Pour-In-The-Pan Pizza

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An unusual way to make pizza dough was the cover article in the Sept.-Oct. issue of Milk Street Magazine, and I made it to general acclaim for a family dinner last night. It combined a very light crumb with a crunchy bottom surface. This is an unusually high hydration dough, which requires some changes in handling and topping, but is not hard to make.  I made a 1-1/2 recipes (a half sheet and a quarter sheet) for 6 people.  Whether or not it is ultimately precisely necessary, the recipe has a number of timed rises and rest periods, so there is a need to use a timer.  I have summarized the key steps in the following table:

Here are the quantities for a half sheet pan (4 servings)

400 g. bread flour (also worked well with 200 g. Flourish high fiber AP flour and 200 g. KAF high gluten flour)

2 tsp. sugar

1.5 Tbs. yeast (2 packets)

1 Tbs. kosher salt

1.5 cups lukewarm water

3 Tbs. olive oil, divided (plus more to grease hands

Cooking spray

1 lb. cherry tomatoes

6 oz. whole milk mozzarella, grated

1 tsp. dried oregano

Pepperoni or other low moisture toppings

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour sugar and yeast.  Add the water and using the dough hook on low speed mix the dough for 5 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour is incorporated.  Add the kosher salt, and mix with the dough hook on medium speed another 5 minutes.  Coat a large bowl with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and mist a spatula with cooking spray.  Put the dough in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise 4-5 hours on the countertop.  The dough will rise, fall, and rise again during this time.

Mist a half sheet pan (13 inch x 18 inch) with cooking spray and then put a Tbs. of olive oil in the center.  Gently scrape the dough onto the half sheet pan on top of the olive oil.  Allow to rest in the pan for 20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters (depending on their size), and mash them a bit with a potato masher.  Put them in a colander to drain.  The object is to reduce the moisture of the tomatoes. When done, toss the tomatoes with 1 Tbs. of olive oil.

Oil your hands, and gently spread the dough to cover the pan.  It is OK if the pan is not completely covered.  Gently spread the drained tomatoes on the dough and rest for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven (including a baking stone or steel) to 500 degrees.

Add the grated mozzarella and then the dried oregano.  Top with pepperoni or other low moisture topping.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden.  Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.


16 thoughts on “Pour-In-The-Pan Pizza”

  1. How many times have you used this recipe? Have you made changes? Do you always use cherry tomatoes or have you tried pizza sauce? I’ve been eyeballing this recipe for ages and I’m excited to finally be trying it tonight. I’m hoping it will be a keeper; the concept seems very simple. I have a 7 person, pizza loving family, so I’m hoping two half sheet pans will be enough. I have two strand mixer bowls and plan on making one batch in each. Wish me luck!

    1. I think I have made it twice. My wife is not a great fan of pizza, so I make pizza less often than I would like. She does like this particular version because she likes the crust. I have only used cherry tomatoes. I suspect that sauce would be too moist for the high hydration dough. If you do make a batch with sauce, I would be interested to learn how it turns out.

    1. I use 4.33 oz. per cup. (Thus 13 oz. = 3 cups.) When I use volume measurements I first fluff the flour and then scoop and level. I attended baking classes at King Arthur Flour in Vermont, and each class began with a demonstration that the amount of flour in a cup can vary quite a bit depending on how packed it is. I also find it a lot quicker to measure flour by weight, especially when I am scaling recipes up or down. Lately I have frequently made 1/4 recipe of the Druze Mountain bread so that there is just enough for two people.

      Good luck. I would like to hear how the recipe works for you.

  2. Really good and simple way to make focaccia. However, the recipe makes a lot for a half sheet pan. Mine came out really thick! If you like a less bready/carby crust, divide in half.

  3. I wrote down what Cristopher Kimball said on his video. He used 200 g flour, 2 tsp. salt, 2 packages of yeast. Mixed it well and added 3/4 cup of water. However, the water was not enough, so I added probably another 1/4 cup. The dough is rising now and I hope it turns out.

    1. I would be interested in learning how your pizza turned out. Are you making 2 servings? That would be consistent with 200 g. of flour and 3/4 cup of water. For 2 servings, 2 tsp. of (kosher?) salt and 2 packages of yeast sounds like too much. You might also enjoy the Sicilian Pizza with Peperoni and Spicy Tomato Sauce recipe on the blog, which is also a fairly high hydration dough.

  4. I have made this recipe multiple times. It has spoiled me for any other pizza. I plan to make the recipe today as focaccia to go with soup. It will be topped with extra olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan. There is a Milk Street tomato sauce that we use when we are making the pizza since good tomatoes are hard to find much of the year. I just put some olive oil in a frying pan, add a can of tomato paste and cook it while stirring for a bit, then add some red wine and oregano and cook it a bit more. It makes a fairly dry sauce that can be carefully spread on the delicate pourable dough. I use the back of a flexible silicon spoon to spread it.

  5. The pourable recipe is OK! Could it be, or does it need to be, altered, to pour it into a 9” X 5” loaf pan to bake loaf of (sliceable) bread?

    1. I don’t know. Why don’t you try it and post a comment about the results. Something I have done frequently is to put pizza dough in a small pan, like a quarter sheet or an eighth sheet, and let is rise a lot in the pan to become thick enough for a good foccacia.

  6. I’ve made this dough more than 20 times….I par bake for about 10 minutes,cool for 30 minutes and then dress with your favorite toppings.Bake for about 10 minutes more.

  7. Yay. Glad I found your website. I can do a pretty good pizza dough but mine never quite have the chew I’m looking for. This one is appealingly easy so will give it a try. Thanks!

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