The Best Pan Pizza: How, Why, and What to Put on it

There’s no getting around it. Sometimes you have to plan ahead in the kitchen. If you want to make the very best pizza you’ve ever had, you’re going to need to start the process at least 10 hours but up to a day ahead of when you’d like to eat it. It doesn’t really require any skill-set beyond patience and the ability to follow four simple sets of directions. (And if you want the ultimate, ULTIMATE pizza, I have the final giveaway of my 40th birthday week at the end of the post to help you!)

The Best Pan Pizza {super easy!} from foodiewithfamily.com

 The only directions you need to make The Best Pan Pizza

  • 1. Measure, mix, and wait.
  • 2. Divide, oil, and wait.
  • 3. Top, bake, and wait.
  • 4. Remove, slice, and wait.

Are you catching the theme? There’s a lot of waiting. There’s NOTHING complicated but patience is non-negotiable. If you have a kitchen scale, this is the moment to break it out. Measuring your flour, water, oil, salt, and yeast by weight insures that the only variables are ones outside of your control: humidity and heat.  You can compensate for humidity and heat, but you can’t compensate for four ounces too many of flour because you didn’t measure correctly.

That’s right, I said it. Measuring precisely here is actually of paramount importance. This is not a case where you grab that teacup your mom or grandma always kept in the flour bin, plunge it into the flour, and squish it up against the edge to pack it level. This is a job for a scale that weighs in ounces, or -in a pinch- an occasion when you use a spoon to dip into the flour, shake it gently over the cup that you’re not shimmying in any way, and repeat until the cup is a little over full, then you use a flat edge of a butterknife or a spoon handle to level it off. I’m not kidding you. You do not want a ‘workable’ dough that you knead. You’re going to stir it all together with a spoon, cover it, and let it go overnight.

Preparing dough for The Best Pan Pizza {super easy!} from foodiewithfamily.com

You’re seeking a slack dough. In fact, you’re looking for the kind of dough that will spread itself out in a well-oiled cast-iron skillet because that is exactly what you’re going to let it do.

Yes. No-knead dough that spreads itself in the pan. Do I have you now? Once you get to that point, the toughest part is over with, unless you include the inner battle to avoid biting down on molten hot pizza that will remove the first layer or two of skin from your mouth.

Preparing dough for The Best Pan Pizza {super easy!} from foodiewithfamily.com The Best Pan Pizza {super easy!} from foodiewithfamily.com

All that remains is to poke any extra large air bubbles with the back of a knuckle, lift the dough around the edges to eliminate any trapped air bubbles, and top it. Aside from the fact that the dough is DEAD easy as long as you know how to properly measure, there’s more to recommend this method. EVERYTHING is assembled in ONE PAN. The dough spreads in one pan, is topped in the same pan, then cooked in that same pan. You don’t have to muck up and dirty all kinds of dishes, remember to preheat a pizza stone, or fiddle around with a pizza peel to make this one pizza to rule them all. All you need is a solid, cast-iron pan or two and a dose of “I’ll wait for what’s great.”

If I had to compare this pizza to one that’s commercially available, I would first say, “Pffft. This is better than any commercial pizza.” then I would grudgingly admit it’s rather like the Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas of my youth.

The crust on Preparing dough for The Best Pan Pizza {super easy!} from foodiewithfamily.com

I loved those oil soaked, crispy bottomed, chewy little pieces of pizza heaven. It’s thicker than a thin-crust, but nowhere near the whole gloppy Deep-Dish pies of Chicago. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but they’re just not what we’re looking for in your every-weeknight-pizza.) They are -in short- chewy, fried-crust, pizza perfection.

Cook’s Notes

  • The recipe specifies high-gluten (or bread) flour. This is not the same thing as all-purpose flour. It has a higher protein (read: gluten) percentage which yields a chewier/holier dough. You will not get the same results from all-purpose flour, so it is best to seek out the high-gluten flour if it is available to you. (King Arthur Bread Flour has an excellent protein percentage for this pizza dough.)
  • The dough should come together easily even if it looks shaggy. A dough whisk is your best bet for mixing thoroughly. Believe me, you not only don’t have to knead this dough, but you SHOULDN’T knead it. The long, slow rise with a small amount of yeast allows the dough to fully develop the gluten that provides that lovely, holey structure.
  • Don’t make a mistake and choose too small of a bowl to mix/rise the dough in. This is going to expand to about eight times its original size, so use a very large mixing bowl, dough rising bucket, or a big old, non-reactive (stainless steel for example) pasta pot.
  • Pan choices count here. IDEALLY you will choose two very heavy cast-iron, 10-inch skillets. If you don’t have two of those, you can use a 12-inch and an 8-inch or a 10-inch skillet and an 8 or 9-inch cake pan. I used  12-inch and a 10-inch enameled cast-iron Le Creuset skillets for both of my pizzas (and a bonnie wee 5-inch cast-iron skillet for another batch) and they were PERFECTION. I used a cake pan for the second batch and while it did an admirable job, it didn’t get the crusty-bits I love so dearly up the side the way the Le Creuset skillets did.
  • Let’s talk oils. You want to choose one with a low-smoke point because of the high-temperature of the oven. While extra virgin olive oil sounds like it would go with pizza, it’s a poor choice here because of its distressing tendency to billow smoke at any temperature above 375°F. A better choice is regular old pure olive oil, but an even better choice is grapeseed or peanut oil. Canola oil or vegetable oil will do well if that’s all you have handy!
  • Speaking of oil, don’t skimp on the oil in the pan! It does triple duty here. First, it allows the dough to spread itself easily, reducing or eliminating the friction it would experience against the pan. Second, it adds another layer of cooking to the exterior of the crust, essentially frying it as it cooks.
  • When selecting which cheese to use, keep in mind that this is not a good candidate for fresh mozzarella. The delicate texture and flavour would be lost in the blast-furnace that your oven is going to become. You’re far better off buying a block of whole or part-skim mozzarella and shredding it yourself. Less great than block cheese grated yourself, but still better for these pizzas than fresh mozzie, is pre-grated mozzarella cheese.
  • Fire that oven up and don’t wimp out! Get your oven as hot as it can go for the cooking process. That BURST of heat develops a bajillion little bubbles in the dough that helps lend to the chewy, hole-ridden texture so desired in a pan pizza. If you can get your oven up to 550°F (which is as high as my oven goes) DO IT. If you can’t, just get it as hot as you possibly can shy of setting it on fire. Trust me.
  • Your oven goes no higher than 450°F you say? I’m sorry, that stinks. HOWEVER, we can work around it. This is where the ideal pan comes into play. In this case, you take the pizza fresh from the oven when your toppings look just right, and set it directly on a hot burner to help crisp up the underside of the crust, lifting the edge carefully with a spatula or tongs from time to time to peek at the underbelly. When it looks deep brown and crisp, slide that pizza right onto a cutting board.
  • Let the pizza rest a bit before you cut it, if you value your skin. These things are HOT HOT HOT when they come out of the oven. Let it rest at least 5 minutes, then slice it, then let it rest another 3 minutes before picking up your pizza to nosh on it. This will keep your precious mouth skin where it belongs: attached to you.

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Pan Pizza
Author: 
 
VERY gently adapted from and with great thanks to Kenji of Serious Eats
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 14 ounces high-gluten flour (bread flour), about 2½ cups
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (3/8 of an ounce or .35 ounces)
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast (3/16 or an ounce or .15 ounces)
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water (9.5 ounces by weight)
For the Pizzas:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin) or neutral oil with a low smoke point like grapeseed, peanut, or canola, divided
  • 1½ cups thick pizza sauce (homemade or purchased)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12-16 pieces of pepperoni per pizza
Optional but tasty:
  • fresh basil leaves for adding before and after baking
Instructions
  1. Mix together all of the dough ingredients until it is evenly moist and there are no more pockets of dry ingredients. Cover the bowl or dough bucket tightly and let it rise for at least 8 but up to 24 hours.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons of neutral oil into a 10 to 12 inch cast-iron skillet. Repeat with a second skillet. Swirl to coat the bottoms of the pans. Divide the risen dough into two pieces. Gently form into a ball by pulling the side of the dough and tucking it under, rotating ¼ turn and repeating the tug and tug, rotating another ¼ turn and repeating the tug and tuck, then finally doing it once more to form a loose ball. Lay it smooth side down in the oil, then flip so the whole thing is coated in oil. Use the palm of your hand to gently flatten the dough. It will not spread to the edges yet, but that is okay. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and set out at room temperature -undisturbed- for 2 hours.
To Prepare the Pizzas:
  1. Preheat oven as high as it will go, preferably to 550°F. Remove plastic wrap from the pans with the pizza dough in them. The dough should now have spread itself (or nearly spread itself) to the edges of the pan. Simply lift the edges of dough to pull toward the sides of the pan if necessary. This will help loosen any trapped air under the dough as well. If there are any large air bubbles, nudge them down with the back of a knuckle.
  2. Spread half of the sauce on each pizza right to the edges of the dough. Divide the cheese and top each pizza evenly to the edge, then distribute the pepperoni over the pizzas. If using it, tear half of your basil leaves and toss over the tops of the pizzas. Reserve half of the basil to add to the pizzas when they're removed from the oven.
  3. Put into the hot oven and bake for 12-20 minutes (depending on how well done you want your pizzas.) You can check the underside of the pizza crust for doneness by lifting the edge gently with a flexible spatula (like a fish turner). A finished pizza will have a crisp, deep-brown bottom and a bubbly, golden- to deep-golden brown top. I pull my pizzas when the edges have some deeply caramelized (read: lightly charred) edges and some dark brown bubbles on top.
  4. Use your flexible spatula to slide under the pizza and edge it out onto a cutting board, tear the remaining basil and scatter over the pizzas. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges, then let it rest without moving it for another 3 minutes before serving.

