Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pourable Pizza – The Great Liquid Dough Experiment

I once made a mini-pizza using a crumpet. No, I’m not starting a limerick.  Anyway, I toasted it nice and crisp, topped it with sauce and cheese, and it really was not bad. So I thought, what if this was much thinner, and made from the same ingredients as pizza dough? After a few tests, this pourable pizza was born.

Besides being kind of fun to make, this method features a few nice perks. There’s no kneading required, nor do you have to roll/stretch/spin your dough into shape. While thick crust pizza is relative easy to form at home, few can pull off stretching the dough really thin, so this is a very easy way to achieve that.

Also, the great challenge with homemade pizza is the under-cooked crust bottom, and this method allows for that crispy, near-charred bottom you usually only get from a pizza oven. Once topped, I like to finish under the broiler, but a 500 F. oven will also do the job nicely.

Please note, I’m not trying to replace the classic method with this drippy dough, but rather offer a possibly easier-in-some-ways alternative for your next pizza night. And yes, this does work for making thicker crusts. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 eight-inch pizzas:
3 cups (14 ounces by weight) *flour
2 cups warm water (105-110 F)
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil 

Note: Like I said in the video, use a whisk attachment, not a dough hook! You can also simply whisk this by hand for 5 minutes. 

* I used something called double-zero flour or “00” flour, which is an Italian flour used for pasta and pizza making. It is very finely milled, and lovely to work with. If you can’t get or find, just use all-purpose.


Joanna Roudier said...

I will definitely try this recipe :)
It got me thinking though, next time I make regular
pizza at home I will pre cook the dough in a frying pan
to get that crispy bottom.
I guess I should try with and without oil in the pan.

Kennapop3 said...

This will make my Lodge Cast Iron Happy.

weeza said...

How many pizza crusts does it make. It would be a lot of trouble to go to for one personal pizza. I'd just use Naan or another flatbread.

Robin said...

Chef John, you left out the rimshot on the bee joke. Was that intentional?
This is on my short list!

Troy Howard said...

John, do you think adding half a teaspoon of baking powder or 1 whipped egg white would help it rise a little more without changing the texture of the pizza dough?

Dare Devil Dita [DDD] said...

Do you suppose this would work as a thicker crust? I like the concept.

Niko said...

So for a thicker crust you'd basically just pour in more batter in the pan? This was a really intriguing recipe, I can't wait to try it out next time we're making pizzas!

Ricky said...

I was hungry for lunch and realized I had all the ingredients, so I gave it a try! I did a half batch and used all-purpose flour. Note that with the half-batch, one cup of water made a dough-ball, so I kept adding water until it became a batter. Probably another half-cup in total.

I topped with some marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, leftover sausage, and some basil from the garden.

This quick version was pretty good. The dough had that classic pizza smell when it was rising. I under-cooked the dough a little bit -- if you try it, don't be afraid of dark brown coloring.

I also used 2 cast iron pans. One was not as well-seasoned, and stuck a little. Not too bad, but worth noting, grandma was right about seasoning the pans.

Thanks Chef John! Wish I could post a picture, but it's like yours but with crumbled sausage and basil :)

Emily Smith said...

Any ideas on freezing? Could you freeze the raw batter or would it best to cook it and freeze the crust plain (or even with toppings, store-brought frozen pizza style)?

Emily P said...

King Arthur Flour sells the 000 flour. I usually get their pizza blend flour but I'll have to try this. My tummy actually rumbled watching this recipe!

Kate said...

I am going to try this with the sourdough strarter batter that get's tossed when feeding the culture. Maybe I will photograph the results. Tomorrow I will save the 1 cup for a "Personal Pizza".

Alicia said...

What a great idea! I really love the thin crust and using the cast iron pan.

Steven Kouris said...

No. Just no. I'm a big fan and all and I love your videos, but please stick to stuff the you learned from working as a chef in a restaurant. No one who knows anything about pizza would approve of this. I don't want to say you've jumped the shark, but I honestly wonder if this is a joke video.

Roberto said...

Try to work a bit of a "T" sound into the word mezzaluna. The double "Z" has the same "T" sound as the double "Z" in the word pizza which, as you know, does not sound like that leaning tower.

Sabrina Brown said...

Chef John have you listened to your audio intro? It sounds very much like you're saying "horrible pizza" - hahahha

rodentraiser said...

I don't have a cast iron pan, but I do have a 12" round pan I use for pancakes - stainless steel. I am going to try that. As far as crust goes, the thinner the better. And the first thing on this pizza? Ham and pineapple!

Chef John rules!

robert macleod said...

