summer grilled pizza dough challenge photo
FOOD + DRINK

Summer Grilled Pizza Dough Challenge (Week Two)


It’s Week 2 of the Summer Grilled Pizza Dough Challenge and this week’s contender is this recipe from Food Network. I only made the dough portion since…

THE METHOD

To keep things fair, I’ll mix each dough recipe and grill it exactly as it’s written. A few other variables will remain the same week to week:

  • Toppings – I’ll use the same brand and amount of toppings (pepperoni, Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, organic store bought sauce)
  • Whether or not the recipe calls for it, I’ll split the dough into 4 smaller portions (way easier to handle)
  • Once all pizzas are cooked on the grill, I’ll transfer them to the broiler for a couple minutes to get that bubbly, slightly toasted top
WEEK 2

After my failed attempt at hand-mixed dough during week one (that was relegated to the waste bin, sorry Martha) and the ease at which the Kitchn’s machine-mixed dough came together, I was a little nervous about trying hand-mixing again. But, this one came together beautifully. The yeast got foamy as expected, and once mixed into the flour, developed the shaggy texture the recipe described.

shaggy pizza dough

The kneading process netted me a smooth elastic dough. (Quite proud of myself considering my utter lack of experience here.) The dough rose nicely over an hour and a half, then I split it into four equal pieces. 

pizza dough before rising
pizza dough after rising

Here is where the recipe lost me. The instructions say to roll the dough, so I did. However, I’d heard that rolling pizza dough knocks all the air out of it and doesn’t yield that airy quality you get from really great pizzeria pizza. But, I stuck to the instructions and used a rolling pin. It transferred easily from the sheet pan to the grill and I was hopeful when I started to see the dough puff up. 

pizza dough on grill
pizza on grill with toppings

A definite plus for this recipe is that I was able to cook all of the pizzas at once. A timesaver for sure, but since they came off the grill together, they had consistent temperatures and toasted nicely under the broiler. Last week, I cooked the pizzas one at a time. By the time all four went under the broiler, the cheese on the warmer pizzas took less time to bubble up. 

CRITERIA FOR THE PERFECT DOUGH

This is certainly subjective, but here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Easy to mix & knead (the dough comes together as described and maintains its texture / form)
  • The grilling process results in a crispy shell, chewy interior and holds up to the toppings — no soggy dough!
  • It’s got to taste good (different flours may have an impact here)

The verdict? This Food Network recipe came together easily and grilled nicely. The outer crust crisped up and did not get soggy under the toppings. The flavor was good, but…even though I saw the dough puff up on the grill, it ended up being dense in the center — no air pockets — I have to assume that was from being rolled out instead of being hand-formed. Week One’s pizza from The Kitchn is the current front runner, but there’s still four weeks to go! 

If you’re cooking along with our Summer Grilled Pizza Dough Challenge, next time I’ll be making the dough portion only from this Food & Wine recipe. 

Top photo by Argan Yoga Nugroho on Unsplash


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