The Best Pan Pizza {super easy!} from foodiewithfamily.com

 

Comments

  1. Cathy says

    First – Happy Birthday! I would try out this pan pizza – I can measure and have patience so it’s worth a try.

  2. says

    Happy birthday! I would probably make some bacon to help season that baby (and so that I then have bacon).

    PS – If I win, and I rarely win anything, I’m going to be in the mountains of Colorado with sporadic internet next week but I will do my very best to reply within 48 hours!

  3. Jennifer says

    Happy Birthday! The first thing cooked would be some roasted corn for salsa. The very next thing would be this pizza. Yum!

  4. Barb T says

    Well I’m sure most anything would cook great in this pan but this pizza looks like a mighty fine place to start! That is a stunning crust.

    Happy Birthday wishes to you!

  5. casey says

    Ooh, iwould make this pizza recipe! But I would top it with artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers! Yum!

  6. Susie says

    in this beautiful blue skillet I would DEFINITELY try this pizza dough topped with some pesto, mozz, and tomatoes. or maybe I should just whip up my favorite – just a little cheese and lots of pineapple. :)

  7. Rene says

    This pizza–you got me with the Pizza Hut crust. A guilty pleasure that I have sorely missed all these many years. Happy birthday!

  8. Yvette N. says

    If I won this beauty of a pan, I would certainly try your pizza recipe first off. My oven will go to 500 degrees. I know this because we bake our Washington razor clams at 500 degrees for 5 minutes! (The Pacific Northwest at its best:)

  9. LeslieBee says

    There is no way I could resist making this pizza if I had this pan.! thing about trying to scale down for my exisisting, one and only, tiny cast iron skillet. Looks great and easy!

  10. Jennifer says

    I tried making a buiscut crust pizza for dinner the other night in a pie plate but it just didn’t transfer the heat well enough and the bottom was all soggy. I would love to try again in this skillet! And it would match my favorite le Cruset Dutch over I blue too!

  11. Daina says

    Well duh – the first thing I would cook in it is this pizza! Though it would not be the first time I made the pizza because I’m going to have to try this recipe ASAP!

    p.s. – blue is my very favorite color!

  12. Peggy says

    Happy Birthday!!!
    I would make a pineapple upside-down cake, with a cornbread-y type of cake layer. I have been trying to make this for months. THEN I would make your pizza, which looks unbelievable.

  13. Clare says

    Wow, the pizza looks great! But I have been dying for sausage mushroom gravy and biscuits. Happy Birthday too! The 40s are great.

  14. Jessica DeMay says

    I definitely will try this pizza! It looks amazing!! The first thing I make may be eggs though. I make them at least once a day and this pan looks perfect for it :)

  15. Susan says

    I saw Thomas Keller roast a chicken in a skillet on T.V.–I would like to try that with some new potatoes added. That pizza would be on my list too!

  16. says

    The first thing I will probably make is a pasta dish, because why stray away too far from your pizza recipe, then of course I would make a pizza, because although I am not a big fan of deep dish pizza (I know please don’t hate me) – My husband LOVES it, and what’s the way to a man’s heart? His stomach of course :)

  17. Jill says

    I would definitely make that pizza first; it sounds amazing. And about the pizza – question about the bread flour. Can you substitute all-purpose flour with gluten added?

  18. Staci Martinez says

    Happy Happy Birthday! The first thing I would
    make in this beautiful skillet is most likely this
    gorgeous pan pizza!

  19. Danesa says

    I am going to make this amazing recipe. I have lots of patience and a kitchen scale that is just waiting to be used. This looks totally scrumptious!! Thank you for a chance to win this skillet. I am keeping my little fingers crossed that this will arrive on my doorstep! :). Happy 40th birthday!

  20. Bryn says

    OH my, it’s so beautiful. If I ever have a pan like that, dare I say that I would fry okra in it first? I believe that is exactly what I would do. 😀

    I think I’ll make this pizza in the old, not very pretty, definitely not “Marseille”-colored skillet I have in the meantime!

