Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Frying pan pizza - take two

On Friday evening I had lots of friends over to celebrate the end of exams.  Originally we planned to order a take-away but I couldn't resist another attempt at my no oven, no grill pizza.  This time I used a proper pizza dough recipe from the July edition of the BBC GoodFood magazine which arrived just a couple of days before then end of my exams.

For 4 pizzas you will need:
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried yeast (or 1/4 tsp fast-action yeast)
400ml warm water
oil for greasing

Frying pan pizza
I used strong white bread flour but it didn't work amazingly well so I think plain white flour would be better.  As I don't have a mixer the dough took about 45 minutes to make but if you do have a mixer with a dough hook then it can be done in as little as 15 minutes.

If you're making the dough in a mixer make sure you've attached the dough hook, if not get a large bowl and start off mixing with a wooden spoon and as the mixture thickens use your hands to bring the dough together.  All you need to do is weigh out the flour, add the salt and yeast (if it's fast-action, if not add it to the water first and wait five minutes to allow the yeast to start working).  Pour the liquid in gradually while mixing until the dough comes together in a ball.  If the dough is too sticky add a little extra flour (but remember that this dough is meant to be a little sticky), if it's too dry add some more water a little at a time but be careful not to add too much.

In a mixer the dough should be kneaded for 5-7 minutes, but hand this supposedly takes 10 minutes but I found it took longer than that (partly because I was kneading a larger quantity of dough) even with the help of D.  Knead the dough until it is shiny and springs back when you press your finger into it.

Oil a bowl (I used olive oil) and place the dough in it, turning it so it's coated in the oil.  Cover the bowl tightly with cling film and place a tea towel over the top.  Leave the bowl in a safe, warm place, out of the way of draughts for 2-4 hours.

These pizzas can be cooked on a BBQ but I used my trusty frying pan.  The main problem I encountered was that my toppings were generally too wet, meaning the base became soggy, so although the pizzas tasted good they were a little tricky to eat and not as crispy as I would have liked.

For the tomato sauce (per pizza):
a handful of cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 tsp tomato puree
1/4 can chopped tomatoes (strained)

Mix the tomatoes together with some seasoning and warm through in a saucepan.  I didn't strain my chopped tomatoes but I think it would be a good idea to help get rid of some of the excess moisture (and for anyone else just finishing exams you could save the juice to use in a Bloody Mary!)

Cooking the pizza base
To cook the pizza base take a quarter of your dough and stretch it out until it is the right size (for me this was dictated by the size of my saucepan).  I found it best to heat a teaspoon of olive oil in the saucepan, then to place my dough into the pan and cook it on very low for 4-5 minutes until the underside was browned.

Then flip the dough over.  Place your tomatoes on top along with any other toppings you fancy (microwave-steamed asparagus worked well as did pepperoni and mushrooms) finally sprinkle some cheese over the top.  I used mozzarella but although I had tried to squeeze out some of the moisture it was still too wet.  I am still on the hunt for a better option (let me know in the comments if you have any better ideas).

Adding the toppings
Once again cook on low for 4-5 minutes, this time covering the frying pan with a lid to trap in the heat and melt the mozzarella.  Check to make sure the bottom has browned and cook for a further couple of minutes if it hasn't.  Then transfer to a plate and top with a couple of basil leaves to serve.  I got my basil leaves from a plant I've had in my room and managed to keep alive for over a month now!

It seems strange to think that in just over a couple of weeks time I will be leaving Cambridge and my little kitchen.  As much as I'm excited to move on to new places and new experiences I will really miss Cambridge with all its lovely quirks.

No comments:

Post a Comment