Up until now, I haven’t had much luck with making my own pizza dough. I tried a recipe at least a year ago that didn’t turn out so well and because Kyle swears that all pizza dough should consist of is flour, water, yeast, and salt, I’ve been fairly reluctant to try another recipe…which is why it was a blessing for this recipe to be chosen as the BB August BRC recipe by Rebecca over at Ezra Pound Cake (which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Parties! as California PIzza). And it turned out to be more of a blessing when Kyle was working overtime one recent Saturday so that I could make my new dough recipe in peace without someone balking at the recipe.

In addition to being reluctant to making my own pizza dough, I’ve been downright frightened of making pizza on the grill. Don’t get me wrong…I’m the griller in this house (and the cooker…and the baker…) but because pizza is held in the highest esteem under this roof, I have been scared out of my wits to ruin it on the grill. So all in all, this one recipe just forced me to do two things I had been avoiding for a while…and what a better way to buck up than to do it with an Ina Garten recipe. 🙂

Let me be honest. These two pizzas (medium-sized from one dough recipe) were out of this world outstanding!!! Seriously. The dough was incredible – and this was fully concurred upon by Kyle who didn’t have enough good things to say about it. It had just the right amount of sweet and picked up a good amount of grill flavor to make me feel like I had just eaten a New Haven, CT coal-fired oven pizza (some of our favorite pizza!) even though it came off the gas grill. We switched up the toppings quite a bit from what Ina had suggested. One one pie we added our usual favorites: red sauce, mozzarella (not fresh) sauteed onions, raw minced garlic, crumbled bacon, and chicken cutlet (Perdue Baked Italian Chicken Cutlets). And since I knew I wouldn’t have enough sauce to cover both pizzas, I rummaged through the fridge and came up with some jarred Alfredo sauce so the second pizza turned into a chicken Alfredo pizza – just outstanding!!

I wouldn’t change a thing about the dough recipe. Not a thing. And I’m going to miss this pizza once winter comes but we’ll definitely be making it a few more times before the weather changes.

Thanks again to Rebecca for choosing such an incredible recipe!

California Grilled Pizzas

source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110 degrees F) water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the toppings (select 8):

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 pound Italian Fontina, grated
  • 1/2 pound mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, sliced
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and julienned
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced and julienned
  • 1 bunch arugula, cleaned and dried
  • 6 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 4 pork or turkey sausages, cooked and sliced
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, cleaned and dried
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

For prep:

  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Cornmeal
  1. For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups flour, then the salt, and mix. While mixing, add 1 more cup of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
  2. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it several times to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each one into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
  4. If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature. Roll and stretch each ball into a rough 8-inch circle and place them all on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. (You will be able to fit 2 pizzas on each 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.)
  5. Light your grill and wait until it’s hot.
  6. Place the pizzas directly onto the grill and cook on 1 side for 1 minute. Turn the pizzas over and brush with olive oil or garlic oil.
  7. Top the pizzas with any toppings you wish, piling them high. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Put the lid on your grill and cook for 5 minutes more, until the crust is crisp and the toppings are cooked.
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Leave a Comment

  • September 10, 2008 at 8:37 PM

    Those toppings sound delicious… and I really should make use of the grill before it gets too cold here! Looks good as always! 🙂

  • September 10, 2008 at 10:25 PM

    You conquered two fears with great results! What are you going to tackle next?

  • September 11, 2008 at 10:32 PM

    YOU DID IT!!! These look so awesome. I’m over my fear of grilling pizza now, too. Word to Ina. 😉

  • Julie Hoezee
    August 12, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    I just started grilling pizza and it’s the best. I purchase dough from the natural food store (lazy). Last time I did pesto sauce, fresh moz, fresh tomato, spinach and marinated artichoke hearts. YUM! If anyone has a great red sauce recipe, please post! I also find that a rectangle shape pizza is easier to work with. Must watch crust or it will burn if heat is too high (obviously). This is a great website! Tryin the shrimp tacos tonight