BLT skillet pizza

Skillet pizza-2.jpg

The beloved BLT just got a lot more interesting in this pizza in a skillet. It's fun and easy to make and transforms a sandwich into a meal, with a salad on top. Just add a glass of wine for the grown-ups and supper is ready.

To make spectacular pizza at home, follow three rules: Make a long-rising dough to develop the best flavor. Use a blistering hot oven and a hot surface to achieve a crisp crust. Don’t overload the dough with toppings.

This dough comes together in a stand mixer or by hand in five minutes; all you have to do is stir and wait, the longer the better. Use instant yeast, since it can be mixed directly into the flour without proofing in water. The dough is ready after three hours, but you can store it in the refrigerator for up to four days. Deflate the dough each day, and keep it covered. It is soft, bordering on sticky, but behaves well after it rises. Dust it and the counter generously with flour while you roll it and let it relax for a few minutes if it becomes too springy.

A pizza stone is traditional because it gets so hot, but apply the same principal to a trusty, worn-in cast-iron skillet, which holds heat beautifully and is less fussy than working with a stone. Here, the skillet goes into the oven and acts like a stone. If you have (or can borrow) a second skillet, these individual pizzas are done in a flash. You’ll love how the rich bacon and cheese and sweet, baked tomatoes contrast with a topping of fresh tomatoes and peppery greens.

Skillet pizza.jpg

BLT pizza in a skillet
Makes 4 10-inch pizzas, to serve 4

4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (slightly less than a full packet) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon olive oil

1. In an electric mixer on low speed, mix the flour, yeast, and salt to combine. Add the water all at once and mix until the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. To mix by hand, follow the same procedure using a large bowl and a wooden spoon. Form the dough into a ball and leave it in the bowl.

2. Drizzle the dough with the oil, and pat with your hands to spread it over the dough. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough. Let rise for 3 to 8 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator (take it out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before shaping).

16 (1 1/4 pounds)  “cocktail” (golf ball-size) tomatoes, sliced
Flour (for rolling)
12 slices (slightly less than 1 pound) bacon, cut into thirds
Cornmeal (for the skillet)
8 ounces fontina, sliced
Olive oil (for drizzling)
4 handfuls of arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Arrange one oven shelf close to the bottom of the oven and one close to the top.  Set the oven at 500 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet on the bottom shelf, and heat until very hot. Set aside half the tomato slices for garnish. Use the other half for baking the pizza.

2. On a generously floured counter, turn out the dough and cut it into 4 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, shape into balls and press them into 5-inch flat disks, dimpling with your fingertips as you flatten them. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the dough to relax.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined-plate.

4. Stretch or roll each ball of dough into a 10-inch round. If the dough becomes difficult to stretch, let it relax for a few minutes and try again.

5. With oven mitts, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Transfer one dough round into the pan, and arrange it to fit (watch your fingers!) Arrange 1/4 of the fontina slices over the dough and top with 1/4 of the bacon. Distribute 1/4 of the tomatoes reserved for baking over the top. Drizzle with olive oil.

6. Bake the pizza on the bottom shelf for 8 minutes, or until the dough is firm and set and the edges are lightly browned. Transfer the pan to the top rack and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is crisp and brown. Slide the pizza onto a cutting board, and repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.

7. Toss the arugula with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Top each pizza with 1/4 of the reserved tomatoes and a handful of the arugula. With a sharp knife, cut into wedges and serve.


Skillet pizza.jpg
Posted on September 1, 2017 .