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Grilled pizza

June 4, 2008

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Makes two 12-inch crusts

3/4 cup warm water
1 packet (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons white cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl and grilling
Cheese and toppings of your choice

1. Pour the warm water into a glass measuring cup. Add the yeast and sugar and stir until the yeast dissolves into a smooth mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. (A thin layer of foam will appear on top indicating that the yeast is good.)

2. In a mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, cornmeal, and salt. On low speed, add the yeast mixture and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for about 2 minutes or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. It will be a little on the wet side; if it's too sticky add a little more flour. You can also make the dough in a large bowl and knead it for about 8 minutes or until it's smooth and elastic.

3. Oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat it with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in volume.

4. Refrigerate the dough overnight or for at least 1 hour to firm it up.

5. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-high heat; have one side of the grill hotter than the other. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough with your fingers to a thickness of about 1 inch. Cut it in half with a knife. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle a little flour over the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Form a round of even thickness, roughly 12 inches in diameter. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Fold the round loosely in half and transfer it to a rimless floured baking sheet. Unfold the dough and stretch it out gently as needed. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

6. Use your hands to pick up the dough and quickly place it on the grill. Spread out any areas that get crumpled. Cook, undisturbed, for 1 to 2 minutes or until the dough bubbles and firms up. Use tongs to rotate the dough, if needed, to brown the bottom. When the bottom is browned (after about 3 minutes), use tongs to pick up the dough and set it grilled side up on the baking sheet. The grilled side becomes the pizza top.

7. Brush the top with olive oil and cover lightly with cheese and dollops of toppings.

8. Slide the pizza onto the cooler section of the grill. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, rotating it occasionally to brown the bottom evenly. Cover the grill to melt the cheese and heat the toppings. To char the crust in spots, slide the pizza over to the hot side for a few seconds. When done, use tongs to pull the pizza onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges. - Adapted from "Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas"