Pepperoni Pan Pizza

I promise the next entry will be back to business as usual, cooking my way through the Whole Foods Market Cookbook.  But yesterday was the inauguration of President Barack Obama (HELL YEAH!) so I thought it was only fitting that I make a Chicago-style pizza in his honor.  This is the Pepperoni Pan Pizza recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and is as close an approximation to real deep dish pizza at home as any I’ve ever had.   The recipe as written takes about 90 minutes start to finish, but you can make it an easy weeknight dish by making the dough the night  before and letting it rise overnight in the fridge.

The dough:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp skim milk, warmed in microwave to 110 F
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups AP flour
  • 1 package yeast (instant or rapid rise)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Turn the oven to 200.  As soon as it hits 200, turn it off.  Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil, set aside.

Mix together the warm milk, olive oil, and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup.  In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix flour, yeast, and salt.  Turn machine to low/stir, and slowly add milk mixture.  Mix on low until the dough comes together, then increase speed and knead on med-low for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and shiny.  This is a fairly soft and wet dough, so be sure not to add too much extra flour – just enough for the dough to come together in a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a few times by hand and form into a ball.  Place in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in warm oven 30 minutes (if you used instant yeast) or 1 hour (if you used rapid rise).

While the dough is rising, prepare 2 9-inch circular cake pans by adding 2 tbsp of oil to each.  The original recipe calls for 3, which is the correct amount if you are making this all in one day.  But if the dough is allowed to sit in 3 tbsp of oil overnight, it becomes greasy instead of crispy.

When the dough has doubled in size, cut into 2 portions and form each into a 9-inch disc.  Lay in greased pans and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.

(If you are making this in one day, simply let the dough rise a second time for 20-40 minutes on the counter while the oven is preheating to 400F.)

The next day, take the cake pans out of the oven when you get to work and let them come to room temperature.  Heat the oven to 400F.

Prepare the pepperoni by laying the slices in a single layer on 2 paper towels on a plate.  cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.  Repeat for the second pizza.  This is a neat trick which will ensure that the top of your pizza isn’t a giant pool of pepperoni grease.

Cover each pizza with 2/3 cups sauce (from a jar or homemade), a generous handful of mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 the pepperoni.  Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.  Let cool in pan for just a minute before removing to a cutting board with a spatula.  Eat!

Dylan Report: Are you kidding?  It’s PIZZA.  He loves this stuff.

(Sorry, no pictures.  I couldn’t find the camera yesterday.)

  1. #1 by PatL on January 31, 2009 - 11:34 am

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I was frustrated to watch the video on the Test Kitchen website, because they didn’t specify how much milk they were using, and of course they don’t let you see the recipe on their website unless you buy a membership. So, many thanks for sharing!

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