King Arthur Flour's Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza


It's easy to see why this is King Arthur's Recipe of the Year. It's pretty freaking awesome. The crust is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The crispy cheese on the outside gives it great flavor. It's rich and hearty and the perfect dinner when you want something bad for you. While they call it pizza, I would call it a focaccia on steroids, and I mean that in a good way. We'll definitely be making this again. 

Just a note: Read the recipe thoroughly and plan ahead before you make this! I didn't read the recipe all the way through, as is my habit, and didn't realize that it needs an extra two-hour-long rise at room temp after the overnight rise. As a result, we ate dinner fairly late that night, but at least this was worth the wait. Oops!

Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza

(Recipe from King Arthur Flour)

For the crust:

  • 2 cups (240 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil for greasing the pan
For the pizza:
  • 6 oz (about 1 1/4 cups loosely packed) mozzarella, grated
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce or pizza sauce (I went the homemade route)
  • Any toppings you want but keep the total to less than 1 cup
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano for sprinkling on top

  1. Place the flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1 tbsp olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer or medium large mixing bowl. Stir everything together to make a shaggy, sticky dough with no dry patches of flour (should take 30-45 seconds in stand mixer or 1 minute by hand using a spoon or spatula). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gather into a ball. Cover the bowl. 
  2. After 5 minutes, uncover the bowl, and using your wet hand or a bowl scraper, stretch the bottom of the dough up and over the top in a fold. Repeat 3 more times, turning the bowl 90 degrees. every time. Cover the bowl. 
  3. After 5 more minutes, uncover the bowl, and repeat the folding process you just did before. Cover the bowl. 
  4. After 5 more minutes, uncover the bowl, and repeat the folding process. Cover the bowl.
  5. After 5 more minutes, uncover the bowl, and repeat the folding process for the fourth time. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 40 minutes. Then refrigerate the dough for 12-72 hours. 
  6. 3 hours before you want to serve your pizza, coat your cast iron in 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, spreading it up the edges as well. Transfer the dough to the pan, and turn once to coat both sides in the oil. Press the dough to the edges of the pan, using your fingers to dimple it as you press. If the dough shrinks back, cover it, let it rest, and try again in 15 minutes. 
  7. Cover the crust and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. It should look jiggle slightly when you shake the pan. 
  8. 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Make sure one of your oven racks is at the bottom of the oven and one is near the top. 
  9. When you're ready to bake (finally!), sprinkle 3/4 of the mozzarella evenly over the crust, all the way to the edges. Dollop small spoonfuls of sauce over the cheese. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and any toppings. 
  10. Bake on the bottom rack for 18-20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling, and the bottom and edges are a rich golden brown (use a spatula to lift the pizza to check the bottom). If the bottom is cooking faster than the top, move to the top rack for 2-4 more minutes. If the top is fine but the bottom is not quite golden brown, leave on the bottom rack for 2-4 more minutes. 
  11. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife around the edges to prevent cheese from sticking. Let pizza cool very briefly, and then carefully lift pizza out of pan using spatula and onto a cutting surface. Use a knife or kitchen shears to cut into wedges. Serve hot with Parmesan or Pecorino on top.


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