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How to grill pizzas, with or without no-knead dough

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

The last time I wrote about making pizza, it was just after I’d read Jim Lahey’s “My Pizza,” and I was spreading the good word about Lahey’s three-minute technique for baking thin crusted pizzas under a broiler.

I visit the subject again in today’s food section, but this time, I turned to my backyard grill to achieve the same artisan-style pizza that puts everyday delivery pizza to shame.

Confession time: While Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough remains my favorite dough recipe and technique for homemade pizzas, when I made the pizzas for this how-to video with Tina Phan, I used frozen dough that my grocery store finally started carrying. They cost $1.50 a pop, and on a hectic weekday, they were a fine substitute for from-scratch dough.

If you want more guidance on cooking pizzas on the grill, check out two new books that are hitting shelves this month: Pizza on the Grill: 100+ Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More” by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer (The Taunton Press, $17.95), an updated version of their 2008 book, and Patio Pizzeria: Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads on the Grill” by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig (Running Press, $20).

Beet, Feta and Arugula Pizza

2 beets, washed and scrubbed, greens and root removed (reserve greens for another use, such as a sauteed pizza topping)

2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for brushing dough

1/2 ball or batch of pizza dough, at room temperature

1/2 cup feta crumbles

2 cups arugula, washed and picked clean

Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the beets on a roasting tray, drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until slightly softened. Remove from oven, cool, peel and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.

When ready to grill the pizzas, preheat one side of the grill surface to 450 degrees, leaving one half of the grilling area for indirect cooking.

Stretch the dough with your hands, gently tugging at the edges and rotating the circle as it flattens and grows wider. You can also use a floured or cornmeal-covered surface and a rolling pin, if you prefer. If the dough is hesitant to stretch, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then continue shaping. (You can make several kinds of pizza at once and shape more than one piece of dough at a time, transporting on a cornmeal-covered baking tray.)

Generously brush dough with olive oil. Using tongs, place one pizza dough round over the direct heat of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill and the distance between the heat source and the grate.

Flip the dough to the indirect heat side of the grill. Quickly cover the top with beets and sprinkle on the feta. Close the lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, depending on how thick the crust is.

Remove pizza with tongs and top with arugula. Drizzle with a hearty serving of olive oil and pinch of salt. Cut into squares and serve. Serves 2.

— Addie Broyles