This Valentines Day I will be flying solo since my dear husband will be advancing his knowledge base and will be taking a continuing education class out of town. I gave the requisite sad face and told him he would be missed izzthen turned around lips curling into a salacious smile walking away making a list of all the things I will do in his absence. The image of glass of wine, dogs on my lap and a movie after movie flickering on the screen in our family room delighted me. Then I thought to myself, what would I like to eat?
I have a bit of a problem you see. I love pizza… to a really severe degree. Here is an example of my illness: I have frozen slices from a pie and placed in my checked baggage to take home after I have had some good pizza. Unfortunely that is a very true and embarrasing story.
I might have mentioned a few times that good pizza is lacking here. I have found some gems and have yet to try many other possible gems thanks to this dangerous site that reviews pizza places all over. Even with the help of the brave men and women who travel and eat pizza and tell us about it, I haven’t found any that are in close distance to my home which makes them as good as dead to me. There was only one solution, to make it at home.
While I have made pizza at home a number of times, it seems it just doesn’t fit the bill. Something is always amiss. Each time trying to find a solution to the problem. The sauce always seemed to lack the consistency and well, who wants to make a sauce from scratch each time you are craving a slice of pizza. That solution was easy and was though of where I usually brainstorm, in the shower. The solution was easy. A dash of oil and a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste a few spices and some water. In a few minutes you can have a great quick red sauce.
Also preheating a stone, using the whole oven for just a few minutes of baking seemed ridiculous. The other problem was the thinner you make the pie, the more difficult it is to place any kind of topping even if it was as simple as sauce and cheese.
Then came a wonderful entry that I saw. I cannot claim this as my own but I wish to send and electronic shout out to this lovely person. Not only does this take care of the time delay from the need for pizza for us junkies from thought to mouth, it deliverers a pretty good pie that won’t make you feel bad that you ate subpar pizza just because you were looking for a fix.
I did not use the dough recipe. I actually had some home milled hard red wheat (the wheatiest of the wheat flours) with a high protein content and figured why not make a pizza dough from it. I realized after I had started to mix the dough that to make a 80% hydration ratio for my dough I need more flour and I only had some dregs of all purpose and some gluten free (actually I had a ton of the gluten free stuff bought from Costco in a culinary epiphany. It was left untouched for a long while since I realized I actually love gluten and have been using it for dog treats to try to use it up) I threw in about equal parts of each flour making about 3 cups of flour total and one tsp of yeast. I added salt after about 15 minutes of kneading with the kitchen aid mixer, threw it in a glass bowl, it sat on the counter for a few hours and into the fridge for a few days. I was looking for an airy chewy texture in the crust but also a crispness for the pie itself, having had gluten free things before I thought maybe that would just lighten up the dough a bit.
The use of the pan and broiler combination is great for two reasons: speed and the structural integrity of the pie while cooking. You are attacking this thing on both ends when cooking so the sauce can be a bit more liquid and not soak through the dough causing malfunction of the end result.
It was genius. I gave it a try with my dough since I made it and it was begging to be used instead but am already thinking about ordering the 00 flour in a 10 pack and the writer suggested and put very nicely “I order it in packs of ten, much to my wife’s chagrin” which would have a similar effect in my household since my husband since is already overwhelmed at the level to which I push the limits of our pantry.
It came out wonderfully, better than I imagined a home made pie could without cranking up the oven. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing during the chilly winter rain that has been falling all day.
Recipe: Skillet Pizza
Summary: Pizza for one or more in a quick and painless manor
- Dough (will make 6-8 pizzas):
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1 c all purpose flour
- 1 c gluten free flour
- 1 tsp yeast
- 75% water ratio (weigh the flours and then use 75% of that weight and measure out the water.
- 1 tbsp salt (added in during the last bit of kneading)
- Sauce (for one pie)
- 1 heaping tbsp of tomato paste
- splash of olive oil
- pinches big and small of the following:
- salt, pepper, dry herbs oregano and basil, sugar and garlic powder/red pepper flakes optional.
- 1/4 cup water
- as you like or just have some mozzarella cheese and torn basil, and a splash of good olive oil and and sea salt to finish after baking. Just don’t over load it.
- Make dough by combining all ingredients minus the salt and knead in a mixer for 15 minutes on low, add salt for 2 minutes at the end. Let rest overnight in fridge and remove a few hours to acclimate to room temp. Bring it out and knead it a few times with some extra flour and cut into 6-8 pieces. You can store them in a ziplock baggie in the fridge or use them immediately. Stretch out the dough into a round to fit on a 10″ skillet and let rest.
- To make the sauce (or you can use a premade sauce of your choice) heat oil in skillet (you can use the same one intended for the pizza) add all spices and paste and cook the paste in the oil for 2 minutes pushing down with a rubber spatula. Add water and cook until desired consistency and add more spices/salt/sugar per your taste.
- Rinse pan and start to preheat on your stove on high heat. Start broiler on high and have the rack as close as possible to it.
- Once pan is hot place dough on top in one motion. Start to place sauce on top, add cheese and other ingredients minus the basil and oil. After a minute or two on the stove ( you will see bottom smoke just a tad bit) transfer to broiler for 3-4 minutes.
- Top with torn basil and oil if needed. Eat immediately.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 1