Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thick and chewy pan pizza


As a kid, we only had a few restaurants in the town where I grew up, one of which was a Pizza Hut. It was a big deal when we got a Chinese restaurant in town when I was in high school... so yeah, it's a small town. Pan pizza was always a favorite of mine when I was little, but I haven't eaten it in many years. I wanted to find a way to recreate that pan pizza crust at home. Well, I found it and it just so happens to be the easiest pizza crust ever - no kneading, no rolling! I adapted this recipe one over at Serious Eats. Mine is even quicker and thicker and it has that exact quality, texture, and flavor I remember from those pan pizzas of my childhood. I'm super excited about this discovery!

Of course, you can top your pizza with whatever you want. I think a thick and chewy pan pizza lends itself very well to tomato sauce and lots of cheese, and the rest is up to you. We went with a sausage supreme - bulk cooked Italian sausage, bell peppers, green olives, red onions, and some canned mushrooms. It was perfect! Just some pepperoni would also be terrific here. Red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese for serving are also highly recommended. I put the toppings under the cheese for this one so that the cheese could get nice and browned.



Thick and chewy pan pizza
for the crust:
14 oz. bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for coating the pan

for topping:
1/2-3/4 cup tomato sauce
about 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I like to mix in some provolone too if I have it)
other toppings of your choice 


Mix all of the crust ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 3-4 hours. It will more than double in size during this time.

Coat a 12-inch cast iron skillet with oil. Lightly flour your hands and the top of the pizza dough. Gather the dough into a ball (it will be sticky) and transfer it to the skillet. Gently push and spread the dough until it covers the pan. Try to remove any noticeable air bubbles. Push the dough up slightly around the edge to form a crust. Cover with plastic wrap again and let sit for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Check the dough again for any air bubbles and push it up along the edges again as needed. Cover with sauce, toppings, and cheese, leaving the crust edges clean.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-18 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes. Gently place the pizza on a cutting board and slice. 



What was I cooking one year ago?: butternut squash spaghetti carbonara 
Two years ago?:  Irish soda bread with whiskey raisins & caraway 
Three?: Irish oaten rolls 
Four?: orange-sour cream-poppy seed loaf cake 
5?: creamy lemon tart w/ blueberries 

17 comments:

  1. Love this style of pizza -- but I actually like pizza dough (assuming it's good quality dough) than the toppings. Weird, huh? This looks terrific -- thanks.

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  2. This sounds wonderful! And I love the toppings you choose - those are actually the type of toppings I would choose for myself. YUM!

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  3. This looks wonderfully delicious and comforting!

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  4. I literally JUST made a pizza in a pan! This looks so good

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  5. Oh I like provolone on my pizzas as well! Your pizza and especially that crust looks amazing! My extra topping? How about some Italian sausage? :)

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  6. This pizza looks perfect. Homemade pizza is always so yummy.

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  7. Beautiful pizza Amy, I love that you used the iron skillet and yes to chewy.
    Hope you are enjoying your week Amy :)

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  8. Most days I like a thin, crispy Italian style crust but when I'm nostalgic for the old American days (like today) I really want a nice thick pan pizza like this.

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  9. This pizza is stunning! I love it when the cheese gets all golden and bubbly like that. I've actually never been a fan of really flat cracker-like pizza crusts. I'll take chewy, deep dish pan pizzas like this any day of the week! Can't wait to try that easy crust recipe!

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  10. I lived so far back in the sticks that I had to go away to college before I had a "real" (Pizza Hut) pizza. This looks amazing- love that crust! :)

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  11. Yet to try a thick and chewy pan pizza and your recipe looks great to begin with.

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  12. I am also a fan of thick and chewy pan pizza! Thanks for sharing your dough recipe.

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  13. Thin crust NYC pizza is great, but I do love a good thick crusty pizza every once in a while. YUM.

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  14. I have wanted to make a breakfast pan pizza so this is great inspiration for me to get it made :)

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  15. Pan pizza!!! Brilliant, it almost looks like a pie. Wanna throw one over to me?

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  16. Oh yum! Pizza! It looks delicious! And I prefer a pan pizza over the thin crispy ones!

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  17. I'm not a big fan of pizza, I must say, but I absolutely love your recipe and how yummy it looks!!

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