Monday, October 19, 2009

A Pizza Day

Saturday night I had hankerin' for a good slice of deep dish. This isn't uncommon, really. Pizza is pretty much my food of choice all the time. Sad, I know considering all the amazing food I've tried. I just can't shake its cheesy bready goodness.

Memories of my last attempt (Christmas Eve ’08-sad!) at making the perfect deep dish- heavy dough, burnt cheese, soggy middle- made me less than enthusiastic about trying it again. But I did some searching and found a recipe that I thought would work well... and it did! This recipe comes to us from America’s Test Kitchen.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza


½ Cup Olive Oil

¾ cup skim milk plus 2 addtl. Tbsp., warmed to 110 degrees. (I used 1%)

2 tsp sugar

2 1/3 cups AP flour, plus extra for counter

2 ¼ tsp instant yeast

½ tsp table salt


1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

Salt and Pepper


3 cups part skim mozzarella cheese

1- 3 ½ oz. package sliced pepperoni

1. To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons oil. (Next time I’ll use 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil, and 1 ½ tbsp. canola oil for each pan. The olive oil taste was a bit overpowering in the crust)

2. Mix milk, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3. Cook oil and garlic in medium saucepan over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium, and cook until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 1/2-inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.

(I didn’t have pepperoni on hand and made a Hawaiian and a veggie. Microwaving the pepperoni beforehand helps to render some of the fat off the pepperonis and makes your final pizza less greasy.)

5. While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni.

6. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle 2/3 cup sauce on each round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. ( Wait more than 1 minute to take out of pan, my first pizza was a mess trying to get out of the pan)Using spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

I wish I had pictures of the finished pizza, but I was so focused on eating, I spaced it! Try it out, you'll love it!

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