There's no denying that for a lot of people, it's been an unprecedented opportunity to try out and learn a whole host of recipes and culinary skills. I'll bet your banana bread game is strong, you've finally learned to cook rice correctly, maybe you've made whipped coffee, but one thing that's super hard to do at home is pizza. There's truly nothing quite as stunningly delicious as your local pizzeria's offerings but news that Pizza Pilgrims have shared the recipe for pan pizza might be about to change that.
Mamma-flipping-mia this news brought tears to my eyes. Adjusting to the unusual and difficult times, the team at Pizza Pilgrims began making and selling frying pan pizza kits via their website. These kits are available nationwide, but demand means they sell out lickety split. Luckily for pizza lovers, the team have shared their recipe for the perfect pan pizza which means you'll soon be eschewing frozen pizzas in favour of the finer things in life.
The London based pizza chain, created and owned by brothers Thom and James Elliot, is a much beloved purveyor of Neapolitan style pizzas. The bases of which are perfectly chewy and delicious with tangy tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella. It's not the toppings however who're the lead in this show according to their website, "As any Neapolitan will tell you – its all about the crust."
So here's your step by step guide on how to make the perfect pan pizza.
Dough, makes 8 x 10 inch pizza bases
- 1kg '00' flour with a high gluten content
- 2g fresh baker’s yeast
- 600ml cold water
- 30g table salt
- 1 tin of San Marzano (or any good-quality Italian) tomatoes
- A good pinch of sea salt
- 4 x balls of Neapolitan Pizza Dough
- Pizza sauce
- Grated Parmesan
- A handful of basil leaves
- 150g fior di latte cheese (cow’s milk mozzarella), torn into pieces no bigger than a 50 pence coin
- Extra virgin olive oil
Making the Dough
- Put the flour onto your work service and make a well in the centre.
- Having dissolved your yeast in the cold water, now pour the liquid into the middle of the well a little at a time. Each time you add more, add a little more of your flour to the mix. Carry on until the mixture is a custard consistency.
- Add the salt and the rest of the flour and mix together until you have a dough. Knead for 10-15 minutes. Cover and leave the dough for 10 minutes. Remove dough and knead for a quick 10 seconds before dividing into 200g balls.
- Leave the dough balls to rest in a sealed container or a deep baking dish sprinkled with flour, covered in cling film. Remember they're going to rise and grow so ensure you leave room for them to do so. Leave them for a minimum of 8 hours, maximum of 48 hours, or ideally the optimum amount which is 24 hours.
Making The Sauce
- Crush the tomatoes by hand and add a pinch of salt.
- Use a hand blender to make the sauce combine nicely but with a slightly rough texture.
Making The Base
- Place the dough ball onto a well floured surface. Use a spatula if it's difficult to remove and try and make the ball as round as possible. Rounder the ball, rounder the pizza is likely to be.
- Using your fingertips, press out the dough ball firmly, starting at the centre and working out to the edge. Leave a centimetre around the rim of the pizza untouched. Turn over and repeat on the other side.
- With the palm of your hand, do one firm push in the centre of the dough ball. This is to ensure that your base thickness is consistent throughout.
- Take the flattened dough and stretch it on the back of your hands, turning it 90 degrees as you do so. Be patient and delicate with this process, it's worth it I promise. Repeat a few times until you have an approximately 10 inches in diameter disk, mainly thin but thicker at its rim.
Cooking The Pizza
- Turn the grill on full blast and put your frying pan on the highest heat until it's scorching.
- Lay the pizza on the piping hot pan. Watch your fingers!
- Ladle on and spread a thin layer of sauce on the dough, leaving room for the crust.
- Add a pinch of parmesan, basil leaves, and a quarter of your mozzarella. Drizzle a little oil. The team at Pizza Pilgrims insist it must be in that order.
- As soon as the base of the pizza has browned (which takes approximately 1–2 minutes), take the frying pan and place it on the highest shelf, under the grill. Once the dough has coloured slightly (which also takes 1-2 minutes) you're ready to go!