For me, a life without (good) pizza is not worth living, and that’s especially true in the summertime when we typically devote at least one night of the weekend to grilling pizzas out by the pool, preferably with a glass of rosé in hand and a few friends over to join in the cooking fun. Today’s pizza combination was on the menu at the Italian-themed cooking party we threw at my house with La Crema a couple weeks ago. Can’t wait to share all the details from the evening with you guys tomorrow, and keep scrolling for the recipe and tips for this Fig, Prosciutto, & Caramelized Onion Pizza that is my current dinnertime addiction.
You guys know that I’m all about making cooking as simple as possible, but making your pizza dough from scratch is one time when it really pays to not take shortcuts. I know, I know, making homemade dough sounds intimidating, but I swear that once you do it, you’ll never go back. Read the recipe card below for my foolproof dough recipe that you can make ahead and keep in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.
You want to roll out your dough really thin, but not so thin that it becomes like a cracker. We’re going for that crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside crust, and a major key to achieving it is getting your grill screaming hot before the dough goes down.
The thing about pizzas is they’re much more fun to make and eat with a group. Some of my very favorite dinner party memories revolve around inviting a bunch of friends to join us around the grill, everyone weighing in on their favorite topping combinations.
I give each person a specific task to perform: a couple of guests might be brushing the raw dough with olive oil while others are throwing toppings onto the pizza mid-grill, and someone else is slicing into a perfectly-charred pie that’s ready to eat! When we all gather around the table, everyone gets to enjoy the fruits of their labor, savoring the satisfaction of preparing a meal together.
I know that some of y’all are probably wondering if you can achieve a similar effect even if you don’t have a grill. And the answer is yes. The key is to use a pizza stone: allowing it to get extremely hot before sliding the pizza on simulates the effect of placing it on the screaming hot grill. Here’s how to do it:
- Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven, and slide your pizza stone on top. Turn oven on to its hottest setting, at least 500 degrees, and let the pizza stone heat up for an entire hour (yes, you heard me: don’t skip this step!)
- After rolling out dough, increase the oven’s heat to broil. Sprinkle a pizza peel with flour to prevent the dough from sticking, then place the pizza dough onto the peel.
- Add all your toppings, remembering to use a light hand.
- Carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the pizza stone, shaking back and forth a bit to help the pizza slide on. Broil the pizza until the bottom of the crust is very crisp, about 5 minutes (rotate halfway through.)
- Gently slide the pizza back onto the peel, then transfer to your cutting board to slice and serve.
One of the most fun parts about making pizzas with friends is that everyone can get creative and invent the topping combinations of your choice. We prepped a bunch of different veggies and herbs that everyone could experiment with, but this fig, prosciutto & caramelized onion version was definitely the night’s crowd favorite. Can’t wait to hear if you guys give it a try!
Perfect Grilled Pizza Dough
- 1 envelope (2.5 tsp) active dry yeast
- 2 cup warm water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup finely ground corn meal
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 4 1/2 - 5 cups all purpose flour
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir yeast into warm water and sugar. After 5 minutes it should bubble, then stir in salt, corn meal, and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring at low speed until dough forms a ball and pulls away from sides of bowl (about 4 minutes). You may need to add a little more flour or water to get the right consistency. Let dough rest in the bowl for 15 minutes. It should be fairly soft.
- Remove dough from bowl and divide into 6 equal pieces. Gently round each piece into a ball and brush with olive oil. Place each ball into a zippered plastic storage bag and seal bags closed. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or for the best flavor, refrigerate them overnight.
- Remove from fridge at least 1 hour before making pizzas. You can also freeze dough for up to 3 months - just make sure to let it thaw and come to room temperature before rolling out.
Fig, Prosciutto, & Mozzarella Pizza
- 1 ball pizza dough, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 white or sweet onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- kosher salt
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 6 fresh figs, sliced quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, roughly torn with hands
- 8 very thin slices prosciutto
- 1 cup arugula
- maldon sea salt
- Caramelize the onions: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until just beginning to become slightly tender, about 6 minutes. Add sugar, reduce heat to low and cook until onions are golden, stirring often, about 40 minutes. If pan gets dry, add a little water. Set aside to cool (this can be done a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator.)
- Prepare a two-level grill: one side should be at the highest temperature possible (I bring mine up to 600 degrees) and the other side should be on low heat.
- On a lightly floured cutting board, roll dough into a 10" free form circle as thinly as you can. Even thickness is key, but don't worry too much about making it perfectly round - embrace an irregular rustic look. Place on a sheet pan or cutting board, with sheets on parchment paper layered between stacked crusts.
- In a small bowl, mix together olive oil and minced garlic. Gather all your toppings (garlic, oil, figs, mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula), plus your dough and olive oil, and head out to the grill.
- Brush one side of a pizza dough round with olive oil, carefully place the oiled side down onto the hottest part of the grill and close the grill as quickly as possible to prevent as little heat from escaping as possible.
- Within a minute, the dough will puff and bubble on top. Lift up the edge with tongs or a spatula, and if grill marks are visible, flip the crust over onto the cooler side of the grill. Brush crust with garlic oil, then top with figs and cheese. Close hood and when the cheese is melted, transfer pizza to a cutting board.
- Top pizza with prosciutto, arugula, and a sprinkle of maldon salt. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, cut into wedges, and serve.