My oven is out of order. It has been for some time, mainly because when I called a few repair shops and mentioned the brand, the repair men I spoke to hadn’t heard of it and wouldn’t come out to try and fix it. The only one who would come out was going to charge a call out fee and me I would have to book there and then because they were closing for three weeks for the holidays. Out of a stubborn desire not to be pressurised into being ripped off for the call out fee, I declined. This was just before Christmas. I can’t decide between getting a new built-in oven and getting a new free standing cooker and so I am making a pizza in a frying pan.
I have tried two different recipes for the base – a simple flour, olive oil and baking soda combination that produces a flat, crunchy on the outside and softer in the middle base that tastes a little too sweet which overpowers the rest of the ingredients, and this one. This is a classic bread base. It’s straightforward and quick to make the dough, with the only waiting time being for the dough to prove. It’s not the wood fired oven taste of an authentic pizza, but for something made in a frying pan, I am not going to write it off. The base offers that neutral base to build the other flavours on and holds up enough for a simple pizza combo of tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. And it’s enough to stop me reaching for the phone for take-out when I get a craving for pizza.
This was my second attempt. When I get tomatoes and peppers in my veg box, I make peperonata that slowly gets used up in weekday lunches. And became the topping for this pizza along with a few other random bits from the fridge and cupboard and a lovely creamy mozzarella and topped with a green salad.
250g bread flour
¾ tsp dried active yeast
1 good pinch salt
1 cup water
Mix the dry ingredients together and add the water slowly to mix a soft dough. Knead lightly for five minutes and return to the bowl. Cover and leave to prove for at least an hour.
Turn out the dough onto a floured board and roll into a 20cm round.
Heat a non-stick frying pan on a high heat and place the pizza dough. Cook for about 5 minutes and turn over. Add the pizza toppings of your choice and cook for another 5 minutes. Finish off under the grill to melt the cheese.