Pizza on the Grill

Out of fresh ingredients? Raid your stores and fire up the grill for a pizza party. "People and Food Online" from our October 5, 2007, CW Reckonings

PFPizza368

Because it can be prepared on the grill and doesn't require a lot of fresh ingredients, pizza is a practical meal for long-range cruising.Kitty Bennett

My husband, Bob, and I cruise with a Cobb grill (www.cobbamerica.com) aboard our 36-foot wooden ketch, Equinox. The Cobb uses a very small amount of charcoal and has a dome-type lid. Its circular shape and grill grid are perfect for making pizza, but it's also great for grilling, roasting, smoking, and baking. It may be the perfect grill for cruising boats--certainly perfect for our traditional wooden boat because we have no rails or stanchions to attach the more modern grills. The Cobb is cheap (we got ours for about $100 on sale), compact, and easy to stow or take to a party, as it came with a nifty carrying case. We used ours a lot last summer, which helped keep the heat out of the cabin. We just set it up on deck near the cockpit.

Our pizza turned out great, and we thought it tasted very much like it was cooked in a traditional wood oven. Pizza is a treat when the provisions are getting low and boring, and it requires no fresh ingredients. The pizza sauce can come from a jar. If truly desperate, you could use jarred cheese, such as the 4C brand of grated cheeses (www.4c.com), which offers a parmesan-romano blend. Vacuum-packed pepperoni and many other sausages require no refrigeration. Other topping ideas include canned or jarred anchovies, ham, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, mushrooms, olives, and spinach. You might want to combine ham and pineapple for a Hawaiian pizza.

If you don't have a Cobb, this recipe will work on any grill, as long as it has a lid, and the pizza dough can't sag through the tines.

Pizza on the Grill

Ingredients:
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon honey (or sugar)
1 cup warm water, 105-115 F
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
Toppings: See suggestions above or create your own
Makes 2 10-12-inch pizzas

Directions:
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey or sugar in the warm water, about five minutes. Add the salt and oil, then add flour gradually. Add more or less flour as needed until dough comes cleanly away from side of bowl. Turn dough onto a clean work surface and knead until it's smooth and firm (about 5 to 10 minutes). Cover with a clean, damp towel and let rise 30 minutes until dough stretches easily when lightly pulled.

Divide dough into two balls. Cover the balls with a damp towel and let rest 15 minutes. When you're ready to make the pizzas, dip each ball of dough into flour, shake off excess, place on a clean, lightly floured surface and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, and spread the dough by hand or with a rolling pin into a 10 to 12-inch circle with its outer rim a little thicker than the inner circle.

When the dough is ready for the grill, add desired toppings. The grill needs to be hot. If you're using a Cobb, let the charcoal get gray first, which takes about half an hour. Bake pizza for about 30 minutes, but check it at 20 minutes to make sure the crust isn't burning. When the first pizza has been on the grill for about 20 minutes, begin preparing the second pizza with the remaining ball of dough.