Stovetop Pizza

One of the things I miss here, is an oven. Since electricity is expensive & unreliable - most folks cook with propane. They have it delivered in tanks like you would use back home for a grill & it is connected to the range top in their kitchen. Most kitchens are not equipped with a stove, probably as a result of the propane tank situation & the fact that most Indian dishes can be prepared over an open flame.

Of all the things I don't have access to, the Oven is one I notice most often. I guess I never realized how useful it is to have one. After all, if you want to bake cookies, a pizza, lasagna, enchiladas.... you really need an oven to do it right.

I was telling Sally about how much I miss having one - especially since I would love to make homemade pizza or calzones like I would at home. Sally recommended I try augmenting a recipe for a grilled pizza and attempt to make it on the range top. I decided to go for a simple cheese pizza, before going through the hassle of caramelizing onions & warming prosciutto. After 2 attempts, I think I actually managed to get a workable pizza. Here are the steps to making it work.

First, make your pizza dough as you normally would. I used quick rising yeast - so it is pretty easy whip up a batch of dough. Just be sure you let it rise as long as possible - you'll notice in my first attempt I tried to cut corners.

Next, add some olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Roll the dough out & place the crust in the pan over open flame. Do not cover, simply cook for 4-5 minutes - or until the dough is golden on the down side.

Now flip the dough like you would a pancake & quickly add sauce, toppings & cheese to the pizza before covering. After another 4-5 minutes, you should have a pizza that has melted cheese & a crispy crust. It might take a few attempts to get the timing right - you really need to time the crust browning & cheese melting perfectly - or else you end up with a crispy crust & cool cheese.

Here are some photos of the process:

Attempt # 1 (too thin)

Attempt #2 - Proper Crust - too light on cheese
I put it back on w/ more cheese to even it out
Finally - it is JUST right!