Grilled Bread

My dad made this for me a dozen or more years back. For a while it was a staple at family gatherings at my parent’s house. He would serve it with pesto or hummus.

Grilled Bread

My version is a bit thicket than what he produced. I suspect he was more patient in shaping the dough. I’m usually in a hurry, making this as part of a weeknight meal and not very patient. I finish with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Grilled Bread
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz. store-bought pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • corn meal
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme (optional)

Directions:

  1. Open the bag of pizza dough and place it on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes to a hour. This will allow the dough to warm up a bit and make it easier to shape.
  2. Light your grill, close the cover and let it heat up for 10-15 minutes. Scrape the grill grates.
  3. While the grill heats shape the dough. I use a pizza peel; the back of a sheet pan will work too. Start by scattering a generous pinch of corn meal over the surface of whatever you are using. Next empty the pizza dough from the bag into your hands and stretch it into a flat shape. Place it on the corn meal covered surface and let it rest for 5 minutes. After the rest gently stretch the edges to expand the dough. Rest again if it starts to pull back in a frustrating manner. In the end I aim for a generally squarish shape.
  4. Once the grill is heated and scraped, lubricate the grill grates using the vegetable oil. Turn the grill burners to low. Using your grill tongs dunk a wad of paper towels in the oil and apply the oil to the grate. There will be some smoke; don’t worry about it. Repeat until you’ve used up the oil.
  5. Make sure the dough moves on the peel/sheet pan when you give it a little shake. Better to fix that before you get to the grill. A little extra corn meal won’t hurt anyone.
  6. Transfer the bread to the grill by placing the lead edge of the peel/sheet pan at the back of the grill. Give the peel/pan a shake to move the edge of dough onto the grill. Once it catches the dough should slide off the peel/pan as you pull it back.
  7. Close the grill and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Using the grill tongs grab the front edge of the dough and flip it over. Brush the cooked side of the bread with a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Remove the grilled bread from the grill, flipping it over so the most recently grilled side is up. Brush with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add fresh chopped or ripped herbs at this time as well.
  10. Cut into pieces and consume. I use a pizza cutter however a sharp knife would work well.

Notes:
I used store-bought dough for convenience. I buy it at the grocery store, leave it in the fridge, pull it out when I get home from work and am ready to go in an hour or so. Some day I’ll try it with a homemade pizza dough.

The technique I used for lubricating the grill grates is explained much better by Cook’s Illustrated. Catch an episode of America’s Test Kitchen where they grill something and you see a good demo. This online episode shows the cleaning and lubricating method starting around 9 minutes and 30 seconds.

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