Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pizza Now, Breadsticks Later

I'm a bargain hunter at heart, which means I love a good two-for-one deal. That applies not only to shopping, but also recipes that can help me knock out two meals (or at least a portion of two meals) at once.

When you're cooking recipes meant for four but only feeding two, this tends to happen a lot ... but usually in the form of leftovers. Now sometimes those leftovers can be repurposed into a fabulous second meal. And sometimes they just become a quick lunch. But they rarely manifest into something as delicious as this!

I loved the idea of pizza on the grill from the moment I saw the recipe, but I didn't realize just how simple it was. After all, it involves yeast and yeast is always complicated and time-consuming. Not so when you're dealing with thin crust pizza! This pizza requires absolutely no rising time and yields four personal-sized, deliciously thin, cracker-y crusts. But wait ... Bill and I can't eat four pizzas (truth be told, we couldn't even finish two!). So what to do with that leftover dough?

Well I'm obviously not going to waste it! I hate to waste food almost as much as I love a good deal. So I got to thinking ... if I allowed the remaining dough to rise while we were cooking and enjoying our quick and yummy grilled pizzas, I'd have what amounts to a delicious Italian bread dough. So why not make breadsticks!? Perhaps it's not what America's Test Kitchen had in mind when they developed the recipe, but cooking for two requires a little creativity. And it was certainly a genius accompaniment to the next night's dinner :)

Grilled Pizza ... and Breadsticks!
1 cup water, heated to 110 degrees
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus additional for brushing dough)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup prepared sauce (I used leftover Basic Tomato Sauce that we had in the freezer)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large measuring cup, combine water, olive oil, sugar, and yeast. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Let st 5 minutes.

In a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, parmesan, and salt. With machine running, slowly pour in water-yeast mixture. Mix until dough forms a ball and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead about 3 or 4 times until cohesive.

Divide dough in half. Place half of the dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place (like on top of the oven).

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the second half of dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, flatten into a disk, and roll and stretch dough to form a 9-inch circle. Transfer to baking sheet, seperating each with a layer of parchment.

Prepare grill. Light about 100 coals and spread over half of grill.Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered, with lid vent open completely, for about 5 minutes.

Brush tops of dough with olive oil, then place oiled side down on cool side of grill. Grill 3 to 5 minutes, poking large bubbles with tongs. Brush each lightly with olive oil, then flip. Top each with sauce, then cheese. Grill, covered, until undersides are spotty brown and cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Move pizzas to hot side of grill to crsip, about 1 minute. Serve

After pizza, when your dough has had about an hour to rise, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then dust with cornmeal. Shape remaining dough into breadsticks, place on baking sheet, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap, and serve with pasta tomorrow!


  1. Pizza is one of my absolute favorite foods, but since I'm *forced* to watch my sodium, I can't have it as often as I want (as in EVERY DAY)! So the fact that you've reminded me that I've never tried grilled pizza AND posted delicious depictions of it is especially taxing on my poor psyche...

    You continually impress me with making your own dough! I think 99% of people out there, including many bloggers it seems like, just use ready made dough. Not you ;)

  2. I'm telling you, dough is seriously not that tough once you get the hang of it! I, too, was super intimidated by yeast. And I admit that ready made dough is a HUGE timesaver! But there's something so fulfilling about baking fresh bread that YOU put all the work into!

    This pizza dough is made all the easier by the fact that you don't have to wait for it to rise. So actually, if you were going to give pizza dough a shot, this would be the perfect one to start with :)