In today’s post: Learn how to make this super simple deep dish pan pizza. The crust takes minutes to mix up and only has four ingredients.
For the past couple of years, my crazy easy Artisan Bread recipe has been one of the most popular posts on this blog. That’s because it’s both crazy easy AND crazy delicious. You just stir four ingredients together and give them a long rise, then the dough bakes up into magically delicious artisan bread.
Last month a reader emailed me to tell me she was going to try using the artisan bread recipe to make pizza crust and I thought she was a GENIUS! So I started testing and tinkering and a whole lot of pizzas later, I now have a new crazy easy deep dish pizza recipe:
Now, I didn’t change the actual bread recipe for the crust. It’s still only 4 ingredients and it still doesn’t require any kneading. I just figured out the best way to turn it into a nice thick crust with lots of air bubbles inside and a crispy bottom, all while topped with sauce, cheese and pepperoni.
Easy Deep Dish Pan Pizza
Ok, two quick things before we get to the recipe.
Thing #1: I know this isn’t technically “Deep Dish Pizza”. Technically, Deep Dish is a Chicago style pizza that looks more like an actual pie and the sauce is on top of the cheese. My version is more of a Detroit style pizza, with a nice thick crust that’s chewy and crunchy. But I baked it in a 9×13 baking dish, so I’m still calling it deep dish. So there.
Thing #2: This is the EASIEST way to make homemade pizza crust, but it’s not a last minute recipe. That’s because you have to start the dough at least 8 hours in advance. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out! All you have to do in advance is stir together flour, water, yeast and salt. It takes 3 minutes tops. Then just cover that dough and set it aside for anywhere between 8 and 24 hours – which means you can stir it up the night before OR in the morning. The long rise time builds tons of flavor and a great structure and means you don’t have to do anything else to it! No kneading, no nothing.
So it’s not a last minute recipe, but it is extremely easy and your hands-on times is only going to be about 10 minutes.
Deep Dish Pizza Recipe
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Yeast
- 1.5 cups Warm Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2/3 cup Pizza Sauce
- 8-10 oz Grated Mozzarella (can use a little cheddar and parm as well)
- 24 slices Pepperoni
Optional, for Preheating Pan
- 2 tbsp Oil
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- The night before you'd like to serve pizza (or the morning before), mix up the pizza dough. Stir together the flour, yeast, water, and salt in a medium bowl. Mixture will look shaggy and a little dry. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave dough out on counter to rise for 8-24 hours.
- About an hour before you'd like to serve the pizza, move an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Optional: for a crunchy crust, place 2 tbsp oil in the bottom of a 9x13 pan (glass works best). When the oven is almost at 400, place the baking dish in the oven for 5 minutes to heat.
- Remove 9x13 pan from oven. (OR, if skipping the step to make crust crunchy, lightly grease a 9x13 pan.) Using a spatula or scraper, pour the pizza dough into the 9x13 pan. Lightly grease your hands and use your fingers to stretch the dough out until it mostly covers the bottom of the pan. If the pan has been in the oven, be careful not to touch it as it will be hot.
- Spread pizza sauce on top of the dough, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce, all the way to the edges. Top with pepperoni and a little more cheese if desired.
- Spray a piece of foil with nonstick spray and use it to cover the baking dish. Place dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until bottom crust of pizza and cheese is lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow pizza to rest about 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing into squares.
Pan Pizza Tips
Because this dough is a little different than pizza doughs you have made before, I wanted to give a few extra tips + photos.
First, you really do just stir the 4 dough ingredients together for a minute or two. It’s going to look very shaggy and you might think that can’t be right, but it is! Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it out on your counter for anywhere between 8 and 24 hours. When you come back you’ll see it’s gotten very puffy and bubbly and looks quite wet:
Then it’s time to preheat the oven and decide whether or not you want to crisp up the crust with some hot oil. I recommend doing so because it really makes this taste more like a pan pizza from a pizzeria. To do so, wait until the oven is close to 400 degrees, then pour about 2 tablespoons of oil into your 9×13 baking dish. Place it in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up.
Them remove the pan from the oven and pour the dough into the baking dish. Put some oil or baking spray on your fingers and just gently stretch the dough out toward the edges of the dish. This will take a minute or two. DO NOT try to roll out the dough – just gently stretch it until it mostly fills the dish:
Then you can top the dough with your sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. I love the Classico brand of pizza sauce, so that’s what we always use. For cheese I use mostly mozzarella, but I like to add a little cheddar and/or parmesan for extra flavor. If you like crispy toasty cheese along the edges of your pan pizza, make sure you spread cheese all the way to the edge of the baking dish.
This gets covered with foil and baked on the lowest rack in the oven for 30 minutes. At that point you can remove the foil and bake for 5-10 more minutes until it’s cooked through and the cheese is nice and toasty.
After the pizza comes out of the oven it’s a good idea to give it 10 minutes to rest before you try to slice it. Otherwise the crust can get a little squished. I like to let it rest in the baking pan for the 10 minutes, then use a spatula to pull the pizza out onto a cutting board. Then it’s easy to slice and serve.
We like to serve the pizza with extra sauce for dipping!
This pizza probably serves 6 normal people, but I have teenage boys, so one is never quite enough for my family. However, it’s easy enough to make that I sometimes start 2 batches of dough (in separate bowls) the night before so we will have plenty of leftovers. It’s actually a pretty cheap way to feed a crowd of teenagers!