If you’d asked me a few years ago what my signature grill recipe would be, I highly doubt “pizza” would have been my response. But since I got my grill I’ve become obsessed with grilling pizza, and today I’m sharing my go-to super easy grilled pizza dough recipe.
I’ve come to love this as an easy and addictive weeknight dinner option, but it’s also what I make every year for my birthday. You can grill up just one for yourself, or feed a crowd (I get two grills going for ~10 people, just so it’s fresh and hot).
And part of what makes it amazing is using the best grilled pizza dough recipe, which I think I’ve found. Over the years my post on two different techniques for how to grill pizza has been my most popular one by a landslide, but it was LOOOOOONGG (it included this pizza dough recipe).
So now I’m just splitting it into two different posts. Here I’ll share my easy grilled pizza dough recipe and step-by-step instructions for making it, and then that post linked above has the techniques, tools, and tips for how to grill pizza (plus some awesome recipe ideas).
A few tips for getting the best pizza dough for grilling
- Make sure you keep your dough is very sticky—don’t add too much flour (when making or rolling out)!
- Dry dough will be hard to work with and won’t roll out nicely. It also has a tighter, tougher texture once grilled.
- A wetter dough will help make an amazing flavor and soft, chewy texture.
- The longer your dough rises, the more flavor it has, so you can decrease the yeast a little and let it rise longer, or rise it in the fridge overnight.
- BUT, you can also make this just a few hours ahead of dinner if you didn’t plan ahead. It’s a very flexible recipe.
- When rolling your dough out, you want it very thin. It will puff as it grills and won’t be very pleasant to eat if it’s too thick.
There are a few tools that are helpful in making pizza dough. For me, I definitely use my stand mixer and dough hook (though you can mix and knead by hand if you don’t have one). I am obsessed with my multi-purpose scraper tool when working with the dough on the counter.
And for rolling it out, this thin bamboo rolling pin is much easier to use than the old traditional one with handles I used to have.
Save for later: A Tool to Decide What Bread to Make Based On How Long You Have…
The best, easy pizza dough (that grills well)
In a stand mixer (with dough hook) or large mixing bowl, stir together the water and yeast.
Let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved and starting to bubble. Then stir in 3-4 cups of the flour (not all of it!), the oil, and salt. Mix until a shaggy dough is formed.
If you’re using a mixer, start it kneading the dough on low speed. This will give you an idea of whether you need to add more flour. You definitely want it on the stickier side. If necessary, add more flour, a little at a time.
Knead the dough with the dough hook for about 5 minutes, or knead by hand on the counter for a bit more than that. Once it’s been kneaded properly, the dough should form a smooth (still slightly sticky) ball and spring slowly back when poked.
If you’re planning to use the dough right away (within a few hours), place it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap to rise at room temperature for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until it’s doubled in size.
Alternatively, you have the option to let it rise slowly in the fridge overnight. In that case, lightly oil a large ziploc bag and place the dough in there, and seal it but leave about an inch unsealed. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
If you’ve refrigerated it, bring the dough to room temperature. Try not to add much flour when you’re rolling it out, because you still want it really soft and sticky, as this will help it roll out easier.
I recommend keeping your dough pieces fairly small, since it’s hard to maneuver a giant piece of dough on the grill without destroying it. Aim for a dough ball a little bigger than your fist, and then roll it out quite thin.
Shape doesn’t matter a ton, but you do want it really thin. You can use your fists and hands to gently stretch it, and it’s fine for the edges to be a little thicker than the middle. But THIN is key!
Now you’re ready to grill your pizza dough! Switch over to this tutorial on making the best grilled pizza plus I answer a couple questions below and link to some grilled pizza recipes.
Can I refrigerate or freeze this pizza dough?
Yes! I tested this out kind of by accident recently, because we’d planned a girls’ night and had to cancel at the last minute. But I’d already made my dough.
So I rolled it into individual balls (each would be a small/medium pizza) and put them on a small square of parchment paper. I gently put 4 balls into a large ziploc bag (lay flat, so the parchment paper is on the bottom) and put them on a small baking sheet in the freezer.
Once they are frozen, you can remove the baking sheet and just have the ziploc bag in your freezer. Pull out one or more when needed, let thaw in the fridge overnight, and then bring to room temperature on the counter before using (I keep them in plastic wrap to avoid a weird skin).
Can I use this grilled pizza dough for other things?
Absolutely! It makes both savory and sweet pizzas, and you can make them on the grill or in the oven (or, I assume, stovetop in a cast iron skillet but I haven’t tried).
It’s also just a great base dough, so you can make rolls, garlic breadsticks (or garlic knots), cinnamon-sugar breadsticks, calzones, and anything else your heart desires.
What’s great about pizza is the versatility, with so many different ingredient combinations possible. Honestly I often just look in my fridge to see what to throw on there…some leftover grilled chicken, a bit of sauce, some cheese odds and ends.
Make sure to check out my post on how to grill pizza, which includes two different easy techniques, lots of tips, and a few tools that make it easier. I also have a lot of delicious pizza flavor and topping combination ideas there!
Use this dough to make these amazing pizzas:
- Grilled Zucchini, Corn, & Marinated Feta
- Traditional Margherita Pizza
- Amazing Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza
Adapted from The Kitchn
Pin for later!
- 1 3/4 cups of water
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of active dry or instant yeast (see notes)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
Make the dough:
- In a stand mixer (with dough hook) or large mixing bowl, stir together the water and yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved and starting to bubble. Then stir in 3-4 cups of the flour, the oil, and salt. Mix until a shaggy dough is formed.
- If you're using a mixer, start it kneading the dough on low speed. This will give you an idea of whether you need to add more flour. You definitely want it on the stickier side. If necessary, add more flour a little at a time. Knead the dough with the dough hook for 5 to 7 minutes, or knead by hand on the counter for 6 to 8 minutes. Once it's been kneaded properly, the dough should form a smooth (still slightly sticky) ball and spring slowly back when poked.
Rising and preparing:
- If you're planning to use the dough right away, place it in a lightly-oiled bowl to rise at room temperature for 1-1.5 hours, or until it's doubled. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit.
- You also have the option to let it rise slowly in the fridge overnight. In that case, lightly oil a large ziploc bag and place the dough in there, and seal it. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it (break into the appropriate portions and freeze separately); just thaw it entirely and then let it rise at room temperature for a bit.
See my separate post (linked above) for how to grill the pizzas
- This recipe is super flexible. You can also halve it; I often make a half batch, which gives me 2-3 large single-person pizzas.
- The less time you have to let the dough rise, use more yeast. If you're letting it rise in the fridge overnight, you can err on the lower side. I typically do 2 teaspoons because I'm using it right away.
- Make sure your dough is quite sticky---don't add too much flour! Dry dough will be hard to work with and won't roll out nicely. It also has a tighter, tougher texture once grilled. A wetter dough will help make an amazing flavor and soft, chewy texture.
- Feel free to make your dough the night before...it's aery flexible recipe, and the longer it rises, the more flavor it has. Just put it in the fridge overnight and bring it to room temperature (and letting it rise a bit more doesn't hurt either).
Roll your dough very thin!!! This is key, because it won't be pleasant if it's too thick.
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