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Pan Pizza

This Pan Pizza is the easiest, most delicious pizza I have ever made! No mixer. No kneading. The crust is thick yet light and crispy. Take a break from takeout and make this pizza. You’ll be glad you did!

I LOVE pizza! I would probably eat it every day if my hips and thighs would let me. I love it fresh out of the oven. I love it cold for breakfast. I love thin crust, thick crust, stuffed crust, round, Sicilian, red, white, you name it. Even bad pizza is good pizza.

You with me on this?

I’ve been making pizza at home for a long time and have had some really good results, but this Pan Pizza is the hands-down, absolute best pizza that has ever come out of my oven!

I stumbled across the recipe one day while I was watching Jenny Can Cook on YouTube. I tried it, and it’s been my go-to pizza recipe ever since!

There is just one tiny little catch, though. You can’t make this pizza tonight. You have to plan a day ahead for this pizza. 

Why? Because you mix the dough the day/night before and let it sit for 18 hours before you put it in the pan. Then you let it sit for another two hours before you top it and bake it.

You will dream about your pizza overnight. You will think about it all day. You will be rewarded for your patience!

And talk about easy! Making the dough literally takes about two minutes. No kidding. You quickly stir the ingredients together, and that’s it. You don’t lug out the mixer. You don’t knead the dough. Stir it, cover it, and then just let it sit. Woo-hoo!

sliced pan pizza on a wooden cutting board with a red napkin and a white plate in the background

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE PAN PIZZA:

  • Bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • Yeast (active dry or instant)
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings (your choice!)

I have used both bread flour and all-purpose flour to make this Pan Pizza, and both gave me great results. Same with the yeast. No major differences noted.

You don’t want to use extra virgin olive oil because you need an oil with a high smoke point due to the high cooking temperature. Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point, meaning it will likely start to smoke at 500° (not a good flavor for your pizza). Regular or light olive oil will be fine, though.

You could also use peanut oil, vegetable oil, or any neutral-flavored oil that has a higher smoke point.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED:

  • 10-inch or 12-inch cast iron pan

I’ve used both sizes and get the same result with either. The recipe stays the same no matter which one you use. In fact, I usually double the recipe and make two pizzas at the same time. I have a 10-inch and a 12-inch skillet, and they both are done at the same time.

Oh, and you could totally halve the recipe and use a smaller cast iron skillet, like a 6½-inch or 8-inch, for a more personal-sized pizza!

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE PAN PIZZA:

three photos showing steps to make pan pizza with text that says combine flour, yeast, salt, and water in a large bowl, stir until dough comes together it will be sticky, cover with plastic wrap, let sit at room temp for 18 hours
three photos showing steps to make pan pizza with text that says grease bottom and sides of cast iron pan with olive oil, sprinkle dough with flour, lightly mix just until dough forms a loose ball
three photos showing steps to make pan pizza with text that says put dough in pan, spread it out with your fingers, cover, let sit at room temperature for 2 hours, preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
three photos showing steps to make pan pizza with text that says add sauce and cheese and any other toppings you want, cook on stove top over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, bake for 12 to 15 minutes
two photos showing steps to make pan pizza with text that says remove from pan, cool on wire rack for a few minutes, slice and enjoy

So easy, right? You need to try this!

I did a pizza with just sauce and cheese to show you how it’s done, but my favorite pizza of all time is pepperoni!

sliced pepperoni pan pizza on a wooden cutting board

TIPS & TIDBITS:

