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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Pan Pizza

Cast iron Pizza

It's been a long time since I've made a new blog post, but I just had to share this amazing technique for making the best homemade pizza we've ever had!

I've tried many homemade pizza recipes. I bought a pizza stone and pizza peel, but still can't get the pizza to slide onto the stone easily. I've tried to make grilled pizza too. The homemade pizzas I've tried in the past are ok, but definitely better than delivery, and therefore not really worth the effort. 

But this recipe is different!  It's pretty easy, but if you make your own dough from scratch, it takes some planning. Instead, you could just buy pizza dough from a local bakery and make this in a flash!

The recipe makes a relatively thick-crust pan pizza that's a little greasy and unbelievably delicious.  Matt asked why he had to wait 43 years to try such a tasty pizza at home. 

You will need a cast iron pan.  Or two if you want to make two pizzas. You may be able to substitute a 10-inch metal cake pan, but I didn't try that.  

If you're making the dough from scratch it's very easy, but you need to start it the day before.  Mix flour, yeast, oil and water, let it rise and you're done.  Put the dough in the pan two hours before you bake the pizza for a final rise. 

I used a store-bought jar of marinara sauce as my pizza sauce, and it was just fine.  I topped it with only cheese and pepperoni, but you can use any toppings you like. 

Set the oven to its highest temperature and bake the pizza for about 15 minutes.  If the crust isn't browned on the bottom, use the stovetop to crisp it up for 2 minutes more.

The result is the best pizza I've ever made. It's highly recommended you try this!

pan pizza

Here's the recipe, adapted from Serious Eats.

For the crust:
2.5 cups (400g) bread flour
2 teaspoons (10g) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (4g) instant yeast
1 cup + 3 tablespoons (275g) water
2 teaspoons (8g) olive oil

Mix the crust ingredients in a large bowl until dry ingredients are incorporated. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours. My kitchen is cold, so I put the bowl in my turned-off gas oven overnight.  

For one pizza:
10-inch cast iron pan
Pizza dough
Olive oil
3/4 cup pizza sauce
225g shredded mozzarella
Pepperoni and/or other toppings as desired

Two hours before you want pizza, divide the dough into two equal pieces. (You can use store-bought dough or the recipe above.)

Form each half of the dough into a ball, adding flour to keep it from sticking to your hands or the counter.  If making one pizza, refrigerate or freeze the other half of the dough in a plastic bag. 

Spread a tablespoon of olive oil in your cast iron pan. Place the ball of dough in the pan and turn to coat with oil.  Use your hands to spread the dough into the pan, flattening it as much as possible to the edges of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for two hours.

Pre-heat your oven as high as it will go. Mine goes to 500 degrees, but if you can do 525 or 550, that's even better.  

The dough should have risen and spread to the edges of the pan.  Use your fingers to press the dough to the edges and pop any air bubbles you see.  

Spread the pizza sauce over the dough, all the way to the edges. 

Spread the shredded cheese evenly over the dough, all the way to the edges.

Top with pepperoni or toppings of your choice.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes until the top is golden and bubbling. 

Remove pan from the oven and use a spatula to lift the pizza and check the bottom crust.  It should be brown and crisp.  If it's still white, put the pan on a burner and cook over high heat for a minute or two until the bottom crust is brown and crisp.

Remove the pizza from the pan, cut into 6 pieces and serve.