I’ve written about making pizza before. As our family’s schedules get increasingly busy, pizza is becoming more of a weeknight staple. Making it together is also becoming a tradition with Sidney regularly inquiring about when he can help make dinner. As much as we’ve been enjoying our homemade pizza, we’ve come to realize that our small, European-style electric oven just doesn’t get hot enough to produce the crispy crust we all prefer. Lacking the ability to install a true pizza oven (that will have to wait until we are in our “forever” house), we’ve taken to baking the pizzas on our gas grill. All it takes is placing our baking stone directly on the grill and we are good to go. When the stone is thoroughly pre-heated, the resulting crust is just the way we like it, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Sidney is also pretty sharp; he has quickly learned that “Mamma doesn’t like tomato sauce” and makes sure none touches my pizza. While my boys usually rely on their standard of tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni or other sausage like meat, I get a bit more adventurous. My latest creation pairs creamy goat cheese with the first fresh figs of the season. Caramalized onions and a bit of crispy prosciutto round out the toppings. This recipe makes enough topping for four individual pizzas. You can easily reduce the amount to accommodate one or two pizzas.
GRILLED FIG & GOAT CHEESE PIZZA
For the pizza dough:
1 Teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 Teaspoon honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Kosher salt
4 Teaspoons olive oil
- Dissolve the yeast in the water. Stir in the honey and let stand until the liquid begins to bubble, 3-5 minutes; stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Pulse the flour, salt, and remaining olive oil in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. With the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture and process until the dough forms a ball around the blade.
- Remove the dough from the processor and knead on a lightly floured surface, adding more flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic, 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough stretches gently when pulled, 30-60 minutes.
- Punch dough down and divide into four pieces; shape into balls and roll in your hands until smooth, about one minute.
- Arrange dough balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap coated with non-stick spray, and let rise for 30-60 minutes more.
- Press each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface. Turn dough, pressing on its center, then roll each into a 7 to 8 inch circle. Transfer the rounds onto a pizza peel generously dusted with cornmeal; brush each with 1 teaspoon olive oil, then add toppings.
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces goat cheese, softened
6 ounces prosciutto, chopped
2 large rip figs, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
- Place a pizza stone on the grate of an outdoor gas grill. Close the lid and pre-heat the grill on high for at least half an hour.
- Place two tablespoons of the olive oil in a small saute pan. Add the onions and sugar then toss to coat. Cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and caramelized. Add a small amount of water if necessary to prevent them from sticking. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place two tablespoons of olive oil in another small saute pan. Add the prosciutto and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the prosciutto is crispy.
To Assemble the Pizzas:
Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on top of each of the four pizza rounds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Divide the caramelized onions over the top of the goat cheese then add the fig slices. Sprinke with the crispy prosciutto then finally the minced thyme.
Place the pizzas directly onto the pre-heated pizza stone (you may need to do this in batches if you are cooking several pizzas). In order to keep the grill hot, shut the grill lid during the baking process.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown and the toppings are hot. The amount of baking time may vary depending upon the temperature of your grill so watch the pizzas carefully so they don’t burn.
Carefully remove the pizzas from the grill and allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Makes: 4 individual sized pizzas