7 Tips to make Pizza without an oven

pizza

When the weather gets this cold, there’s nothing more appealing than spending time in the kitchen cooking something warm and comforting. And it doesn’t get more retro than pizza, which first saw the light of day in Italy in 1886 when it was invented by Alexandre Dumas, a chef at Ciro’s Club de la Royale in Nice. Yes, we know that the oven is off-limits because of the frigid temperature outside,

so here’s a recipe that requires only a frying pan and plenty of passion.

1. Choose your sauce

Tomato sauce is standard, but you can also go marinara (which has plenty of flavours thanks to plenty of roasted garlic) or even use tomato paste mixed with some red lentils for a clearer, curry-esque sauce. For a super-easy recipe, try dissolving two tablespoons of tomato paste in 400ml of water, then adding a quarter cup of red lentils and simmering for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is as thick as you like it.

2. Choose your topping

Here you have absolute freedom: choose your favourite Italian cheeses (try mixing mozzarella and parmesan), mushrooms, and African berbere spices (try this easy recipe) for a unique topping or even try adding some leftovers such as roasted chicken pieces.

3. Add some flavour with herbs and garlic

Despite the huge variety of toppings, you might want to add some kick with some added herbs and garlic –especially if you don’t plan on loading up your pizza with toppings. For 1kg of sauce, add 3 cloves of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of dried oregano or thyme or a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary). Alternatively, slice or chop a few cloves of fresh garlic to fry in the pan before making the sauce.

4. Make the dough

Don’t buy premade dough; instead, take a few minutes to make your own. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of plain flour with one-third of a cup of warm water and one-third of a teaspoon of olive oil. Use your hands to mould the mixture into a solid ball, then roll it out into a thin circle about 25cm in diameter. If the dough is too sticky, dust your work surface and hands with flour. Or, if you have any leftover flatbread, you can use that as a basis for pizza.

5. Stretch your pizza crust

If you made your dough in a bowl, simply place it on a flat work surface and spread it with your fingers or the back of a glass. You should aim to make it as thin as possible while keeping it large enough to cover the bottom of a frying pan.

6. Slather on your sauce

Once you’ve browned your dough, slide it onto a board and spread it with tomato sauce. Set aside for a minute to cool slightly before topping with cheese if desired.

7. Bake in a hot pan

Slide your topped pizza onto a hot frying pan over medium-high heat and cover the pizza immediately with another frying pan or a flat baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then remove the top pan or sheet and cook for a further 5 minutes to brown the base. Serve immediately.

Extra credits

  • If you don’t have an oven to spare, you can still make this recipe in advance and keep the pizza covered at room temperature or on the countertop until you’re ready to cook.
  • You don’t need to use tomato sauce; you can try using any flavoured or plain sauces you have in the cupboard – even bolognese would be delicious.
  • On a hot day, your dough might puff up rather than rise; just press it down before spreading with your favourite topping.
  • You can use this same method to make flatbread pizzas.

Finally, keep an eye out for our upcoming recipes for easy family meals and food inspiration.

///// //// //// Did you know? ///// //// ////

Food colouring has been around for more than 2,000 years. The ancient Greeks used indigo to colour their bread and the Romans used vegetable dyes to give their cheese a blue colour. In the 17th century 

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Idly Sambar

Ingredients required
For sambar:
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Methi/fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Pinch of hing / asafoetida
A few curry leaves
Green chilli – 2 (slit)
Shallots – 4
Tomato – 1 (chopped)
Drumstick – 5 pieces
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Jaggery – ½ tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Water – 1 cup
Tamarind extract – ¾ cup
Toor dal – 1 cup (boiled)
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

How to make sambar.

1. In a kadai heat, 2 tsp of oil, add mustard & methi seeds, a few curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida and let it splutter.
2. Add shallots and chillies and saute for a minute till it changes colour.
3. Add tomato and continue to cook till tomatoes soften.
4. Add mixed vegetables and saute for 2 minutes.
5. Further, add ¼ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp jaggery, 1 tsp salt and 1 cup water mix well, cover and boil for 10 minutes.
6. Add ¾ cup tamarind extract and mix well. Cover and boil for 10 more minutes.
7. Add boiled toor dal and water mix well, and let it simmer on low flame until the flavours are well absorbed.
8. Add in 2 tbsp coriander leaves and mix well.
9. Enjoy the sambar with hot steamed idli.