VERY gently adapted from and with great thanks to Kenji of Serious Eats. Oil soaked, crispy bottomed, chewy, fried-crust pizza perfection.
For the dough:
14ouncesbread flour3 cups by volume
2teaspoonskosher salt3/8 of an ounce or .35 ounces
1/2teaspooninstant yeast3/16 of an ounce or .15 ounces
For the Pizzas:
4tablespoonsolive oil or neutral oil with a low smoke point like grapeseedsuch as peanut, or canola, divided (no extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2cupsthick pizza saucehomemade or purchased
2cupsshredded mozzarella cheese
12-16piecesof pepperoni per pizza
Optional but tasty:
fresh basil leaves for adding before and after baking
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.
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 1/4 turn and repeating the tug and tug, rotating another 1/4 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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Amount Per Serving
Calories 348Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Vitamin A 390IU8%
Vitamin C 3.2mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.