After baking up a pizza using the recipe for Weeknight Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust from Well Plated, there was enough dough left for another pizza. I used this extra ball of dough as an opportunity to make a pan pizza. Which I’ve only done a couple of times, both of them Chicago-style pizzas.
This time, I went with the preparation and baking instructions from Serious Eats’ Foolproof Pan Pizza.
- after making the dough for Weeknight Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust on Friday night, I saved half of the dough in the refrigerator for Sunday evening pizza (2-day rest in refrigerator)
- 4 p.m.: dough out of fridge, balled, and rolled in cast iron skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil
- between 4 and 5 p.m.: occasionally pressed dough out toward edges with palm, leaving outer edge thick
- 5 p.m.: preheat oven to 550° with rack on middle
- 6 p.m.: using fingers, dab dough out to edge and lift up around edges to let air out from the bottom
- spread leftover sauce (this sauce is so versatile and has quickly become one of my favorites — it’s good as pizza sauce, as dipping sauce, and over pasta) to edge, sprinkled with about 3/4 c shredded part-skim mozzarella to edge
- bake 11 min, then move to burner to brown the bottom for a few minutes over high heat
I was a little nervous with this pizza because I pushed it past my comfort zone in the oven, letting it get much darker than I usually do. And accidentally on the stove top as well — it started to smoke a bit when browning the bottom crust on the burner. I’m always afraid of burning, but I discovered that in that tricky zone between “done” and “overdone”, there’s loads of flavor.
The pizza sauce that spilled into the space between the dough and the pan was nearly black, but had a rich and complex flavor, almost like wine. The cheese was a little sparse, only because I ran out short of ideal. But this actually helped the flavor of the dough and sauce stand out, so in the end I didn’t miss the thick layer of gooey cheese.
This pizza baked up tall and tender, not tough at all. The bottom wasn’t all that crispy, like some pan pizzas are. I attribute this to the whole wheat and the fact that there really wasn’t all that much oil in the bottom of the pan. Every once in awhile, I declare something I baked or cooked to be one of my biggest successes, one of my favorites. That was certainly declared with this pizza — it was delicious and the leftovers the next day were a treat.