Here’s how to make amazing pizza without using a pizza oven. Homemade pizza is simple to make and a shear delight to eat. The problem most people have is the bases are either soggy or stick to the baking tray.
If you are having these problems or are just after the perfect homemade pizza you need to try the hob/grill pizza cooking method.
The hob and grill method
This method never has that problem, mainly because it doesn’t use the oven. Instead it replicated the two key elements of a pizza oven – high heat from the top and bottom.
By building the pizza in a hot pan you get an amazing crisp base and then the grill melts cheese and crispen a everything off.
The key is getting the pan and the grill really hot, plus good oven gloves!
Ingredients, makes 5 pizzas
- 500g strong bread flour
- 7g yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 600ml tepid water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- A clove garlic
- A carton of pasatta
- A large mixing bowl
- A measuring jug
- A clear area of worktop
- Rolling pin
- Ovenproof frying pan
First the dough
Ideally make this in the morning, but if life gets in the way you can get away with 1-2 hours proving…. it’s not quite as good though.
- Put the flour and yeast in a bowl and mix through. Then make a small well in the centre. Keep the flour out
- Then add the oil, honey, water and a sprinkle of sea salt and mix together.
- Pour about a third of the liquid into the well and using your hand or a spoon to stir around the edges of the well.
- Once all the liquid has been absorbed add another third and repeat.
- You now need to use a bit of judgement, the dough should all all combined and not look floury it wet. It can be slightly stringy though. So add a bit of water at a time to get the right consistency. Don’t worry if you add too much liquid, you can add a bit more flour to compensate.
- Now turn out onto a floured surface and kneed until it becomes elastic and starts to resist.
- Now return to the mixing bowl and cover, I use a shower cap.
- Put in a warm place to rise.
You can now go and enjoy your day. All that’s left to do is:
- Sauce, this can be made in advance
- Prep toppings
- Roll our bases
- Cook pizzas
I’ve tried various combinations for my tomato sauce and I’ve found simple is best. I’ve also found by adding the garlic to a cold pan infuses the flavour more. Added bonus is a simpler recipe too.
Add the oil and garlic to a saucepan and put on a medium heat.
When the pan starts to sizzle add the pasatta and turn the heat to low.
Leave to bubble for 10 mins and the. Turn off the heat.
Now leave to cool, if you’re making it in advance once cool put in the fridge.
I like to prepare my toppings before I roll out my bases, so I’m ready to go. Helpfully my family all like different toppings. Here are some combination to try:
– goats cheese, pepper, mozzarella and basil
– Sausage, onion, pepper, mozzarella
– Chorizo, salami, mozzarella
– Hawaiian – ham and pineapple
– Dad special, all of the above creatively arranged.
The only topping you need to precook is the sausage.
- 3 sausages, Toulouse, Sicilian or italian. Skinned
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Heat a frying pan on a medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil and add onion and garlic.
- Once it starts to colour add the sausage meat. Stir and break it up in the pan.
- Stir occasionally until it has browned and started to just stick in the edges of the pan.
- Remove and put in a bowl.
Ham, salami etc
I’ve found it best to rip these up, it means you can easily arrange on your pizza.
45 mins before you want to eat
Making the bases
Put a small pile of floor on your work surface, find your rolling pin and apron.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and place on the work surface. Give it a quick kneed for about 5 mins. You want some of the bubbles to remain.
- At this point switch the grill on full and make sure there’s a shelf at the right height for the pan you are using.
- Now divide the dough into 5 pieces and by hand roll each piece into a ball.
- Take one all at a time, first squash it flat and roll into a circle the same side as your pan.
- Once all your bases are made put the pan on a high heat to warm up and get yourself ready to make the pizzas. You’ll need:
- A heatproof mat next to the bases
- The sauce and toppings next to the hob
- An oven glove
- A drink
- Hold you hand about 10cm over the pan, you should be able to feel the heat.
- Take the pan to where your bases are and add the first base
- Put back on the hob and cover in sauce.
- Now add the toppings, cheese and basil last
- By the time your done the base should be crisp, use a knife or fish slice to lift an edge, it should be golden.
- Then put the pan under the grill for a 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Remove with oven gloves… the handle will be scorching hot.
You can now serve straight away or:
Put on a lower shelf under the grill or place in the oven at the 120c to keep warm.
Repeat for the remaining pizzas.