  21. Bobbi Jo says

    I would make a wonderful pan of cornbread! Your pizza looks super yummy though!! I will have to try that out as well!

  22. kelly says

    this pizza of course:) I have a regular cast iron pan that i’ll try this in this weekend, though, looks amazing!

  23. Heather S. says

    Happy Birthday!! That pizza looks amazing and I would love to try cooking pizza in a skillet! Why haven’t I thought of that?! I’d also love to fry up some chicken!

  24. says

    If I had this skillet I’m making this pizza, immediately followed by a slightly underdone skillet cookie. And then eating both with no shame. LOVE this.

  25. Tara Conlin says

    I have never tried to make pizza in a pan like this as I have never had a pan like this and sure my family would LOVE to try it so I would make your pizza for sure!

  26. Janel says

    Ah would love to try out this recipe and start from there! I can pick this up when I am in NY in a few weeks… 😉 no need to mail.

  27. Stacy says

    My tastebuds are celebrating over this recipe! You can bet all your kitchen gadgets that the first thing I would make is that pizza in that pan! And….Happy Birthday! Enjoy your new year! Eat. Drink. & Be Happy!

  28. Sami says

    Happy B’day!
    I would like to say I would do the pizza but the dough needs a day and I am sure I simply could not wait a day to try this lovely pan. Maybe some nice potato pancakes? Wouldn’t that make perfect pancakes???

  29. Patti says

    Happy Birthday Rebecca! I don’t think I would have guessed your age if you hadn’t said anything. I really love all the great recipes you put out there, one of my favorites of yours is that Roasted Garlic Feta spread! I put it on everything haha but wouldn’t of thought of it if you hadn’t posted it so thanks!

    I’ve always wanted a cast iron skillet to make some nicely seared filet mignon you know, start it on the stove and finish it in the oven. Le Creuset is the best quality you can get, so my humble kitchen would be honored to have one! My dad used to make us pan pizzas in an iron skillet like this and they were just so tasty, so I’d love to make this recipe too and try to relive a little of my childhood.

  30. Pam says

    I’m thinking a giant frittata. We have them often for breakfast (and dinner, when mama can’t handle real cooking).

  31. Raquel says

    This pizza!!! Or maybe Hubby’s favorite, chicken fried steak. Or maybe fried chicken. Or maybe a nice fresh peach cobbler. Ok, now I am hungry!!

  32. Sara K says

    Hmm…probably some kind of dessert baked in a skillet. I’ve never had a cast iron skillet and this one is so pretty! Happy birthday!

  33. Stephanie Turner says

    Happy birthday! I have never owned a cast iron skillet, but I’ve always wanted to make cornbread in one!

  34. David Ehlers says

    First I would make my no salt added sausage to use on the next recipe I would try. The next recipe being pizza. However I would attempt the dough recipe omitting the salt. I’m on a sodium restriction for health issues, but I love pizza.

  35. Hanna says

    What wouldn’t I cook?
    I would have to start with this fantastic pan pizza recipe.
    I’d follow it up with a creamy savory risotto.

  36. Jen says

    That’s such a lovely pan and I dont have any cast iron cookware yet. Hope to win! I’d love to try out this pizza or something with a hunk of meat that goes from the stove and finishes in the oven. That would be awesome!

  37. ktr says

    I’d love to imagine the first thing I would cook in this skillet would be the pizza pictured above but in reality it would probably by either eggs or pancakes because we have both so frequently.

  38. Jane says

    German Pancakes! And I’d love to try today’s pizza recipe, and about 456,543,345,986 other things, the possibilities are endless.

    Happy Birthday the forty’s have treated me well, hope it’s the same for you!

  39. Lisa says

    My first thought is truly this pizza!!! I love cast iron and think myself very silly for getting rid of my well seasoned pans 25 years ago before I knew any better! Kicking myself ever since! Next? Swedish pancakes! Oh, no maybe ….. well there will be no lack of use! Thanks for the recipe! Will definitely try this and love the trick of using the burner afterward if you need to toast the bottom more. Love your site, I check it multiple times a week to make sure I haven’t missed anything!

  40. says

    I wanted to lick the screen, then I realized that would be weird….really weird. But, that’s how good this pizza looks! I am also in LOVE with this pan! It’s a small dream of mine to own anything Le Creuset and besides making this pizza I see a romantic tuna steak dinner in our future :)

  41. says

    Your pizza, of course!!!

    I am always bugging my husband that we should make pizzas ourselves more. Maybe your recipe will help him see my side. :)

  42. Anne Weber-Falk says

    Gosh, this pizza looks like a good first. I would like to do this right now. Thank you very much.

