Summer hits, I want pizza, and I want in on the BBQ. It’s inevitable, and I am totally ok with that. This pizza was born out of warm-weather induced necessity after a trip to my favourite fruit & veg stand. I had fresh BC arugula, a new (used) KitchenAid stand mixer to test out, and some beautiful squishy pizza mozzarella.
I used the KitchenAid stand mixer to pull the dough together, which was more convenient than I could have imagined. You can, of course, also knead it by hand. Shortly before your first rise is over, prep your toppings.
After that it’s just punch, roll, top, and BBQ. Do be careful not to torch your poor pizza crust into charcoal, which is far easier done than said. I’d recommend just turning on one burner, and cooking the pizza over the side that’s not on.
Spicy Arugula, Tomato, and Mozzarella Grilled Pizza
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (measured using the scoop & sweep method)
¼ cup cornmeal
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry activated yeast
Warm water, as needed
3–5 tbsp tomato sauce
1 ripe tomato, sliced
10 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1–2 tbsp pesto, for dolloping/drizzling
2–3 cups rinsed & torn spicy arugula
Good, thick balsamic vinegar
Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. If you’re using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and lower it into your flour mixture. Turn it onto level 3 or so, and slowly drizzle in warm water and let the stand mixer pull everything together. Once there’s no more flour in the bottom of the bowl, leave it to knead the dough for a couple minutes until you can pinch off a piece of dough and stretch it out thin enough to see light through it.
If you’re making the dough by hand, start the same way, making a well in the flour. When it comes to water, add it slowly to the center while you stir it in using one hand. Once you’ve got all the flour incorporated (take care not to add too much water or you’ll have a hard time with the kneading), knead away until the dough ball is nice and smooth and you can pinch off a piece of dough and stretch it out thin enough to see light through it.
Coat the dough ball in a small amount of olive oil and leave to rise in a warm place (a barely warmed and turned off oven is a great spot) for an hour.
Just before the first rise is done, prepare your toppings and preheat your BBQ—use just one burner and aim for about 350°F.
Punch down your dough and divide it into two. I set aside one half of the dough in a not-quite-sealed leftovers container in the fridge to use a few days later.
Sprinkle your counter top with a thin layer of flour and roll your dough out to a moderately round-ish pizza like shape, flipping it over and moving it around frequently to keep it from sticking to the counter.
Coat a cookie sheet in cornmeal and move your dough round to it. Give the cookie sheet a light wiggle—the dough should wiggle around with it. If not, find the spot that’s sticking and add more cornmeal.
Quickly top your pizza (reserving the arugula and balsamic) and take it out to the BBQ. Align the far edge of the cookie sheet with the back of the BBQ and slide the pizza onto the BBQ (on the side where the burners aren’t on). Cook for 15–20 minutes, until the cheese is slightly brown and bubbly, checking frequently to make sure you aren’t torching the bottom of your pizza. If you are, surrender, remove it from the BBQ, and finish cooking it in your oven (unless you enjoy eating charcoal, of course).
After you’ve removed the pizza from the BBQ, top with the arugula and drizzle with balsamic. MMmmm!