Cook like a Clerkenwell Chef- Frying Pan Pizza
For those times when you can’t get to the EC1 Pizza Pilgrims, just follow founders Thom and James Elliot’s clever method for making a Neapolitan at home… using a frying pan!
Pizza Pilgrims are on Exmouth Market as well as across London.
15 Exmouth Market,
London EC1R 4QD
Frying Pan pizza
Makes 4 pizzas, plus extra dough to freeze
FOR THE DOUGH
1kg ‘00’ flour with a high gluten content
FOR THE PIZZA
4 x balls of Neapolitan Pizza Dough
To make the dough, tip the flour onto your work surface and make a well in the centre. Dissolve your yeast in the water and pour into the middle of the well a little at a time whilst using your hands to bring the walls of the flour in so that the water begins to thicken. Once you’ve reached the consistency of custard, add the salt and bring in the rest of the flour until it comes together as a dough. Knead for 10–15 minutes. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes before kneading again quickly for 10 seconds.
Divide the dough into 200g balls and leave to rest overnight or for at least 8 hours in a sealed container. Remember to leave room for each dough ball because, as the gluten relaxes, they will spread out to twice the diameter. We would recommend always making this amount of dough, even if you are only making pizza for a few people. Pizza dough is fine to freeze once it has proved.
To make the base, scrape a dough ball out of its container using as much flour as you need to ensure it doesn’t stick. Put the dough ball onto a floured surface. Using your fingertips, press out the dough ball firmly, starting at the centre and working out to the edge. Ensure you leave a centimetre around the rim of the pizza untouched. Turn the dough ball over and repeat on the other side.
Using the palm of your hand, do one firm push in the centre of the dough ball to ensure the thickness of the base is consistent (not including the raised edges). Take the newly flattened dough ball on the back of your hands, ensuring the weight is on your knuckles and that your fingertips and nails are not going to poke a hole. Using the back of your hands, stretch the dough out as far as you can without tearing it. Turn the dough through 90 degrees and repeat this stretching. Do this a few times.
You should now have a disc of dough around 10 inches in diameter, consistently thin but with a slightly thicker rim. Repeat to make four 10-inch pizza bases.
To make the tomato sauce, first crush the tomatoes by hand. Add a pinch of salt, then blitz with a hand blender until you have a sauce with a slightly rough texture. Preheat the grill to its absolute highest setting. Meanwhile, lay a pizza base flat in a dry frying pan (preferably non- stick) that has been on a high heat on the hob and is screaming hot.
Spread a thin layer of sauce with a ladle across the base, leaving a couple of centimetres around the edge. Add a pinch of Parmesan, basil leaves and a quarter of the mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil. Once the base of the pizza has browned (1–2 minutes), take the frying pan and place it on the highest shelf, under the grill. Once the crust has taken on some colour (1–2 minutes), the pizza is ready to eat.