  43. AmandaH says

    Normally I would have said fried potatoes right off but I think I want to try that pizza you just posted. It looks amazing! And if I buy chain pizza Pizza Hut is my favorite. I am sure this one tops theirs by a mile.

  44. Rie says

    I’d make this pizza……Love it. Can’t wait to make. Happy Birthday Rebecca. I have a BIG one next month too!

  45. KB says

    The decision is killing me. This glorious pizza, my first Dutch pancake, or a skillet cookie. I think it depends on if my sweet or savory tooth is singing when I get my hands on it!

  46. Christine says

    My apologies, please disregard my previous entry. I live in Canada and originally did not notice the remark stating the contest is open only to US residents.

    Christine

  47. Daina says

    Ok, so I made this pizza today. Actually, I’m still making it because it’s still in the oven, but I have to say absolutely make the homemade pizza sauce! (Left a comment on that recipe as well). Holy moly it’s out of this world!! I couldn’t figure out why my pizzas were always so-so: it’s the sauce!! Thank you Rebecca for the link or otherwise I might not have ever found it. Now it’s bookmarked and printed off for my recipe drawer. 😀 It’s good enough just to rip off a hunk of crusty bread and dip it in and devour!

  48. TiffH says

    Possibly this pizza! Yummy!! But probably sausage gravy for biscuits, because we’re from the south and that’s the almost daily request for breakfast!

  49. Jennifer says

    If I won this skillet the first thing I would make is a Dutch Bunny. We seriously cannot get enough of those kitchen miracles in our house!

  50. sharon says

    I love the idea of cooking it in a skillet like this …and what a skillet!! Beautiful! I would have to make this pizza right away with fresh basil from my garden and lots of spicy italian sausage.

  51. LINDA QUIGLEY says

    I think to celebrate winning a wonderful pan. The first thing i would make is my country fried steak. And then go crazy with lots of recipes including the pan pizza. That looks so good.

  52. Jessica says

    I will be making that pizza! Maybe even a breakfast version so my teenage boys will say I am the best mom EVER!

  53. Marilou Lacy says

    I would love to make THE ultimate pizza but first I would have to fry a chicken just like my Granny did after marinating in buttermik and using lard as my fat. Wow visions of yesteryear!!!!!!!!

  54. Emie says

    Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas were my favorite growing up! The first thing I made in that beautiful pan would totally be that Pizza! It looks amazing!!!

  55. CindyB says

    Cornbread! Preheat the pan with a coat of oil in it then pour the batter in and hear it sizzle. Yum! That pan is a beauty.

  56. Katy S. says

    This would be my dessert cast iron pan and would definitely make a giant chocolate chip skillet cookie in it :)

  57. says

    I cook nearly everything in my two cast iron skillets. I would love to win a La Crueset. The first thing I would likely make is frittata — a weekend breakfast staple.

  58. Karen D. says

    Oh, a pan like that makes me want to spend the day in the kitchen – chocolate chip pan cookies would be divine in this!

  59. says

    My grandmother’s cornbread. The secret is to heat the skillet with a Tablespoon of oil hot enough to make water dance…then pour in the batter and bake. It makes the most scrumptious crunchy bottom. This would be the perfect skillet.

  60. CarrollWC says

    bacon and scramble eggs – and then the pan pizza.
    And, I do want to wish you a Happy Birthday – hope it’s been a fun week!

  61. Elizabeth T says

    After your Ultimate Best Pan Pizza, I’d use that beautiful pan to fix some herbed cornbread biscuits.

  62. says

    I would make a fantastic clafoutis (custardy pancake) with honey and fresh local peaches and plums! And have that for dessert after the pizza…

  63. Joan Thompson says

    First…Non-nitrate bacon…for that perfect preseasoning!! Second, a crustless quiche for breakfast, a gooy grilled cheese for lunch and them your lucious sounding pan pizza with kale salad for dinner!!

  64. says

    Hard to argue with that delicious-looking pizza, but I would probably have to roast a chicken in that beauty if I won it. I just love whole roasted chicken!

  65. Deitan says

    Oooo, that pizza looks fabulous! I’m not a big crust eater but that crispy, just-greasy enough, chewy looking crust promises perfection! I’m sure the overwhelming vote in my house would be this pizza, but I’d love to pan sear some steaks in that beautiful, indispensible piece of cookware :0)

  66. Mary Ellwood says

    Just reading all the comments has given me a gigantically wonderful list of ideas! I’ve never used a cast iron skillet, but have been collecting ideas; it’s time for me to take the plunge and get a high quality pan!

  67. Nancy Shreve says

    A whole chicken roasted in the oven or on the grill would be my choice for the first item. There are so many that come in as a close second, but the pizza is for sure at the top of that list.

