RECIPE: Pan-Fried Pizza

cookingrvcMarch 2, 2008

Was looking for a menu for 'girl's day' (it's usually girls 'night', but we're doing it during the day) today, and was talking with a friend last night who mentioned this prep method.

It's funny. because one of my friends who is coming today, mentioned the same method a couple of weeks ago and has been wanting to try it.

I'll buy the pizza dough from a local pizza joint, and cook them up in my large cast iron pan. With some light hors d'oeurves to go along with our cocktails, the finale will be these pizzas accompanied by a nice green salad and some of Rachel Ray's pasta faglioli.


Pan-Fried Pizza

Time: About 2 hours

2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more as needed

3/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon coarse salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for cooking

About 2 cups any light, fresh tomato sauce, warmed

Sliced mozzarella to taste

Salt and black pepper

Sausage, peppers, sauteed mushrooms (whatever you want)

1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a food processor. Turn machine on and add 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons oil through feed tube.

Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. (If mixture becomes too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)

2. Put one tablespoon olive oil in a bowl and turn dough ball in it. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.

When dough is ready, re-form into a ball and divide it into 4 pieces; roll each piece into a ball.

Place each piece on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until each puffs slightly, about 20 minutes.

3. When ready to cook, press one ball into about a 10-inch round. Use a little flour, if needed, to prevent sticking and a rolling pin, if desired.

Film a 10-inch skillet with olive oil and turn heat to medium. When oil shimmers, put dough in pan and adjust heat so it browns evenly without burning. (If dough puffs up unevenly in spots, push bubbles down.)

4. Turn dough, then top browned side with tomato sauce, cheese, a bit of salt and pepper, and, if you like, prosciutto and/or basil leaves.

If top is now heavily laden, cover pan and continue cooking, or run it under broiler, just until toppings become hot.

With only a couple of toppings, just cook until bottom browns. Repeat with remaining dough; serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Yield: At least 4 servings.

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So, do you take the pizza out of the pan to cut it into serving pieces or do you cut it while it's still in the pan. I'm trying to picture taking a whole pizza w/ toppings out of a skillet.

Also, wonder if this could be done on a cast iron griddle - my round one is about 10" in diameter. This method would be easier than heating the oven for an hour at 450F and would save time and money also.....copying/pasting.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 1:50PM
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I was going to use my cast iron, but ended up using a large sloped-sided braiser because I thought it was bigger than my cast iron. I think the cast iron would have turned out better because of the heat it would generate to melt the toppings after I flipped the crust. I will definitely use a cast iron next time.

I had to take each pie out and use the oven to melt the toppings more. It was easy taking them out as they're pretty crisp with not much sagging - I used an extra wide and long spatula.

I liked this method as it was very contained and you can actually make the crust ahead and then top them and warm them in the oven. For a crowd, I don't like making pizza in the oven because the pies seem to need more attention and often times the middle isn't as crispy as the outer part...etc.

I like this method as much as I like the 'stromboli' method (roll out the dough, add topings, then roll into a long snake and bake at 500 for 14 or so minutes) because it's just easier for me to prep ahead, cook, and serve(and the taste is the same).

Couple of things I learned last night:

-I purchased two things of dough from a local pizza place. Next time I will cut the dough in half and roll out a little thinner. It was good, but I prefer a thinner crust and using one thing of dough made a pie that was too thick for my taste.

-Keep the heat steady at med-high, and don't futz with the dough. If it starts to rise, gently push it down. Check that it isn't burning. As soon as you turn it, add the toppings and cover right away.

-Use thin slices of cheese or grate it so it melts quicker.

-Keep and oven on 200 degrees in case you're making more than one. This will keep the other hot until you're ready.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 2:34PM
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I also make a fried pizza on occasions. YUM !

I love the airy pockets that's created & the texture when fried, also finished them off in the oven to melt the cheese. I use my large cast iron pan...for the even heating.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 2:45PM
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I've never made pan fried pizza, but I am going to try it. I think that would make a really good crust and not soggy or doughy in the middle.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:49PM
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It's best if the dough is on the thin side, for best results. Out of 1 lb of dough I divide into quarters, then stretch it out, fry on both sides, top & place in the oven to melt the cheese.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 6:02PM
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Lucy, that's what I was thinking. I like thin crust. This really is a great way to so a pizza party in that you can prepare the crust ahead and just top it without fear of it coming out to mushy.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 10:18PM
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I've found that thinner is better in this application. Also, on occasions, I'll make them in mini size, fry both sides, remove & top w/grated cheese or even a dusting of x10's sugar. YUMMO!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:10AM
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I was looking for appetizer recipes and came upon this thread. what a coincidence that we just made the fried pizza last night.

It was a tough work week (thankfully we still have jobs so no complaints here) but I still felt like cooking. Dh and I cooked the crusts ahead of time and got the toppings ready so everyone could make their own,

We picked up three pizza doughs from a place nearby and fresh mozzarella. I cut each dough into four portions, rolled them out and 'fried' them. Put them on a cooling rack and cooked some sausage and garlic, hand-crused canned whole tomatoes, and got out the grating cheese.

By the time we finished with cocktails, we topped the pizzas and finished them in the oven. Delish.

Since there were six of us, we didn't use six of the crusts, so I put them in ziploc bags and threw them in the freezer for next time.

I love this method.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Hmmmm interesting....I like thin crust also I think the other way would be more like a Chicago crust right? I like this idea as the kids love pizza and I do make my own very often and at the prices of the local pizza parlors i say "get out your rolling pin" Johnny boy at 13 now you cant keep this guy fed! By the way I was in at Steves Piccolo last week on Old country went there befor Engelbert concert food was fantastic as usual and I might add Engelbert held his own too!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:40PM
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Sounds like fun!!
You can buy frozen dough at most grocery stores that you can use. I have done this before to make my own panzerotti's at home before.(or stromboli I think they are also called!!)
I am anxious to try this!!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 6:21PM
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