Look What I Made: Grilled Flatbread Pizza (Vegan Friendly)

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Grilled flatbread pizza (photos by Travis Awalt)

I’m writing about pizza again because, well, I can. And because lately I can’t shut up about pizza. Internet me is just following real life me’s lead.

More and more, I find myself engaging in these conversations about pizza making and… they’re not even conversations, really. It’s just me, impassioned, bathed in self-righteousness, and raving with the conviction of a true believer about how easy it is to make pizzas at home and how you have to try it. By the time I get to the ingredients, people are usually either genuinely afraid that I’ll never stop talking, or they’re nodding along, politely undressing me with their eyes instead of listening.

Look, I get that some people just do not care about making pizza at home. I totally get that. It’s just that that’s a dumb point of view. It’s so obvious, how can they not see that?!? Curses! Whatever, you’re here reading this, so you probably do care about making pizza. Good. I like you better than my friends and family already.

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Why wouldn’t you want to know how to make this?!?

This recipe shows the versatility* of the dough that I like to use (I’ve already written about how to make the dough, although there are cliffnotes below), as the finished dish is distinctly different from regular pizza, very smoky with a flatbread-y feel to it. It’s also very quick, which is awesome because if you’re like me, you never go ‘I’m hungry and will quickly make a sandwich.’ It’s always ‘a sandwich sounds good, better bake a loaf of bread and brine some pickles…’ And this is unique; it’s pizza, it’s from scratch, it’s freakin’ fast, there’s grilling involved. Hell, it’s even vegan, if you can keep from covering it in bacon. What’s not to love? Enjoy.

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More pizza porn

Grilled Flatbread Pizza

Notes: a) I was too lazy to start a fire, so I grilled mine on a cast iron stovetop grill, but the same thing applies if you grill it outside. b) You need to think a night ahead if making the dough from scratch.

 

Ingredients:

pizza dough

olive oil or cooking spray

cornmeal

toppings

 

Special equipment:

grill pan or grill

pizza peel (optional but highly useful)

 

Dough instructions:

Pour two cups of flour (AP is fine, bread flour better, 00 is best), half a packet of instant (rapid rise, not active dry) yeast and some salt into a food processor (metal blade) and pulse a couple of times. Fill a measuring cup with 3/4 cup water and 3-4 tbsp olive oil. With the food processor going, slowly pour in the water and oil (the oil will pour off first). When the mixture comes together as a ball and rides around on the blade, stop pouring the water (there’s usually some left over). Let the dough ball ride the blade for a good 15 count. Dump it onto a floured surface, knead it into a smooth ball (like 5 seconds) and let it rise (four hours to overnight) covered at room temp or in a large plastic bag in the fridge for a day.

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Blend in water. Retrieve dough. The end, basically.

Grilling instructions:

1. Stretch out your dough while your grill pan or grill pre-heats over about medium high heat. Iif you’re using a non-stick grill pan, you can pre-heat at the last minute. Gently press the dough out with your fingers into a flat, oblong disc.

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time to fire up the grill/preheat your grill pan

2. Finish shaping your crust by holding the dough in the air and, gently shaking it, letting gravity do it’s thing, rotating the dough, so that it stretches evenly (don’t worry, this dough is very stretchy). Spread cornmeal over pizza peel, enough so that when you lay the dough on top of it and give it a shake, it slides easily. Lay the dough on the pizza peel and gently even it out and into the shape you want with your fingertips.

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stretching out the dough – let gravity do its thing

3. When your pan or grill is very hot, I did 10 minutes at medium-high, spray it  with cooking spray or brush with olive oil – you’ll get some smoke. Carefully slide your flatbread onto the grill pan and spray or brush its top with a little oil. If you don’t have a pizza peel, gently drape the stretched dough onto the grill WITH YOUR BARE HANDS!

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Ready for the grill

4. At this point, you’re treating this flatbread about like a huge tortilla. When bubbles appear all over the top of the dough (2-3 min), it’s time for a flip. Grill the top side 2-3 min, then flip back over and…

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When you get bubbles, it’s time for a flip

5. Add toppings and cook another minute or so. Because you’re not enveloping the flatbread with heat, like in an oven, either select toppings that don’t need to be warmed (like hummus) or top with a piping hot sauce, so that the other toppings will be warmed and cheese, if you’re using it, will melt.

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Naked flatbread; hummus flatbread

*You can also use this dough to make baguettes and loaves. Or, if you knead long it enough, a jump rope.

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