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
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