This summer we've eaten pizza a lot, A LOT. Todd and I went to Pizza Nono in Salt Lake a few month back and ordered a pizza called the Beehive. This pizza is my version of the Beehive. It's topped with Calabrese, pickled jalapenos, and a drizzle of honey that makes it just about perfect. Someday in my dream backyard, I will have a pizza oven, but until then, a pizza stone on my grill and a quick trip under the broiler before serving makes my pizza dreams come true. (Oh and I've been using Alexandra Cooks peasant pizza dough recipe from her cookbook Bread Toast Crumbs. The dough comes together in minutes and makes having pizza for dinner a cinch.)
My Beehive Pizza
Dough: (This recipe (I doubled it) is the best and comes from the cookbook Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford)
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 cup lukewarm water
Fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks
Finely grated Parmesan cheese
In large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Add the water. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix until the liquid is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky ball. If the dough seems dry, add water a teaspoon or two at a time (you want it to be sticky). Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, using two forks, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl and pulling it toward the center. Rotate the bowl quarter turns as you deflate, turning the dough into a round ball.
Once the dough has risen, using two forks divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Spread flour on a clean surface. Using the forks lift (or just kind of scoop out) each portion of dough onto the floured surface. With floured hands, shape each dough portion into a ball, using the pinkie-edges of your hands to pinch the dough underneath the ball. Let the dough balls rest for at least 20 minutes without touching.
Place a baking stone on a 4-burner gas grill right in the middle. Turn the grill on and heat on high (all burners) for 20 minutes with the lid closed. Once the grill has preheated for 20 minutes, turn the two middle burners to low.
While the grill is heating, place a piece of parchment paper on an upside down baking sheet (I use 3 baking sheets with a piece of parchment on each upside baking sheet, one baking sheet for each dough ball.) With floured hands, gently stretch outward. Then with the back of your hands, stretch the round more, using additional flour if needed. Be careful to preserve the pockets of air trapped in the dough. Place dough on parchment-lined baking sheet and stretch more if necessary (this is always necessary for me). Repeat with the remaining dough balls. (I like to trim some of the excess parchment around each pizza before I put it on the grill.)
Spread each pizza with a thin layer of sauce, calabrese, fresh mozzarella, pickled jalapenos, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky salt (if you want). Slide the parchment paper with the pizza onto the grill. The parchment paper makes it easy to get the pizza on and off the baking stone. Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown on the bottom.
Ok, here's my trick (It's actually not really a trick, but I think it makes the pizza extra delicious by giving the air bubbles on the crust and the cheese some good char marks). Before you start cooking your pizza, preheat your broiler. Once the pizza is nearly finished on the grill (it's ok if the cheese hasn't reached it's full melty goodness potential, the broiler will take care of that) pull it back onto the upside down baking sheet and slide the parchment paper out from underneath the pizza (you don't want it to catch on fire under the broiler....not good). Place pizza under the broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbly and the crust has some char marks. Remove from oven and sprinkle pizza liberally with grated parmesan and a drizzle of honey over the entire pizza. Slice and Serve.
I know this may seem a bit lengthy, but I promise once you do it a couple times, you'll be a pizza grilling pro. You'll learn how your grill heats and whether or not you need to adjust the grill temperature. Have fun with the toppings and remember that more toppings isn't necessarily better. Go for simple!
Oh and here's the recipe for my favorite tomato sauce. It takes just a few minutes to throw together and always makes more than I need so I freeze the extra in 1/2 cup portions in baggies. This is awesome because it makes pizza night even easier.
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the crushed tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil together. Add salt until the sauce goes from tasting blah to good (or as good as cold tomato sauce can taste...haha).