Homemade Pan-Fried Pizza Crust
I’ve tried a lot of recipes that contend to produce “the world’s best pizza crust.” Some of them are very good. None of them holds a candle to this one.
This recipe for pan-friend pizza crust comes from my friend’s mother. It doesn’t just yield the best homemade pizza crust I’ve ever had; it actually yields about a dozen of them. And these dozen freeze beautifully. As a result, making this single recipe once will keep you in amazing pizza crusts for weeks.
The crusts themselves are thin, crispy, and delicious, and they pair perfectly with pretty much any topping combination you can think of, from traditional to completely unorthodox. Topped up, they bake in about 14 minutes, which makes them a snap for a quick dinner.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 tbsp yeast (Saf brand is best, as discussed here)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for pay-frying
And here’s what you’ll do:
- Combine the first three ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup and let stand for 5 minutes, until the contents get frothy and double in volume.
- Combine the yeast mixture in a large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Turn onto the counter and knead until you have a well-shaped elastic ball of dough. Put back in bowl, cover with a towel, and let stand for 30 minutes until risen.
- Divide dough into 6-10 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece, one at a time, out into a thin circle. Your goal is to size the pieces so that when rolled out as thin as possible (but not so thin as to tear when picked up), the dough fits perfectly into your frying pan. For a standard cast-iron skillet, the right size is about that of a racketball. (See picture below of racketball-sized dough in the palm of my hand.)
- Pour a glug of olive oil into your frying pan or cast-iron skillet. Carefully lay your rolled-out dough down in the pan. Let cook until begins to brown on the underside. Remove and put on tray.
- Repeat process with each piece of dough, adding a glug of olive oil between each.
- Top and cook at 425 F for 14 minutes. Store extra crusts in freezer, bagged and ideally with a sheet of wax or parchment paper in between to prevent the crusts from freezing together.
This crust is a great blank canvas, so get creative with your toppings. Here are some favorites to get you started:
- Base: Classic tomato sauce, pesto, or even squash or sweet potato pureed in the food processor with a bit of milk
- Cheese: Any, really. Fresh mozzarella is hard to beat, but a light dusting of a grated hard cheese like parmesan can also be great.
- Vegetables: I love green pizzas, so arugula, kale, and spinach are my favorites. Trumpet mushrooms are also delicious. And cherry tomatoes are hard to beat, although in the winter I often use sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not oil-packed).
- Herbs and spice: Rosemary and basil are my favorites, but even salt and pepper are useful accompaniments.
The options are endless, and you really can’t go wrong. (I’ve tried.)