When using the very best ingredients it’s hard to beat a great combination like fresh mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes, and basil leaves. Add any other specialty touches like a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and you have the makings of a masterpiece.
Last night I experienced such good fortune when I happened to have fabulous fresh bread dough—as well as all the above ingredients. Easily, within ten minutes I was slicing into world class pizza.
I had a supply of excellent bread dough on hand thanks to local bread expert Marc Green, who has perfected his own no-knead bread for artisan bread baking. With that in mind, I pulled out a heavy skillet and heated a good drizzle of olive oil. I flattened and patted out a portion of Marc’s dough, threw it into the hot pan, and covered it with a lid to create an impromptu oven.
Meanwhile, I gathered up pre-sliced mozzarella, thinly sliced fresh tomato, and plucked a few sprigs of basil off my doorstep plant. When the bottom was crispy, I gave it a flip and added my toppings. It was quickly covered and left to cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the cheese melted and the bottom was golden brown.
Since my dough was well constructed and robust, it raised beautifully, much like a Chicago-style pizza. Normally I prefer a thinner crust, but this was so good I nearly polished off the whole thing without stopping for a salad!
Given this simple technique, there is no reason why any other bread or ready-made pizza dough would not work. I also sprinkled on red pepper flakes and sea salt but that’s a personal thing. Simply nothing else is required. Not even a phone call or text message.
Pizza Margarita in a Skillet
Inspired by Marc Green’s No-Knead Bread
one recipe bread dough
fresh sliced tomato
fresh sliced mozzarella
fresh basil leaves
- Turn raised, room temperature dough out onto lightly floured surface. Lightly dust with flour and cut into four or more portions and shape into balls.
- Heat a medium skillet (8” approx.), heat 1-2 tablespoons oil into bottom until it shimmers. Flatten one ball with hand and press into the diameter of the skillet; carefully slide the dough into pan.
- Cover with a lid and cook 3 minutes until golden brown on bottom and dough has risen, uncover and carefully flip over.
- Place the tomato slices, mozzarella slices, and basil leaves on top of the dough. Cover with lid and cook 3-5 minutes longer until cheese is melted and bottom is golden brown. Remove to cutting board, cut into wedges and serve hot. Repeat pizzas as needed.