This is one of my “template” recipes; translated – it’s more about the technique for creating these fantastic grilled pizzas with shatteringly thin, crisp crusts than just a single, specific recipe. If you get the technique down pat, you can make a yummy pizza from………..well, from just about anything you find in your refridge.
I was thinking of using some yummy fresh seasonal figs for my pizza today, but sadly, when I went to the market, all they had was the dried variety. I did purchase a bag of them as well as some sweet cherries. On the way home I started thinking about the fun ways I could incorporate these into my recipe. One of the inspirations for my pizza was the Balsamic Strawberry Pizza with Sweet Onions and Applewood Smoked Bacon that was featured on The Café several weeks ago. I adapted the recipe a bit, added and subtracted ingredients and came up with this yummy variation.
The grilled pizza crust is also delicious with a pesto base, sliced chicken sausage, slivered sweet onions and just about any kind of cheese. I used it to make a Pizza Margherita over the weekend. I simply drizzled the partially grilled crust with extra virgin olive oil and then topped it with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes right off the vine. A shower of fresh basil and a sprinkle of sea salt after baking finished off this yummy treat. Honestly though, you could just top this with a bit of your favorite cheese, a sprinkle of sea salt and a few fresh herbs and it would be fantastic. Use your imagination (and your leftovers!) and have fun staying cool with this wonderful pizza!
A few notes:
- There is no rising time involved with this recipe since the crust is super thin and crisp instead of bready like most pizzas. I love this because the pizza comes together so quickly. This is also great if you have an aversion to working with yeast. There is only a tiny amount of yeast involved and you don’t have to worry about activating it as in most bread/dough recipes!
- Another thing I like about this type of pizza – you can par-grill these crusts (just do the first grilling) and then freeze them. When you feel like making one, just take one out of the freezer, assemble with your favorite toppings and place in the oven or on a grill to quickly finish off. You could also do the first grilling early in the day, cool and wrap in foil until dinnertime and then top and bake. It’s a great idea if you’re having guests over and don’t want to be doing a bunch of fussing at the last minute.
1 ½ cups hot tap water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2. Roll each ball out into approximately a 14-15 inch circle . Dough will be very thin, almost paper thin. Don’t worry if circles aren’t perfectly shaped – these are rustic pizzas, anything goes! Repeat rolling the other balls of dough and place each rolled circle onto an individual piece of parchment paper. (I put a piece of parchment paper on top of a large cutting board and then stack them up on top of each other, each one on it’s own sheet of parchment paper. There is no rise involved with this thin-crusted pizza so you can just stack them up until ready to grill.)
3. Heat grill to medium high setting. Brush the grill surface with extra virgin olive oil. Quickly flip one circle of pizza dough onto the grill surface and carefully peel back parchment. Leave on the surface of the grill for 1-2 minutes checking often to see how the bottom looks. You want this side to be slightly browned with nice grill marks. At this point flip the pizza over and grill this side for about 1 minute or until just beginning to see grill marks. Remove from grill, place on a sheet pan and repeat process for other dough circles. At this point you can either top your pizzas and proceed with the next step or cool to room temperature and freeze for using at another time.
4. Turn grill down to medium-low heat level and place cover down while you are assembling your pizzas. I like to put my pizza stone on the grill and do the final baking on the stone but this is not necessary; you can bake right on the grill as long as your temperature is not too high.
5. To assemble pizzas, place lighter colored surface of crust face down. Top as desired and return to grill. Bake on grill with cover down until cheese is melted and bottom of pizza is crisp and nicely browned. Timing with vary from grill to grill – on my grill this takes about 3-5 minutes. If your grill is hotter, it will take less time. Check pizza frequently to make sure underside is not browning too fast. When cheese is melted and bottom is nicely browned, remove from grill, place on a cutting board, wipe the drool off your mouth and serve!
If you’re using a frozen grilled crust and want to finish off the pizza in the oven, preheat oven to 450˚ with pizza stone or sheet pan on middle rack. Remove crust from freezer, top and then bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crust is golden and crispy.
Grilled Pizza with Figs, Bacon and Sweet Cherries
⅓ cup fig preserves
1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce*
1 ball Grilled Pizza dough, recipe above
1 cup diced and cooked applewood smoked bacon
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh sweet cherries, seeded and diced, place on a paper towel and blot with another paper towel to remove excess juice
1. Prepare pizza crust as directed in Grilled Pizza (recipe above) through step 3.
3. Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4-5 minutes or until reduced to half of original volume and mixture is thick and syrupy. Add fig preserves and sriracha and mix well. Cool just a bit before topping pizza
4. Dollop sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover. Leave a 1 inch border all around the edge.
5. Scatter bacon and figs on top of dough evenly. Top with torn, fresh mozzarella. Bake as directed in Grilled Pizza Recipe, steps 4 and 5. Top with fresh cilantro, diced cherries, a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt – serve and enjoy!