I love grilling pizza.
It adds a ton of flavor and the crust ends up crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, just the way I like it.
Last year we were in Lido di Ostia, which is about a half hour outside of Roma and we stopped and got lunch on our way to the beach. I ordered the Margherita Pizza and absolutely fell in love with the way they topped it with fresh halved cherry tomatoes.
I have been making it that way ever since.
FOR THE CRUST
4 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used a combination of freshly ground hard white winter wheat and barley ground slightly finer than bread flour + 1/4 cup gluten flour)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar (I used date sugar)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 3/4 cups water with 3 tablespoons of whey from yogurt or raw milk making up the total liquid (the whey is optional)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (not necessary but this helps tenderize the dough so it’s soft inside yet crunchy on the bottom)
5 cups cherry tomatoes
16 oz fresh mozzarella
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 oz fresh basil
In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour(s), salt, sugar and yeast. Add the liquid and olive oil and knead on the medium setting for about 3-4 minutes.
Transfer dough to a oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled, about an hour (NOTE: might be longer if you are at sea level – I am at just over 7000 feet and mine was more than doubled after an hour).
If you are using a charcoal grill, you will want to start the coals now.
Divide into 4 equal portions and shape each portion into a ball. Set on a tray and cover with a damp tea towel to rise while you prepare the toppings.
If you are using a gas grill, turn it on to high heat and close the lid. If you are using a charcoal grill and your coals are ready go ahead and put them in the grill, you will be needing direct and indirect heat so place the coals together in one spot and close the lid.
Slice the cherry tomatoes each in half and place in a bowl. Drizzle with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Next cut the mozzarella into small chunks, I did mine about 1″ chunks, the size doesn’t really matter, you could do slices too.
Now take everything out to the grill you are ready to start!
I like to oil my hands before I start to handle the dough, so pour about a tablespoon of olive oil on your hands and rub them together. Then take a ball of dough and flatten it out so it is a thin disk, just work your way around the circle, pinching with your fingers as you go. You can roll out with a rolling if you prefer but I like this way, it feels more rustic.
Once you have a thin disk, place on the grill over direct heat. Repeat with remaining disks, grilling in batches if you need to. My current grill is large enough I can do them all at once but on my old one I had to do one at a time. Once the dough has risen, move to indirect heat (on my gas grill, I just turn off the burners). Flip over once that side is cooked.
As soon as you flip the crust over, smear the top side with more olive oil, top with plenty of tomatoes so they are all over, top that with cheese and close the grill so the cheese can melt.
To serve, top with the basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.