    Love your column. When I start thinking I haven’t heard anything from you in a while, you pop up with a new and creative recipe.

  68. Susan says

    As much as I would love this pizza, today I have my first batch of salt potatoes waiting to be turned in to your home fries. Since I don’t have it, I’m hoping the potatoes are on my plate in several hours. I don’t have a an iron skillet of any kind. Finger crossed!

  69. says

    I think the first thing I would try would be your pan pizza recipe. I have two cast iron skillets which are family heirlooms but neither are 11- 12 in. diameter and neither have sloping sides which would greatly help with the sliding out of the finished pizza. I would love to have a Le Creuset pan of any kind so here’s hoping for a new toy for my kitchen! Thanks for the yummy recipe. I’ll still try it but I bet it won’t be as good as yours!!

  70. Lisa says

    I made this last night and it was by far the best pizza I’ve attempted in my 8 years of intensive attempts! I’ve achieved some winners! I made this a Hawaiian with pineapple and Canadian bacon. If you want a nice crispy, chewy, tender crust? This is your *soooo* easy answer! I did speed along the rising in the pan because of circumstances and even then it was incredible! I’m literally calculating when I can squeeze pizza into the weekly menu again and all the variations I could try with it! Try this!! Soooo easy and sooo very good. And thank you to the birthday girl who provided this. May your day be joyful and fun filled.

  71. rachael lee says

    If I had this pan the first thing I would probably make would be crispy skinned, oven roasted chicken thighs.

  72. Betsy says

    I have been wanting to make a skillet cookie ever since I saw it in Pinterest! I only have one piece of LeCreuset but I love it even more than I thought it would!

  73. Carmen C. says

    Like so many others this pizza sounds irresistible and must be the first thing to make in this beautiful skillet.

  74. says

    I would make everything in it! It would be my new go to skillet. My own cast iron skillet is hard to lift because there’s no extra handle. Oh, I need that extra handle….

  75. jaye says

    Hmmm… maybe what wouldn’t I use it for would be an easier question. Probably depends what time of day it arrives!

    If it comes before dinner then… good Lord… I’m afraid I would have to make Al Forno’s Penne with Tomatoes, Cream and 5 Cheeses. If you haven’t tried it you may want to throw the kids in the car and drive to Providence, RI immediately to have the chefs there prepare it for you. Or, of course, you could download the recipe. In either case, it is heavenly, a curl-your-toes-with-delight indulgence.

  76. Terri G says

    I would make my Dad’s hashbrowns- finely diced potatoes, onion, and carrot with a bit of sage sausage and rosemary. We used to have a Le Creuset skillet when I was a kid but it got lost somewhere in a move- it would be great to have one again to cook all of my Dad’s recipes in!

  77. says

    CREPES!
    I had the pleasure of using a Le Creuset set while I was cooking in Hawaii and I loved it to the moon. And never came back!
    So many recipes would happen here:)

  78. christine says

    Ooh, the first thing would be your delicious pan pizza recipe – then, I have many more recipes …..
    Thanks for the chance!

  79. Uvon says

    I have an old family recipe for spoon bread. I’ve made it in my aluminum skillet, but I always felt a little like I was somehow dishonoring my ancestors (We’re Southern. Tradition is important). I have a smaller 8″ iron skillet, but it’s just not large enough for the spoon bread.

  80. says

    Pineapple upside down cake. Found a new recipe with a little cornmeal in the cake, dying to try it as soon as weather cools down in Phoenix!

  81. Kim Porter says

    Happy 40th! I want to say I’d make this pizza first, but I really want to try making a smash burger at home! Guess I’ll have to make both!

  82. Carolyn K says

    Most likely fried corn or sautéed zucchini ! Lots of garden veggies this time of year :). Btw happy birthday !!!

  83. Debbie G. says

    Decisions, decisions…my first thought would be my one-pan chicken & sausage dish. Yum with a capital “Y”.

  84. Sharon says

    First let me say, that pizza looks amazing! Since I’ve never done a pan pizza, not sure I would attempt that as my first recipe in that skillet. I don’t have good luck with making dough. I would try a crispy fish with a butter sauce.

  85. Pamela R. says

    I would love to make this pizza. I think I would make a cheese for my boys and a carmelized onion, pancetta, gruyere with tarragon for me and my husband.

  86. Amy S. says

    Oh my goodness that pizza looks amazing. I want to make it for dinner tonight! It would definitely be the first thing I try. Happy birthday to you! :)

  87. Jacky says

    That pizza looks absolutely wonderful and we love to make homemade pizza so that would have to be the very first thing I would make in this pan……..
    Have a Great Birthday week and thank you for all the wonderful recipes !!! You inspire me to cook more !!!

