Thursday, August 27, 2009

Barbecued Pizza

Well here it is (as requested!), my barbecued pizza recipe. For those of you that haven’t tried it I know it might sound a little strange to cook a pizza on the barbecue, but considering the best pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven, it’s not that crazy! Once you try it, you will rarely go back to cooking a pizza in the oven!

My only words of advice for cooking this on the barbecue, is that you have to keep the base thin and the toppings very simple as they won’t cook in time. The recipe makes enough for 2 large pizzas or 4 individual ones, so I tend to make the full recipe then freeze half of the dough for the next time I have a pizza craving. If you aren’t an avid griller then you can definitely make a very good pizza using this recipe and baking it in the oven instead. Simply preheat the oven to 425F/ 220C, put the rolled pizza dough onto a baking sheet (or pizza stone if you have one) top with the sauce and toppings of your choice. Cook for 12-15 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Last night I made 2 individual pizzas for Mr. Vanilla & I (the remaining half as mentioned went into the freezer). I pureed a tin of chopped tomatoes (since I had no passata or crushed tomatoes) for the sauce and added half of a fresh red chilli (the ‘ring of fire’ chillies from the farmers market) which added a lovely bite to the pizza. Mr. Vanilla's was topped with plenty of mozzarella and some shredded ham and I crowned mine with mozzarella and a handful of fresh tomatoes. Both were finished with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Maldon sea salt and some fresh basil from the garden. Delicious.

Pizza base:
2 tsp active dry yeast
½ tsp caster sugar
1 ½ cups/ 12flo oz warm water
4 cups/ approx. 1lb 4oz plain or all-purpose flour
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt

Tomato sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
400g/ 14oz tin of crushed tomatoes or passata
2 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp of sugar
Salt and pepper

2 balls of buffalo mozzarella, sliced (if using all the dough)
Fresh basil leaves
Maldon sea salt
Olive oil (if you want you can use garlic or chilli oil)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Place the yeast and sugar in a small bowl or jug and add the water. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

Meanwhile put the flour & salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the olive oil and then the yeast mixture.

If you are using a stand mixer attach the dough hook and mix on slow until the dough forms a ball. At that point allow the dough to be kneaded for a further 2-3 minutes. If you are kneading the dough by hand, slowly incorporate the yeast and oil mixture with the flour and then knead until it begins to form a smooth dough.

Transfer the dough onto a floured board or work surface and continue to knead until it is smooth and elastic – you shouldn’t need to do this if you used a stand mixer. (It should be soft to the touch and should spring back if you press it gently.)

Sprinkle a little flour into a large bowl and then put the dough into it. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough has risen and doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a pan and add the crushed garlic. Gently sauté for a minute, being careful not to brown it. Add the tomatoes to the garlic along with the oregano, chilli (if using), sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well then leave to simmer and reduce slightly for 30 minutes. When it looks ready, taste to check the seasoning and then set aside to cool.

To barbecue the pizza, divide the dough into 2 pieces for 2 large pizzas or 4 for smaller ones. Roll out each piece of dough on a floured surface until you get the thickness that you like (thin works really well). Brush the top of one large pizza (or two small ones) with some olive oil then place the oiled side on a preheated barbecue over a very low heat. While the under side is cooking brush the top with some more olive oil. Once the bottom is golden brown, flip the pizza over then spoon the tomato sauce onto the cooked side (as much as you like). Top with some sliced buffalo mozzarella then put the lid down on the barbecue and leave for a few minutes, allowing the bottom to cook and the cheese to melt on top. When the pizza is ready, scatter over some fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good sprinkling of Maldon sea salt. Delicious!


  1. I'm trying pizza on the grill this weekend. Just worried about it sticking. May try one right on the grill and one on a pizza stone. See what happens.

  2. I've never had a problem with it sticking - just make sure you brush olive oil all over it and it should be fine! It's so good - you'll love it!!


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