Lately, I’ve been really into pan-frying my pizzas…
It’s not like they’re so much easier to make than regular baked pizzas, but for some reason they feel more forgiving. For starters, since the crust crisps up so well in a hot pan, you never have to stress about having an undercooked, doughy middle like you do (or at least like I do) when baking pizza in the oven. Also: Since a pan-fried pizza is relatively small, it makes a great receptacle for whatever odds and ends you’ve got lying around. Parm and few orphaned Brussels sprouts? Chop ’em up and throw on top! A heel of cheddar, half an onion and a single potato? That’ll work! Got a can of chopped tomatoes, a single sausage link and half a ball of mozzarella? Dinner.
That’s how this Bacon and Brussels Sprouts pizza came together last weekend. The exact recipe is below but just know that no matter what toppings you’re scaring up, the instructions boil down to this:
1. Heat broiler.
2. Pan-fry dough in olive oil and flip when crispy.
3. Add cheese and mostly cooked toppings
4. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until toppings are cooked and cheese has melted.
It’s also worth noting that you might want to store a few pizza doughs in your freezer for when the pizza mood strikes. If you’re anything like me, that’s a frequent occurrence. Just remember to take them out a few hours before you’re cooking so they thaw in time.
Pan-Fried Pizza with Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
I prepped my Brussels sprouts using the shredding attachment on my food processor, but the store bought pre-shredded kind is just fine, too. If you want to skip the bacon, just add more olive oil before you cook the Brussels.
Makes 1 personal pan pizza
2 slices good-quality bacon
1/2 medium yellow onion
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 to 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, shredded (the photo of them in the skillet shows more than you need)
olive oil, for frying
1 8-ounce ball pizza dough (half of the standard storebought 16-ounce ball; save or freeze the other half, unless you are making two pizzas; my favorite brand is Terranova Bakery)
1/2 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil mixed with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat the broiler. Heat a medium cast-iron (or oven safe) pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon, set aside on a paper towel to drain, then chop finely.
Add a dash of olive oil to the pan. Add onions, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until onions are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add shredded Brussels sprouts and cook until slightly wilted. (They will cook more in the oven.) Remove to a plate or dish. Wipe down pan with a paper towel and set back on stovetop over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
Using your hands to press or a roller to roll, shape pizza dough half into a circle the size of your cast-iron pan. (The crust that results will be on the Sicilian-side—slightly cakey. Use less dough if you favor thin-and-crispy style pizza crust.)
Add the flattened dough to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough is bubbly on top and brown underneath. Flip, and layer on mozzarella, cheese, and onion-brussels mix. Slip the pan under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese looks bubbly. (The bottom will cook during this period as well.) Sprinkle bacon bits on top and serve.