  88. says

    while it’s sooo tempting to say this pizza would be the first thing to hit the LeCreuset skillet, my heart tells me to make my mom’s cornbread instead…and that’s exactly what I’d do!

  89. Phoebe says

    Umm, hello beautiful… that pan is gorgeous! After reading this post, surely pan pizza would be the first thing to make. My man loves it, and for some reason it’s never occurred to me to make it at home.

  90. Kelly Payton says

    I would need to make up my own high protein gluten free flour mix. Do you have a recipe on hand. Your pizza looks divine! I really need a new pan. Thanks for a awesome contest.

  91. Sharon says

    I would love to try the pizza in the pan, but I’m not good with dough. Always gives me a hard time :) What I would try is pan seared fish, with some type of garlic/butter sauce.

    Enjoy your birthday

  92. Lora H says

    If I won this beautiful Le Creuset skillet I would make fried chicken or skillet cornbread – then of course the best pan pizza!

  93. Barbi says

    That pizza looks soooo good. I will, of course, make this recipe in my new gorgeous blue Le Creuset skillet. But, I may try this pizza in my trusty cast iron skillet first. :)

  94. Carrie says

    Anything LeCreuset makes me fall in love and then drool a little so maybe it is a good thing that it is beyond my budget or else I’d never leave the house. I would take some squash & tomatoes from the garden, give them great purpose with lots of cheese & sausage or bacon (or both) and make a Sunday morning frittata that would make you feel the need to pull the curtains closed. Oh yes, indeed.

  95. Anne says

    I’ve been wanting a skillet (well, THIS skillet, to be honest) that can go from stovetop to oven. If I were to be your lucky winner, the first thing I’d make in this gorgeous pan is a classic tarte tatin, starting by sauteeing the apples on the stovetop then finishing the dish in the oven. Perfect!

  96. Ed says

    I would hope to bake this pizza but most likely the first thing would be a breakfast frittata or omelet. I LOVE breakfast and this pan would make a beautiful presentation and it matches my color scheme!

  97. Jessica Littreal says

    I would totally pan roast some bone-in, skin-on chicken breast with rosemary, lemon and butter, yummmmmmm

  98. Jenny says

    That crust is making me drool! Beautiful! If I won that pan I would fry some chicken for my favorite chicken parmesean recipe immediately. And of course I’d try this recipe too. We love our homemade pizzas! Favorite combo of the moment is pesto, artichoke hearts, carmelized onions, roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella. Mmm, drooling again.

  99. Gisela says

    I could just imagine the aroma from the Socca that I’d make in my Le Creuset Skillet. Just as savory as those sold on the street corners in France. Also known as Farinata in Italy, Socca is a chick pea flour crepe made with only 4 ingredients (chick pea flour, water, salt, olive oil). Simple, healthy, delicious…

  100. Stephanie says

    OH! I have Kenji’s Pizza Pan dough in my freezer! Thank you for the tips!! We weren’t “blown-away” with my first attempt, but I think I know NOW what I did wrong. (Also, surprise to me, my cast iron skillet does not heat uniformly, so that doesn’t help!)

  101. James miller says

    I would make my families favorite dessert of caramelized rolled oats, fried in a skillet, then topped with fresh berries and fresh vanilla whipped cream. After that I would make the pizza, then maybe an omlet.

  102. Janet Sodano says

    Without a doubt…would LOVE to make this pizza using this amazing pan! Then, hmmm, cornbread, Dutch baby,…endless possibilities.

  103. Maxine R. says

    I’m going to make that pizza. I’ve never attempted homemade pizza before but your recipe looks easy enough for a rookie like me. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  104. says

    I LOVE THIS POST! And I hope I’m not being too forward, but I think I love you. I love your pizza making tips. Every single one of them! Patience when making pizza is key. High gluten flour, double key! My oven goes up to 550, so there is no problem there! A broccoli pesto pizza is calling my name! Just as soon as I re-season my cast iron skillet! Or win this one!

  105. Karen Stefonek says

    I’m all about one pot, or pan, in this case, recipes. I have my great-grandmother’s cast iron pan. It needs a friend!

  106. Charlotte says

    I purchased our first 4-H lamb at the county fair last week and can’t wait to try out new lamb recipes. The first thing I’d use that cast iron skillet for? Lamb chops :)

  107. Christi Pike says

    I will definitely make this pizza! Pan pizza is my ultimate favorite and I didn’t have a good recipe.

  108. pam kraut says

    Oooh that pizza looks fantastic. But it’s not the first thing I’d make. First up would be bacon, because: bacon. And don’t you have to season a cast iron skillet first? But after a few rounds of bacon would be lots of this pizza.

