foolproof skillet pizza recipe
February 9, 2011 9:05 AM   Subscribe

recipe filter: anyone have a foolproof skillet pizza recipe?

I'm going to attempt to bake a pizza in my toaster oven with a small iron skillet. I've never made pizza before (and come to think of it I've never successfully made a recipe using yeast either).

I'd love a recipe I can't goof up!

(BTW my favorite kind of pizza is New York kind)
posted by mirileh to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Here are some pretty detailed instructions from The Atlantic and Serious Eats. The actual dough recipes are linked to in both of those articles.

I've used Kenji's approach and recipe (from the second link) and it came out awesome. But that demands a stovetop as well.

How high can your toaster oven go? You'd want to get to around at least 500 degrees.
posted by punchtothehead at 9:21 AM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't have a foolproof recipe, but I have a couple suggestions--turn the heat literally as high as it will go, and rotate a lot. I've never owned a toaster oven that heated even close to evenly.
posted by box at 9:26 AM on February 9, 2011

Response by poster: punchtothehead, theoretically my toaster oven gets to 500 degrees, but I've never tried getting it that hot (it makes me nervous that it will overheat and somehow short circuit). I do have a stovetop though.
posted by mirileh at 9:31 AM on February 9, 2011

I can't think of a good way to do New York style in a toaster oven, but I can think of a couple of pizza analogues that might be ideal for this situation.

1. The Pizzadilla - Lay down 2 tortilla shells with a layer of shredded cheese between them. Cover that with your pizza sauce and toppings. As the cheese melts the tortillas fuse together and become something that approximates a thin crust pizza pretty well. Tastes much better than it sounds. I've noticed some restaurants are starting to serve these.

2. Naanza - This is really just pizza toppings on top of a piece of naan bread.

These work because they have a sort of premade crust and the crust is really the only difficult part of this operation. For that reason a premade Boboli style pizza crust might be ideal.
posted by cirrostratus at 9:48 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

2. Naanza - This is really just pizza toppings on top of a piece of naan bread.

This is super great, and among my favorite ways to make pizza.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:49 AM on February 9, 2011

okonomiyaki ("japanese pizza")
posted by anya32 at 10:15 AM on February 9, 2011

For your first forays into making your own pizza, I'd recommend simplifying the process by using either a bag of refrigerated dough as available in the deli or refrigerator section of many grocery stores, or a packet of pizza crust mix (add water, let rest 15 minutes as the yeast bubbles a bit, smoosh into pan). Baking in a toaster oven is a bit tricky, and reducing your upfront time investment may lead to less heartbreak. That said, skillet pizza is usually deep dish pizza, not NY-style thin and floppy or wood-fired style thin and dry, so I hope you're not disappointed.

Second tip: grease the heck out of your skillet. A lot of restaurant deep-dish crusts are practically fried on the outside because of all the oil, but they never get stuck to the pan or ripped apart as you try to get it out, which is the fate of many of my home-cooking projects.
posted by aimedwander at 10:18 AM on February 9, 2011

Response by poster: anya32, okonomiyaki sounds fascinating (I love cabbage)!
posted by mirileh at 10:36 AM on February 9, 2011

That's a pretty atypical/westernized okonomiyaki recipe (though part of the point is that you can make it however you want, so I suggest trying it!) Just so you know, this one and this one are more typical examples of Osaka-style okonomiyaki. You can also make Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, which has noodles in it.

The canonical toppings for okonomiyaki are kewpie mayo and/or Okonomiyaki sauce or tonkatsu sauce. Soy sauce and hot mustard are also pretty common. Katsuobushi flakes are also really good on top (and if you have cats, they will love you forever if you give them some!)
posted by vorfeed at 11:29 AM on February 9, 2011

This is my favorite skillet pizza dough recipe, found here. You don't have to wait for the dough to rise, which is a big time saver. I use a small skillet and usually divide the dough to refrigerate or freeze for later. You can get 4 or 5 smaller balls of dough from one recipe, depending on how thick (or thin) you like your crust.

1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Take one cup of warm water (leaning towards hot) and pour it into a bowl, add all the contents of a yeast package inside. Mix and let stand for 5 minutes (add a tsp of honey if you want). Once the yeast has set, add your salt and oil and then add cup of flour at a time as you mix it in.

Next, knead into a dough and then set it aside for a few minutes while you slice up your cheese and tomatoes. To finish it off, take your dough and make it into a circular crust shape that fits the bottom of your skillet (or your cookie sheet, pizza stone, or right on the grill). Add your toppings and bake at 400 until crust slightly browns and the cheese melts.
posted by lucysparrow at 11:43 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

punchtothehead, theoretically my toaster oven gets to 500 degrees, but I've never tried getting it that hot (it makes me nervous that it will overheat and somehow short circuit).

It's not going to overheat or short circuit (or rather, it's not really more likely to do that at 500 degrees than at any other setting it's calibrated for).

If your oven is too cool, your pizza crust will be gummy and awful. Brave the high setting.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:18 PM on February 9, 2011

I actually prepare thin pizza crusts in a skillet on a stovetop and finish them in the oven. I use a variation of this recipe from Mario Batali (I make mine part whole wheat.) Since you finish the pizza by broiling the toppings, I'd think it would work great in a toaster oven. If you cooked the crust and then topped it immediately and slid the whole thing into your toaster oven, you'd have residual heat from the skillet to keep the crust crispy.
posted by zinfandel at 2:03 PM on February 9, 2011

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