Inside-Out Grilled Pizza

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Inside-Out Grilled Pizza

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Published prior to 2008

Making pizza? There’s no easier and faster way than slapping it on the grill. No, really—trust me. Your covered outdoor grill is the perfect high-heat "oven" for delicious pizza.

This recipe uses low-protein pastry flour to make a crust that’s relaxed and exceedingly easy to pat out. The resulting pizza has a medium-thin, crisp, cracker-like crust, rather than the ultra-chewy thick crust you might be used to. This is New York-style pizza, right down to the char marks on the bottom.

When I make this pizza, I divide the dough in half, and shape it two ways: one traditional, one "inside-out." Both are easy as (pizza) pie!

Starter
1 1/2 cups (5 3/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Pastry Flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cool water
pinch of instant yeast

Dough
all of the starter
1 1/2 cups (5 3/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Pastry Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor (optional, but tasty)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cool water
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) olive oil

Filling/Topping
6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
6 ounces pitted black olives, Italian or French preferred
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) olive oil or garlic oil
2 to 6 peeled garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

The morning of the day you plan to grill your pizza, combine the starter ingredients, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours (or longer, if it fits your schedule; this step is flexible).

About 2 hours before serving, combine the starter with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead—by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine—to make a soft, pliable dough. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let rise for 90 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prepare the topping. Use a pair of scissors to cut the tomatoes into ½" pieces, if they’re larger than that. I prefer to use soft, pliable (but not oil-packed) sun-dried tomatoes; use oil-packed if you like. Be sure, whatever kind you use, they’re pliable; you don’t want to use the hard, brittle, dried-up kind. As for olives, I prefer the really flavorful French or Italian varieties; they’re packed in a bit of oil, but are fairly dry. Use regular black olives, if you like, but the oil-cured ones are much more flavorful.

Combine the tomatoes and olives with the feta, oil, garlic, and oregano, tossing so everything is well combined. By the way, the amount of all of the topping ingredients is flexible; just use approximately equal parts cheese, tomatoes, and olives, moistened with a bit of oil and seasoned with a touch of oregano. Any leftover is a wonderful addition to salads.

Cut two 13" squares of parchment or waxed paper, and spray them with olive oil spray. Gently deflate the dough, divide it in half, and place one half on each piece of paper. Pat each piece into a 10" to 12" circle.

To make an inside-out pizza, spread filling on half of one of the pieces of dough. Bring the other half over, and press the edges to seal. For a traditional pizza, don’t add the topping—yet! Spray the pizzas with olive oil, and let them rest while you preheat your grill to medium, about 400°F if you have a thermometer.

Once the grill is at a stable temperature, place one of the pizzas on a peel or flat pizza pan, paper and all. Bring it to the grill, and carefully turn it over onto the grill, peeling the paper off. Put the cover on the grill, and grill for 3 minutes. Check and see if the bottom is nicely browned. If it is, turn it over; if not, give it a couple more minutes.

The inside-out pizza, when it’s turned, clearly doesn’t need any more attention. But the traditional pizza, once it’s turned, needs its topping added. Spread the topping over the cooked (top) side, and re-cover the grill.

Bake either pizza for an additional 3 to 6 minutes, until the underside is nicely browned. Remove from the grill, and serve hot.
Yield: two pizzas.