A couple of weeks ago, my cheesemaker friend Christine arrived with a log of her glorious chevre, and also an early experiment with a beeswax-rind goat gouda that was out of this world. Every bit as ethereal, the fresh, yeasty pizza dough her husband made for us (thank you, Ross) begged to be played with, right then and there. We divided the dough into six equal pan pizza portions -- each one just the right size for one or two people -- and cooked them one at a time in a small nonstick frying pan on the stove top. It was the perfect way to indulge our individual topping fantasies, combining homemade cheeses with produce from the farmstand and herbs from my garden, and a great idea for family pizza night or a pizza party. Create a toppings bar, with a selection of cheeses, vegetables, fruits and herbs, and let everyone decorate the pizzas of their dreams.
Pan pizza for one (or two)
Ross shared his recipe for pizza dough; as to the toppings, you're on your own! Makes 5 8-inch pan pizzas; serves 6 (or 12).
1 envelope yeast
4-1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
Pinch of kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
Toppings of your choice (see below), which might include: sliced fruits or vegetables, caramelized onions, soft cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, fresh and dried herbs.
Directions for pizza dough (from Ross)
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in a little more than 1 cup of lukewarm water for about 10 minutes. Combine yeast with flour, salt and olive oil in a mixing bowl, and stir to bring the dough together in a soft mass.
Knead till the surface is soft and pliable (about 10-15 minutes). The dough should not be sticky; if it is, add a small bit of flour. If too dry, add a tiny bit of water. Form the dough into a ball.
Let the dough sit in a bowl for 1-2 hours in a warm place (85-90°F), with a damp towel covering the bowl. The dough will double in size.
With one punch into the dough, it will deflate.
Cover the bowl again with a damp towel, and put it back in the warm place. Let it rise for 1 more hour. The dough should double once again. Punch it down, and divide into Now, it's ready to use.
To make stove-top pan pizza:
Flour your countertop, and roll out one ball of pizza dough in a round roughly 8 inches in diameter.
Set an 8-inch nonstick frying pan on the stove, and swirl 1 teaspoon of olive oil all around the bottom. Heat the pan for a minute on low heat, then place the pizza dough in the pan.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bottom of the dough is lightly browned. Flip the dough, spread with toppings (see below), cover the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and any cheese in the toppings has melted.
Use any combination of fruits, vegetables, herbs and cheeses that you like. You can't go wrong. Christine and I made five variations, using her goat cheeses. I've listed them in the order we put them on the pizza dough.
Gouda and apple: Shredded gouda cheese, sautéed slices of Granny Smith apple, caramelized onion, fresh thyme leaves.
Chevre and tomato: Soft goat cheese mixed with minced garlic, fresh thyme leaves, thinly sliced roasted red peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, chiffonade of fresh basil leaves.
Goat cheese and mango: Soft goat cheese, sliced mango, lemon zest, minced rosemary, drizzle of honey.
Caramelized onion and parmesan: Caramelized onion, thinly sliced bell pepper, fresh basil leaves, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Smoky mango: Soft goat cheese, sliced mango tossed with smoked paprika, thinly sliced lime, fresh basil chiffonade.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Chicago-style stuffed pizza, from Andrea Meyers
Homemade pizza with fennel sausage and rapini, from Food Blogga
Meatball pizza, from Leite's Culinaria
Strawberry balsamic bacon pizza, from Annie's Eats
Sweet potato kale pizza, from Two Peas & Their Pod
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.