There is no way that 3 cups of flour and 2 cups of water mixed together are going to pour out of anything !! It is going to end up be a big lump of hard flour. I had to add 3 cups of water to get even close to the consistency of batter shown in the video.

Hopefully the rest of this pizza recipe will go better than it has so far.

Jonathan Hughes said...

I tried the recipe out two days ago and it was pretty good. Got a nice crispy bottom and decently thin crust. I like putting my pepperoni on after the sauce so my cheese can get those brown spots under the broiler. The hardest part was piping the dough in circles so that I didn't have any gaps or holes, but it all worked out. Thanks for the recipe!

Chef John said...

robert macleod,
You just needed to add more water. This is how doughs are. You probably didn't weigh the flour, but scooped the cups which adds extra flour. Also, AP flour is probably different than 00 flour for absorbing the water. Bottom line for any dough recipe...measurements are a guide, and never exact, so always add water or flour to get the right feel.

BreadBreadBread said...

Chef John,

I greatly enjoyed this video and idea - poured pizza crust can't beat sliced bread, but it's close. ;) I will pursue this technique further.

By the way, do you actually enjoy that amount of parmesan on your pizza, or was that more of an aesthetic thing?

Honeybee52 said...

I tried your make a wish to put down what I would like to see in a video but the link doesn't work to e-mail so here is my request: Lobster tail Risotto please.... I love your recipes.

Reece Crump said...

Hi chef. ever try sietan? its a lump of gluten some people eat as a meat substitute. When I tried making this with whole wheat bread flour it formed one of those gluten lumps and ruined the batter. What did I do wrong? I just made it successfully with whole wheat flour, so I know it possible. I can go into more detail of the things I did different with these individual batches if your interested. Love this crumpet recipe, its my favorite pizza crust recipe now due to the ease of it all.

Rupert Foulmouth said...

I found this was a great way to make pizza while camping. You can skip the oven and just put a top on the frying pan to melt the toppings.

CandyCoated said...

noooo...I can't do honey :(. Anything else to use besides honey?


Dave said...

Where in the supermarket I can find your pizza batter?

Heidi Smith said...

Thanks Chef!! Have been a watcher for a couple years now, have tried a few of the recipies (sorry, techniques) and love how you don't give specifics, but tell each individual they have control over the results.
Will be trying this one soon.
Please keep on going, glad to see all the great tips and tricks.

Jerry Drzewiecki said...

Chef John,
Your pourable pizza crust looks very similar to Ethiopian injera bread which is a staple in the Ethiopian cuisine. Injera is a spongy, soft flatbread used to pick up various cooked dishes at the dinner table (Ethiopians eat with their fingers). Years ago, I found a westernized version of injera in an old "Frugal Gourmet" cookbook which is even easier to make than your pourable pizza dough. It uses carbonated water instead of yeast for leavening so you don't need to wait for the yeast to do its job before frying the bread. My injera bread recipe is certainly not authentic Ethiopian injera but, I think I'll try it for this interesting approach to pizza.

Unknown said...

Hi everyone, just a question, has anyone tried this with a Gluten Free flour?
Just wondering, my hubby loves pizza night, and Dominos GF crust is over cooked to the point of being plywood.
Any one got ideas other than that ‘cream cheese’ crustless pizza I just found.
I’ve made Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Pizza Style, since my kids were little, and my dad made for me, when I was young...
Don’t even want anybody to know just how long ago that was...
Making a good GF bread was almost easy, but still, Missing just plain Old Pizza...
well, you know what I mean.

Foomf said...

So, have you continued to develop this recipe at all?

I liked the suggestion to use carbonated or soda water.
Incidentally, for those who have no soda water -- you can make fizzy water with bread yeast and a two liter soda bottle. (This is an adapted recipe for ginger beer.)

Rinse out a two liter soda bottle. It will need to have a tight fitting lid, so don't throw that away, rinse it instead. Put an eighth-cup of sugar, some warm water, and a quarter teaspoon or so of bread machine yeast, into the bottle. Add a teaspoon or so of lemon juice (not much) and fill to the normal place on the bottle with more warm (not hot) water. Put the lid on, shake it up to completely dissolve the ingredients, and let it sit 24 hours (or 48 if it's cold) ... it should feel hard like a rock.

Then, you can either put it in the fridge to knock the yeast down and let it settle and clarify, or you can just carefully pour it into a cup (in a bowl in the sink, because this is very likely to foam all over, and you won't want to lose it) ... then seal it up again, rinse the bottle off, and let it continue being fizzy.

You'll have enough to make the bread rise to begin with, and probably enough to do other things with. Don't drink the sediment, it's gonna taste nasty, but you can probably use it to start bread.

Or you can use plain old boring soda water.