summer grilled pizza dough challenge photo
FOOD + DRINK

Summer Grilled Pizza Dough Challenge (Week Four)


It’s Week 4 of the Summer Grilled Pizza Dough Challenge. This latest recipe to be tested on the grill is from Food & Wine. If you’re playing catch up, you can find the recipes and results for previous weeks here: Week One, Week Two, + Week Three.

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 4

This week’s recipe called for type “0” flour. The recipe notes say you can substitute all-purpose. In my infinite wisdom, I assumed that type “0” was somehow quite different from all-purpose, otherwise why wouldn’t the recipe just read all-purpose. My grocery had type “00” so I purchased and used that. I later found weekendbakery.com, that provided the most clear answer to my query about type “0” flour. I should have just substituted all-purpose.  

So, my scientific process leaves something to be desired, but it was interesting to try out the recipe with type “00” anyway — as some might argue it’s the best flour for a thin crust pizza.

In a departure from previous dough recipes, this one calls for just 1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast and 5 hours of rise time. Plan ahead! 

Let’s get into it…I was nervous using only 1/2 teaspoon yeast in 1 cup of water with no sugar to feed it. Especially when it didn’t get foamy. I tossed the first cup and attempted it again with the same result, but decided to go with it anyway.

yeast dissolved in water

After mixing in the remaining ingredients, the dough developed a shaggy texture (this was encouraging). 

shaggy dough texture

I dusted the dough during the kneading process with just a bit more flour as it was a touch on the sticky side. But, the end result was the smoothest texture to date.

smooth dough after kneading

After a 30 minute rest, the dough was divided in two, covered and left to rise for 5 hours. I guess that’s what’s needed when you don’t use as much yeast? (I really have no idea.) After punching it down, I divided the dough again to make 4 pizzas. I shaped the dough by hand and was able to get it quite thin — hoping this would result in a nice crispy, cracker like crust.

dough before rising
dough after rising
shaped dough ready for the grill

These pizzas were larger than previous weeks, so I grilled two at at time. After assembling and grilling all four, under the broiler they went. 

pizzas on the grill
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)
grilled pizza ready to eat

Our assessment? These pizzas certainly had a crispy crust and held up very well to the toppings despite being quite thin. The flavor was on the bland side and I missed the chewiness we’d had with previous doughs. My husband liked it better than I did — my favorite is still Week One’s pizza from The Kitchn. Once we’ve grilled all the pizzas on the docket, we may need to do a side-by-side taste test to determine the winner!

If you’re cooking along with our Summer Grilled Pizza Dough Challenge, next time I’ll be making the dough portion only from this Epicurious recipe using bread flour

Top photo by Argan Yoga Nugroho on Unsplash


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