Friday, February 18, 2011

Homemade Deep Dish Pan Pizza

Homemade Deep Dish Pan Pizza

When I think about some of the new things I've learned to do over the past year or so, I'm surprising even myself! Besides learning how to bake a pie, quilting and sewing, I tried my hand at homemade pizza dough back in November. It turned out pretty good the first time. I tweaked it a couple of times and ended-up with this recipe. It's really good, if I do say so myself!

Keep in mind that you can put any assortment of toppings on this pizza. I have found that no matter if it's plain cheese or loaded with lots of goodies, it always turns out fabulous. The crust is golden brown and crispy. Yum!

What you will need:

Medium-size stainless steel bowl coated with 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
plastic wrap

2 nine-inch cake pans
4 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for dough:

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk (or 7 oz.), heated in microwave for 30 seconds
2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet of instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups flour, divided into 1 1/3 cups and 1 cup
Extra flour for rolling out dough


3.5 ounces pepperoni
1 1/3 cups tomato sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees.

Coat the bottom of each of the 9-inch cake pans with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

In a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together warmed 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of milk, sugar, yeast; add 1 1/3 cups of flour and salt. Mix on low until dough comes together, scrape down sides if needed. Turn off mixer and let set for 10 minutes. Turn on mixer to low and slowly add remaining 1 cup of flour. I have found that this sometimes needs adjusting (adding a little more milk or having to add a little more flour, if necessary). Increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough onto a lightly floured counter, gently shape into a ball, and place in greased bowl, turning dough to coat with olive oil; cover with plastic wrap. Turn off oven. Place bowl on the bottom rack of the turned off oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising in the oven, place the pepperoni in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate lined with 2 or 3 paper towels. Cover with an additional 2 paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and use your hands to press down on the paper towels (being careful as the pepperoni may be a little hot) to absorb the oil. Discard paper towels and set pepperoni aside.

Once the dough has risen, remove plastic wrap and transfer dough to a lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into a ball. Working with one dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 1/2 to 10 inch round; gently place rolled dough into oiled cake pan. The dough will come up the side of the pan by a half an inch or so. Repeat process for other dough ball. Cover cake pans with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until slightly risen, about 20 minutes.

Note: When I start rolling out the dough, I again turn on the oven to 200 degrees. When I'm finished rolling out the dough, I turn off the oven, cover each cake pan with plastic wrap, and place pans with dough back in the warmed oven for about 20 minutes or so.

Remove plastic wrap from cake pans and ladle 2/3 cup of sauce on each round (if your dough is slightly up the sides of the pan, take the sauce to the edge. If the dough only covers the bottom of the pan, leave a 1/2 inch border around the edges). Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 cups of cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake on the bottom rack of a 400 degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using a spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Enjoy!

Another note: Use your favorite bottled or canned pizza sauce. I use Dei Fratelli Italian Sauce right out of the can. If you want to add sausage to the pizza, be sure to brown and cook thoroughly before placing on top of the pizza. I use Bob Evans Maple Sausage by pinching off small quarter-size pieces into a medium hot skillet. I don't turn the sausage until it's caramelized.


P.S. Yes, this is what we're having for dinner tonight. After all, it's Friday! Did I mention that it hit a whopping 60 degrees today? And that the sun is shining? And that the skies are blue? And almost all of the dirty ugly snow is gone? Yes!

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