  109. Pippa Ryan says

    This recipe inspires me to make pan pizza in this gorgeous pan. I’d skip the pepperoni and add red and yellow peppers and onions, maybe some black olives instead.
    Happy Birthday!

  110. poohbah says

    I’d make my “leftovers” frittata, i.e., open the refrigerator, get the eggs, gather the leftovers (cut and dice as necessary), slice some potatoes. put some oil in this wonderful pan, cook the potatoes until almost done, pop in the collage of leftovers, cook briefly, stir in eggs, cook until done! This is a “whenever” dish — whenever you want it!

  111. Rachael S says

    Probably bacon followed by the tastiest, crispiest, potatoes and peppers. Top with an egg and voila, the perfect breakfast.

  112. emily W. says

    First thing? Maybe this amazing looking pizza. Maybe some cinnamon rolls, or buttermilk biscuits, or a whole chicken, or some country ribs. I really can’t decide.

  113. Robyn Bee says

    I believe the first thing I’d make would be your pan pizza, since I presently have only one cast iron skillet!

  114. Theresa M. says

    Chicken fried steak is a favorite of ours, made in cast iron skillet. I have one pan, but a second would allow me to cook up our dinner faster! Happy birthday week!

  115. Jo Baldwin says

    A beautiful kitchen tool! I dream of yummy paper-thin French sour cream pancakes, flavorful German potato pancakes, oh yes…that deepdish pizza looks so tasty. Thanks for a fun week of giveaways…happy birthday!

  116. Sheila says

    Pizza….Pizza…Pizza. I add a little Italian seasoning to the dry ingredients before making the dough. We like the subtle ‘kick.’ I’ve got the dough (covered) rising right now in the oven. Ready for breakfast in the morning. Yes, I said breakfast. :)

  117. TONYK says

    I HAVE MADE THIS PIZZA AND MY FAMILY AGREES — IT IS THE BEST WE HAVE EVER HAD — HOMADE OR AT A PIZZA PARLOR — I HAVE ONE QUESTION POSED BY A FRIEND TO WHOM I GAVE THE RECIPE AND LOVED IT — COULD I FREEZE A READY TO BAKE PIZZA AND COOK IT LATER — OR JUSR FREEZE THE DOUGH, THAW IT AND MAKE THE PIZZA — SEVERAL QUESTIONS — THANKS FOR YOUR HELP —

    TONYK

  118. TONYK says

    ONE MORE COMMENT — I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU GOT THIS RECIPE BUT IT IS THE BEST, THANKS FOR SHARING — KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK — I BAKE MAINLY SOURDOUGH BREAD BUT I LIKE TO BRANCH OUT OCCASIONALLY WHE I SEE SOMETHING THAT LOOKS THIS GOOD —

    TONYK

  119. cathy borah says

    Definitely would make this pizza recipe altering the topping to ground beef, mushrooms, black olives. Then I would use that beautiful skillet to make my husband the best T-Bone steak dinner. PLEASE PICK ME!!!

  120. warm-pizza-mouth says

    Would a BBQ work well for this? I have a nice gas BBQ which I can crank up to around 800 degrees, and it is more than large enough to fit a cast iron skillet on it.

    Is there such a thing as ‘too hot’? Would the outside burn and the middle still be raw?

    • says

      I think the gas grill would work beautifully, but my instinct says there may be such a thing as too hot. I think 800 would deliver exactly the problem you described. Of course, I haven’t tried it personally… it’s just my theory. I’d love to know if you do try it at that temp!

      • warm-pizza-mouth says

        OK, I finally got around to making this last weekend on the BBQ grill.

        It works, but you have to watch the pizza very carefully! I let it go a minute or two too long allowing the top to cook, and wound up nearly burning the bottom. I had the grill set at medium. Next time I will turn it down even further.

        Other than that, it was great! It was still great pizza even if it was a bit more “well done” than I usually like!

  121. says

    I’ve made this recipe several times since you posted it and I honestly believe it is the best pizza recipe I’ve ever tried. Thank you for posting it! 😀

  122. Dee Hendricks says

    I just made this. It is definitely the BEST home made pizza I have ever made! I did cheat a little, but it’s still delicious: I had a thawed loaf of freezer bread so I used half of it for this dough – it worked out fine. The only problem I had was getting it out of the skillet to cut it. Fortunately I had a cookie sheet ready to slide it onto, so when part of it turned over, it was easy to correct!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Kristi- I would suggest you use the dough as listed in the recipe for a couple of reasons. First, I tested it this way and can vouch for the results. Second, I don’t know what kind of formula the store dough available to you uses, so I dont know whether it would behave similarly to my dough recipe.

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