Basic Grilled Pizza Dough

Turn a backyard (or indoor) grill into a pizza oven.


People naturally think burgers and hot dogs when they envision grilled foods. But there is so much more that can be cooked over an open fire, including desserts and even pizza. Grilling lends a distinctive smoky taste to both the crust and the toppings.

Grilled pizzas start with a basic dough that cooks up quickly, and then can be customized with many different flavor profiles, as is the case with “The Jamaican.” This pizza, courtesy of “Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas” (DK) by Craig W. Priebe with Dianne Jacob, offers jerk-smoked pork with a sweet and savory chutney.


Basic Grilled Pizza Dough

Makes two 12-inch crusts


3⁄4        cup warm water

1           package active dry yeast (about 21⁄4 teaspoons)

1⁄2        teaspoon sugar

11⁄2       cups unbleached flour

1⁄4        cup whole wheat flour

1           teaspoon kosher salt

2          tablespoons cornmeal, preferably white, plus additional for the pan

2          tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 1⁄4 teaspoon for the bowl


  1. Pour the warm water into a small bowl or measuring cup. Add the yeast and sugar and stir until the yeast dissolves into a smooth beige color. Let it stand on your counter for about 5 minutes to prove that the yeasted water is active. A thin layer of foam will appear on the top, indicating that the batch is good.
  2. Add the flours, salt, and cornmeal to a 4- or 5-quart standing mixing bowl. Use the dough hook attachment on the lowest speed to mix the dry ingredients. Add the yeasted water and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix on the slowest speed to allow the ingredients to come together. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Then move to medium-high speed and knead for 2 minutes. The batter should form a ball, unless it’s too wet or sticky. If so, add only enough flour to prevent it from sticking. The dough should come off the sides cleanly and form a ball.
  3. Put the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium bowl. The dough will be sticky, so flour your hands before picking it up, and place it in the bowl. Turn it over several times until it is coated in oil. This prevents a crust from forming on its surface as it rises.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in a draft-free, warm place, 70 to 80 F, for two hours, until it rises to almost double in appearance.
  5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator overnight, or for 1 hour to firm it up. Since the dough is slightly sticky, chilling the dough makes it easier to roll out. Chilling it overnight gives the dough more flavor and texture. Dough will keep in the refrigerator for three days.
  6. Punch down the dough gently to remove gas.
  7. Lightly flour about a foot of space on a clean, dry countertop. Flatten the dough with your hands to about a 1-inch thickness. Cut in half with a knife.
  8. Put one piece of dough in the center of the floured space and sprinkle a little flour over the top. Using a rolling pin, make smooth strokes to roll out the dough starting from the center out to the edges. Roll the dough out to about a 12-inch diameter. Sprinkle the crust with a fine layer of flour. It will make the dough easier to handle, and prevent stickiness.
  9. Position two cookie sheets with no sides, or two pizza screens, next to your dough. Sprinkle them generously with flour or cornmeal, so the dough will not stick. Pick up the dough with two hands and fold gently in half.
  10. Transfer the dough to a cookie sheet. Unfold dough onto the pan to make it flat and stretch out the dough to an approximate 12-inch diameter. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
  11. The grill should be medium hot to grill the crust. Hold the cookie sheet close to it and slide the dough onto the grill. If the dough folds in on itself, try to move the edges quickly to form a flat crust.
  12. The dough should take about 3 minutes to cook. Watch for bubbles. Lift the underside. It should be an even light brown with grill marks.
  13. Pick up the crust from the middle, using tongs, and place it on your cookie sheet. Flip it over so the grilled side is face up. This browned side becomes the top of your pizza.


The Jamaican

Makes one pizza


Dark plum chutney

1⁄2        cup prune juice

2          tablespoons brown sugar

11⁄2       teaspoon dried ground ginger

1⁄4        cup dark raisins

1           teaspoon cornstarch

1⁄4        teaspoon chili flakes


Smoked pork

1           8-ounce boneless pork steak, from shoulder blade or butt; or boneless ribs

1           teaspoon liquid smoke

1           tablespoon jerk-spice dry rub


1           grilled pizza crust

1           tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1           tablespoon grated Parmesan

1           cup shredded mozzarella

1⁄2        cup tomato sauce

1⁄2        ripe mango, cut into 1⁄4-inch slices

2          tablespoons cilantro, garnish


  1. To make the Dark Plum Chutney, mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. The sauce should be slightly thick, spicy and sweet.
  2. Rub the pork with liquid smoke, followed by the dry rub. Grill over medium hot coals, or sauté in a skillet over medium heat, until cooked through, about 20 minutes. When the pork is ready, it will be tender and easily torn apart. Let the meat cool slightly, and tear into chunks, discarding any bits of cartilage, fat or gristle.
  3. Brush the grilled side of the pizza crust with olive oil. Dust with the Parmesan and then with the mozzarella. Drop spoonfuls of the tomato sauce onto the pizza.
  4. Add the pork pieces, followed by the mango, in an alternating pattern. Drizzle the chutney over all.
  5. Slide the pizza onto the warm grill. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bottom crust is crispy. You also can broil the pizza for a few minutes to brown the toppings.