Margherita is one of the most basic pizzas but somehow the combination of fresh mozzarella, home-made sauce, and basil is oh so magical. In Grilled Pizza the Right Way (Page Street Publishing 2015), John Delpha takes you step-by-step through the process of grilling your own margherita pizza at home in addition to countless other flavor packed pizzas and flatbreads.
5 oz (142 g) oiled Pizza Dough ball (recipe follows)
¾ c (105 g) Pizza Cheese Blend (recipe follows)
¾ c (180 ml) Basic Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
2 oz (56 g) fresh Mozzarella, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
6 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Lightly grease a metal work surface and the palms of your hands. Place the dough ball in the center of the surface and press down evenly with the palm of your hand. Working with both hands, start in the middle and spread the dough out with your palms while stretching the outer edges with your fingers. You should have an approximately 12 by 8 inch (30 x 20 cm) rectangle.
Lift up the edge farthest from yourself and slide your fingers under the dough. Move to the direct zone of your grill and place the bottom edge of the dough at the farthest point from you and pull the dough toward you to place on grill. Gently lift up 1 edge of the dough with the tongs to check for color. When you see some color setting in, lift the dough and give it a quarter turn with the peel. When the dough is sufficiently browned on the bottom, but not charred, remove it from the direct zone and flip it over onto the indirect zone. The bottom is now the top.
When you turn over the pizza onto the indirect side of the grill, brush with olive oil, sprinkle on the cheese blend, place slices of Mozzarella all around the pizza and spoon the sauce in dollops all over, remembering not to spread the sauce out. Move the pizza to the direct side of the grill and rotate every 15 to 30 seconds to crisp the bottom. When the bottom is crispy and the cheese is melted, remove from the grill, drizzle with olive oil and scatter the basil all over, slice and serve.
2¼ c (600 ml) warm water (100°F [38C])
4 tsp (16 g) yeast
1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
5 c (640 g) all purpose flour
½ c (64 g) semolina
1 tbsp (12 g) salt
Place water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5 minutes until yeast is activated (bubbly). Add oil, then add dry ingredients. Place a dough hook on the mixer and turn to medium low. Mix for approximately 5 minutes until a smooth ball appears. Turn the mixer to medium high and knead for approximately 2 minutes until the ball obtains a light shine. The dough can be put in a bag and refrigerated for use within the next 3 days or frozen for up to a month.
Pizza Cheese Blend
1 lb (454 g) Cheddar cheese, shredded
½ lb (227 g) Parmesan cheese, grated
½ lb (227 g) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
Add all of the cheeses to a large bowl and stir to combine. Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Basic Tomato Sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 (28-oz [794 g]) can whole, peeled tomatoes in heavy purée
1 tsp (6 g) kosher salt
Sauté the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until the garlic is translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Empty the tomatoes into a small mixing bowl and crush the tomatoes into small chunks by hand. Add the garlic, oil and the salt and stir to combine. Reserve until needed.
Recipe courtesy of Grilled Pizza the Right Way Way (Page Street Publishing) by John Delpha