Oh pizza, how we miss thee. While everyone loves tucking into a delicious pizza in an Italian restaurant (something none of us can do at the moment while lockdown is still in place), many of us are far too scared to attempt recreating one at home. But what if we told you it wasn’t nearly as hard as you’d think to create restaurant-standard pizzas from your very own kitchen?
If you can get hold of yeast and flour (a difficult task right now but your local Morrisons should have you covered) and own a frying pan, then you can make a delicious homemade pizza (if not, try making Lisa Faulkner’s no-yeast pizza recipe, instead).
Tip: plain flour works absolutely fine for making pizza dough, but if you want to go the extra mile we suggest tracking down Tipo ’00’ flour.
Once you’ve made your dough, follow these simple steps to cook your pizza:
- Get your frying pan really hot (it must be cast iron or non-stick and oven-proof).
- Roll out or shape your dough into a pizza base (Pizza Pilgrims have a great tutorial video on how to do this).
- Transfer the dough to the hot pan and assemble your sauce, cheese and toppings.
- When the bottom of the dough has gone crispy (keep checking to see when it’s started to colour), pop under the grill (still in the pan) for 8-10 minutes to melt the cheese and finish off the top of your pizza. If you don’t have an oven-proof frying pan simply transfer it to a pre-heated baking sheet to go under the grill.
The reason the frying pan method works so well is because home ovens only reach temperature of about 250C – whereas a traditional pizza oven can get as hot as 500C – so the frying pan give the base of the pizza a much better chance at getting properly crispy than a conventional oven can.
Kendall Zaluski, chef tutor at the Waitrose Cookery School, told Femail: ‘I actually think that the best way to get a top notch pizza at home is in a frying pan – you get that initial heat to the bottom of the pizza, which gives a crispy base and better rise throughout the dough.’
London-based restaurant chain Pizza Pilgrims also fully endorse the frying pan method for cooking the traditional Italian dish – so much so that they’ve started selling a Frying Pan Pizza Kit that you can have delivered direct to your door during lockdown.
Even Jamie Oliver employed the frying pan trick when cooking his cheat’s two-ingredient deep pan pizza recipe on his new lockdown cooking show, Keep Cooking and Cary On.