  • When you mix the dough, it should come together into a ball, but it will be a wet and sticky dough. This is how it’s supposed to be. Unless it’s watery and not coming together, don’t add any more flour.
  • Leave the dough out at room temperature, not in a really warm place. You want a nice, slow rise.
    • **Blue says: For those of you with dogs, especially those who are always trolling around for food and will eat anything in sight, please keep the raw dough out of their reach while it is rising. Uncooked yeast dough can be very dangerous if dogs eat it!
  • When you sprinkle flour on the risen dough, you don’t want to add a lot. I use about a tablespoon. Since the dough is so wet and sticky, you want just enough so that you can form a very loose ball and transfer it to the pan and work with it. You want it to stay somewhat wet and sticky.
  • When you put the dough in the pan and spread it out, oil your fingers a bit to make it easier (have I mentioned that the dough is wet and sticky?). The dough may not get all the way to the edges of the pan, and that’s okay. Spread it out as as far as you can. It will expand as it sits for the next 2 hours.
  • Use a lid or a plate to cover the pan when letting the dough rise. I don’t recommend using plastic wrap because there is a chance it won’t cling very well to the pan, and it will sag down onto the dough. The dough will stick when you take it off, deflating it, and you wont get that light and crispy crust. Guess how I know. You’re welcome.
  • You want to make sure your oven is hot, hot, hot when you put the pizza in. I preheat mine for about 45 minutes to an hour. I will usually turn it on an hour after I have put the dough in the pan.
  • Bake the pizza on the lowest rack in your oven to help ensure a crispy, golden brown crust.
  • Too many heavy toppings or wet toppings may cause the crust to be less crisp.
  • Heating the pan on the stove top for 3 minutes before baking gives the bottom of the cast iron pan a head start as far as heating up and ensuring that the bottom stays nice and hot so you get a golden brown, crispy crust.
  • I always cool my pizza for a few minutes (about 5 to 10) before I slice it. Too hot sauce and cheese = burn your mouth. Not fun. Plus, the cheese and toppings can slide all over the place. Cooling the pizza on a wire rack keeps it crispier. You can let it rest on a cutting board, but you might end up with a less crispy crust because of the heat and steam that gets trapped on the bottom.
piece of pan pizza being removed from sliced pizza

We usually eat around 6:00 p.m, so I mix the dough at 9:30 p.m. the night before. At 3:30 p.m. the day of, I put the dough in the pan. At 4:30, I turn on the oven to preheat. At 5:30, I top the pizza and bake it. At 6:00, I am in heaven and trying not to embarrass myself by scarfing down the whole pizza!

In the (unlikely) event you have any pizza leftover, it reheats beautifully. I usually use my toaster oven at 350°F and bake it for 5 to 10 minutes or until it’s bubbly and the crust is crispy.

I hope you try this Pan Pizza recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Pan Pizza

This Pan Pizza is the easiest, most delicious pizza I have ever made! No mixer. No kneading. The crust is thick yet light and crispy. Take a break from takeout and make this pizza. You’ll be glad you did! Just remember that you have to start it the day before!
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Rise Time: 20 hours
Total Time: 20 hours 28 minutes
Servings: 6 (1 slice each)
Estimated Calories: 240

Ingredients

  • cups bread flour, or all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast, or instant/quick-acting yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon regular or light olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon bread flour, or all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • additional toppings of your choice

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the 1½ cups flour, the yeast, salt, and water. Stir until combined and a loose ball forms. (Note: the dough will be wet and sticky. This is how it’s supposed to be. Unless it is very watery and not coming together, don’t add more flour.)
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for 18 hours. (Note: You don’t want a very warm place like you might with other dough. You just want a nice and slow rise.)
  • Grease a 10-inch or a 12-inch cast iron pan (bottom and sides) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 
  • Uncover the dough and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix lightly just until the dough forms a loose ball. (Note: It will still be sticky and somewhat wet. You just want a little bit of flour to make it a little easier to work with.)
  • Put the dough in the greased pan. Lightly oil your fingers and spread out the dough in the pan. (Note: You may not be able to stretch it out all the way to the edges of the pan, but that’s okay. Spread it out as far as you can. It will spread out more as it rises). 
  • Cover the pan with a lid or a plate and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500°F. Place the oven rack in the lowest position. (Note: You want the oven to be very hot and evenly heated when you put the pizza in the oven, so allow it to heat up for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Top your pizza dough with sauce, cheese, and any other desired toppings.
  • Place the pan on the stove and cook for 3 minutes over medium-high heat. This gets the pan hot and helps ensure a crispy, golden brown crust.
  • Put the pan in the oven on the bottom rack and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bottom is golden brown and crispy. (Note: You can check the bottom by carefully and gently lifting up the edge of the pizza with a spatula or tongs).
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Run a knife or spatula along the edges of the pizza to make sure it is not sticking to the pan and then very carefully remove the pizza from the pan to a wire rack. Allow the pizza to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing. 
  • Slice into 6 pieces and serve.

Notes

  • I don’t recommend using plastic wrap to cover the dough in the pan while it rises because it may not stick well to the pan and may sag down onto the dough. The dough will stick to the plastic wrap when you take it off, deflating the dough. A lid or a plate works best, or you could use a baking sheet, a serving tray, etc. 
  • If you use extra sauce or toppings that may release some moisture while cooking, this may cause your crust to be less crispy.
  • If you let the pizza rest/cool on a cutting board or plate instead of a cooling rack, the steam underneath may cause the crust to be less crispy.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe adapted from Jenny Can Cook.

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