Adventures of the Yellow School Bus | "Want to Come Over for Pizzas on the Grill?" | Recipe/Story & 41 Photos by Candice Granger

"Want to come over for pizzas on the grill?" That's how I usually invite friends over for dinner. I am known for a few things and grilling pizzas is one of them. The other is my inability to arrive on time to any event. I can not help the fact that I am always fashionably late, it just came naturally. It required no practice and is something people have come to expect and I would like to think admire about me. I think I am pushing it there but the ability to grill pizzas did take some practice and I would like to share my recipe with you. Maybe you can grow a reputation for a "mean pizza on the grill."

Pizza Crust Recipe
  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • plus some corn meal for a slippery surface...maybe 1 cup?

So that recipe is just for the pizza crusts - it will make two pizzas.   You will also need ingredients for whatever else you would like to put on your pizzas. I usually make one Tomato and Basil Pizza and one whatever I have in the refrigerator pizza. This time I had some bar-b-que sauce from a local bar-b-que joint and some grilled chicken breasts and some fresh veggies. I thought I could make a bar-b-que pizza. We enjoyed a pizza from a pizza place that used brisket on their bar-b-que pizza instead of chicken and it was fantastic. I usually don't have brisket hanging around in the fridge, so that would have to be a "special occasion" pizza for us! One of the families' favorites is using pesto instead of a tomato sauce and adding black olives and feta. Oh my, it is so good. I'm making myself hungry! Alright, here we go...

Warm up your water to get the yeast growing and add
your brown sugar to your water to feed your yeast.

While I have my yeast brewing, I pour in my flour into my mixer...

...and add the salt.

It's been about 8 minutes or so...The yeast didn't grow to big this time.  I don't think my water was warm enough.  Oh, well.  A little bit of action is better than no action at all, right?  I'm going for it.

I pour the olive oil in the flour and salt and then add the yeast, water mix to the flour mix.

Make sure you have a bread hook on the mixer and mix, mix, mix!

Looks good.  I like my dough a little wet because after it rises it sometimes dries out.  Plus, I add flour when I am rolling out the dough and that can dry it out too.

I cover the dough with a towel and put it in the cold oven for about 45 minutes to an hour just to rise.  I have forgotten about the pizza dough many times and come back hours later and it is HUGE.  I just knock it back and use it.  That just makes the pizza dough fluffier and thicker when it cooks.  Yum.

While the pizza dough it rising, I cut up all my veggies.  I am putting tomatoes and basil on one pizza and chicken, bell peppers, mushrooms and jalape├▒os on the other.  

I make the pizzas on round pizza stones.  I don't preheat them because I am just assembling the pizza on the stone and using the pizza stones to move the pizzas to the bar-b-que pit.

After about 45 minutes to however many hours, I pull the pizza dough out of the oven.  I like to use the oven because it is a draft free spot that is out of the way.  I will turn the oven on for about 5 minutes to warm it up and then I click it off and let the dough rise. 

This is what the dough looks like after about 45 minutes of rising.  If you like super thick dough, let it rise longer!  If you like thin crust, don't let it rise as long.  It's pretty easy going.

The second you touch the dough or even uncover it, it will start to fall.  Completely normal.

I divide the dough in half...

...and roll it up into a nice disc and make it look pretty.  And then I roll it out.

Once I roll the dough out, I put corn meal underneath the dough.  If you don't, you will have a hard time sliding the dough off of the pizza stones.  Even if you don't use pizza stones, make sure you put corn meal down on whatever surface you are using or the dough will stick to your surface and you will be cussing up a storm when your beautiful pizza is destroyed because it stuck to the counter like white on rice.

This is how much corn meal I put down.  I fold the pizza dough over and sprinkle corn meal and then do the other side.

Ready for some toppings!

I never, ever, ever use pizza sauce on my pizzas.  It's not very good.  So I use sun dried tomatoes and zip them up in a zipper and use that as my sauce.  That's my secret.  There it is.  Now everyone knows everything about me.  

I put the tomatoes with the oil in the zipper and zip it up.

This is the consistency that I like.  Little chunks are good.

Spread it out.

This is my tomato and basil pizza.  I like to put my basil on before my cheese because it burns and dries out if I leave it on top of the cheese.  Underneath, tucked away it stays soft and flavorful.

Cheese on top.  I use Monterrey jack cheese instead of mozzarella.  I think it has a better flavor and it is not as stringy as mozzarella.  I've tried using fresh mozzarella before.  It just slid off the pizza and it didn't give good coverage.  That one bite that I actually got fresh mozzarella tasted so good but the rest was cheeseless and that was terrible!

These are the two seasonings that I add to the top of the pizzas.
I haven't found anything that tastes as good...yet!

I added the cherry tomatoes to the top and sprinkle
on the Italian seasoning and garlic powder.

Easy peasy!

Now for my experiment pizza. Instead of the sun dried tomatoes or tomato sauce, I am using bar-b-que sauce as my pizza sauce. I have also used salsa and made a Mexican pizza with poblano peppers, bell peppers, and whatever else I could find. That pizza is my husband's favorite! I like it too if the salsa isn't too hot. I just had the idea to use green chili's as the sauce...mmmm...that might be good! 

I added the cheese, veggies, and grilled chicken...

...and then topped it off with the Italian seasoning and garlic powder.

They are ready for the grill!

This is the tricky part because I know many of you don't have a kiln shelf lying around your house to turn into a pizza stone on your grill. If you do, awesome! If you don't, you can preheat your pizza stones on your grill and use a cookie sheet or something to assemble on. A kiln shelf is used in a kiln to fire pots on and is meant to absorb heat evenly which is perfect for cooking a pizza! 

This is where you are so thankful for the corn meal because if it sticks to your stone or sheet, you will have a mess! I have done it too many times.

The secret to a good crust is to get a crunchy bottom and melted cheese on top. To make that happen, you have to preheat your stones and get them hot, hot, hot. Hotter the better. I think professional pizza places get their stones to like 500 - 600 degrees or something. We are talking hot. 

I preheat my pizza stones when I start to assemble. If I am not chatting with company or haven't had too many glasses of wine, I can usually assemble the pizzas in about 15 minutes or so...that seems to be about the time the grill is about 450 - 500 degrees.

They cook for about 10 - 15 minutes. We like crunchy pizza so we often cook ours up to the 15 minute mark. We also have to rotate the pizza half way through because our grill has a hot spot and it will cook the crust really good on the back side but not so good on the front side.

This is about 9 minutes on the grill.

Looking good!


Now we dish'em out!  Pizza doesn't last long in this house!  Hope you enjoy!

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