I’ve found this to be the pan pizza to end all pan pizzas. It’s my standard pizza dough recipe, plus some inspiration from this video. The trick with seasoning the pan is an absolute kicker and makes the crust taste oodles better than without that seasoning.

Ingredients

Amounts are for one 26 cm pan that will likely feed 4 adults. Make several to accommodate a larger crowd, or very hungry people.

Crust:

  • 200g plain spelt flour1
  • 150g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 150ml warm water2
  • 10g fresh yeast (alternatively 7 grams dry yeast)
  • ½ teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 7g salt
  • good splash of olive oil, about 1-2 tablespoons

Sauce:

  • 200g peeled and chopped canned tomatoes (alternatively a similar preparation from homegrown produce)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Toppings:

  • 100g cheese (mozzarella is canonical, but coarsely grated mild young Gouda works surprisingly well and you should give it a shot if you have it available)
  • spicy sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, ham, whatever you fancy

Pan seasoning:

  • Splash of olive oil
  • Tablespoon of cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Oregano

Equipment

Required:

  • One large, thick-bottomed pan with a lid. Can be a cast iron skillet, or a non-stick pan, or a thick enamelled frying pan which is what I use. What’s important is that the bottom is at least 1cm thick, and that the handle can stand being under your oven broiler/grill for about 5 minutes.
  • Stovetop.
  • Oven with broiler/grill.

Optional:

  • Stand mixer or kitchen appliance with a dough hook. If unavailable, your hands will work just fine.

Method

  1. Prepare a poolish: dissolve the yeast (and honey, if you like) in half of the warm water, add flour until the mixture is something like porridge. Put in a warm spot3 and let rise until the volume has doubled (15-30 minutes).

  2. Add salt and poolish to the remainder of the flour in a bowl, knead and add enough water to make a homogeneous dough. Might take the full remaining 150ml, or less, depending on flour. Pour olive oil into bowl and and work some in, leaving the sides of the bowl nicely greased. Chuck bowl back into warm place and let rise for another 15-20 minutes.

  3. While dough rises, season the pan. Pour in olive oil, add cornstarch, and rub the mixture with your fingers over the whole inside of the pan — both the bottom and the walls. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano into the pan.

  4. Gently spread the dough into a flat round piece roughly the diameter of the bottom of the pan. You can use a rolling pin for this, but if you do, make sure to grease the rolling pin and countertop with olive oil, rather than dusting them with flour like you’re perhaps used to.

  5. Let the dough rise one more time, about 15 minutes.

  6. Prepare the sauce. Simply mix chopped tomatoes with a good pinch of salt and some olive oil.

  7. Spread the sauce all across the dough, covering the whole diameter of the pan. Do not leave any uncovered crust on the perimeter. Repeat with cheese and finally, toppings.

  8. Turn burner on medium heat, put the pan on (cover it with a lid), and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes. The trapped steam will cook the sauce and toppings on top, while the bottom of the pan bakes the crust. Preheat your broiler to high heat.

  9. When the cheese on top has started to melt, throw the pan under the broiler/grill for about 3 minutes until the cheese gets nice patches of golden brown.

  10. Turn pizza out on a round pizza plate. It should easily come off the bottom of the pan, though the sides might require some scraping if cheese has melted and run down the sides. Cut into slices.

  11. Dig in.

Nutrition facts

No warranty of any kind on these. Values are per serving, counting one serving as one-quarter of the whole pizza.

Calories (kcal) 479
Total fat (g) 17.0
Saturated fat (g) 6.7
Total carbohydrates (g) 64.6
Sugars (g) 3.5
Protein (g) 21.1

  1. In case you’ve never baked with spelt flour before: tastes about like wheat, but takes on less water. You can modify this recipe to use wheat flour, in which case you’ll need about 375ml of water. Also, while a wheat dough normally benefits from a long or slow rise, I’ve found that not to be true for spelt. 

  2. If you’re from the U.S.: yes I know, we Europeans are a bit weird in that we customarily give some quantities by weight, others by volume. You’d think it’d be straightforward that we do solids by weight and liquids by volume, but it isn’t. (Some recipes specify sugar by weight, for example, others say use so-and-so-many tablespoons of sugar.) 

  3. My oven has a leavening mode in which I can let a dough rise at approximately 39°C and near 100% humidity, which is glorious, but this is in no way a requirement. I’ve let dough rise in a bowl placed on the floor (we have floor heating), on the running laundry dryer, or out on the countertop.