Skillet Pizza with No-Rise Olive Oil Crust

My mom made an olive oil dough for anything from savory tarts to double-crust apple pie. Hers was a take on my grandma’s olive oil crust recipe, and my take is a further variation within three generations of recipe telephone. I love this crust for a few reasons. 1) It comes together in one bowl with four ingredients, including salt and water. 2) It requires no rest or rising; the dough is easy to roll out as soon as it comes together. 3) A generous amount of olive oil lends a deeply browned, cracker-like crust that’s sturdy and hearty, a texture and flavor profile I’ve come to crave since childhood.

Once you’ve made the dough a couple of times, try playing with the flavor profile. I’ll add a teaspoon of toasted, crushed fennel seeds or freshly ground pepper into the flour. Maybe a tablespoon of dried rosemary makes its way into the mix. A teaspoon of cinnamon plus a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom makes a nice flavor base for a sweeter route, like an olive oil galette with sliced pears.

Ingredients

Olive Oil Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or runny honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cold water, as needed

Skillet Pizza

  • 1 recipe prepared olive oil crust
  • 1 medium Japanese or Jewel sweet potato, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small globe or regular zucchini, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 small potatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan and/or pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed whole sage leaves
  • 2 small cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil and freshly ground pepper, as needed
  • Optional: zucchini blossoms or chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Steps

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450F with a rack in the center. Coat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with oil.

Step 2

Mix flours and salt in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and syrup (or honey) over the dry mixture; use your fingers to rub the oil and syrup into the dry mixture to create a sandy, coarse-meal texture. Make a well in the center; add 1/2 cup cold water. Mix flour into water until a firm dough comes together. It should look like kneaded bread, not shaggy pie crust. Add more water as needed to bring the dough together; if the dough feels too soft or sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together. (This is not a fussy dough dependent on precise temperatures and gentle mixing; there’s wiggle room to figure it out.) Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a round about 12 x 12 inches and 1/8-inch high. Transfer to prepared skillet. Spread as evenly as possible with grated garlic; top evenly with grated cheese.

Step 3

Toss vegetables and sage leaves with salt and oil; layer evenly over cheese. Bake until the crust is browned and the vegetables are cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the pizza to a cutting board. (The dough is sturdy enough; use a dish towel/mitt to hold the HOT skillet handle with one hand and a wide spatula in the other hand to slide your pizza from its skillet). Rest 5 minutes. Cut into 8 slices.