then fold the left edge of the dough one-third of the way over the dough. Fold the right edge one-third of the way over the dough as well, resting it on the piece you just folded over (so that you have three layers of dough). Think of it like folding a piece of paper to fit into a standard-size envelope. Then, take the opposite ends that were just folded and fold them into thirds again, from the top to the center and the bottom over that, stretching and folding. In the end, you will have almost a square shape.
- Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Repeat steps 5 through 8 two more times, so you will have stretched, folded, and let rest for a total of three times. After the third stretch and fold, allow the dough to rise for 1 hour, covered with plastic wrap (unless you doubled the yeast and wish to use the dough immediately).
- Very lightly flour the surface and remove dough from the bowl to the counter. Spread and fold it in a letter fold one more time, then cut it with a dough scraper into 4 even-sized balls. Place them on a plate and cover them with plastic wrap or a lightly damp towel and let them rest while you prepare your favorite toppings and heat up the grill.
- Heat the grill to 400 to 450º F (you can also make the pizza in the oven on a cookie sheet if you don't have a grill.)
- When the grill is ready, grab one ball of dough in your hands and keep turning it like you're driving a steering wheel to stretch into an individual-sized pizza circle, letting gravity help stretch it as you turn.
- Lay it onto a floured surface and brush one side with olive oil. Grab the dough and flop the oiled side down onto the hot grill rack. While the bottom side gets toasty, brush olive oil on the top. Check the underside after 30 to 60 seconds by gently lifting it with a sturdy spatula. Once the underside is toasty-brown to your liking, flip the dough and quickly assemble the toppings of your choice onto the dough while it is on the grill. Close the lid to help the cheese melt and check every 30 seconds or so until the underside is browned to your liking and the cheese is melted. If the bottom browns quicker than your cheese is melting, you can always move it to the top rack (if you have one) or a place of indirect heat to prevent it from burning while you wait for the melty goodness.
- Remove it from the grill with a large, sturdy spatula. Slice and share it (or don't)!