Monday, March 7, 2011

Easy Pan Pizzas

I make this all the time. It's really easy and delicious!


1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup cornmeal (or semolina flour)
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Put all ingredients in your bread machine pan according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set it on "dough" setting. Watch to make sure dough forms correctly, and add a little flour or a little water if necessary while it's mixing.

I usually let it go through the whole mixing and rising cycle, that takes 1-1/2 hours or a bit less, but you can take it out after about 1/2 hour if you're in a hurry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (pay attention -- you're going to lower the temperature later).

Divide dough into 2 or 3 pieces with a dough cutter. The number of pieces depends on how many you need to feed and how thick you like your crust. I've also divided it into 2 large pieces and a smaller one (about half the size of the other 2) and made 2 pizzas and a calzone).

Spray two or three cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside. (I like to use an oil mister that I can add my own olive oil to, rather than the aerosol can sprays you can buy in the store.)

Roll out the dough into 3 circles. Each should be an inch or two bigger than the diameter of your cake pans. Put the dough circles into the cake pans and stretch them with your fingers so you have a bit of dough going up the edge of the pan -- how much and how far really depends on your preference.

Topping suggestions:

Crushed tomatoes (from a can) mixed with minced garlic and italian seasoning


Diced tomatoes (petit diced work well)


Regular jar of pizza sauce

Cooked bite-sized meat of your choice (sausage, bacon, mini-pepperoni)
Shredded mozzarella or your choice of cheese

Anything else your heart desires

Add tomato concoction of your choice and toppings. Place pizzas in oven, close the door and immediately lower the temperature to 400 degrees. Set a timer for 10 minutes.

When the timer goes off, rotate the pans. If you cooked 3 pizzas and they have to be on separate racks in your oven to fit, you may want to swap them to the other rack at this time also. Set the timer for 10 more minutes.

Take the pizzas out of the oven and let them cool a couple of minutes before cutting them. I remove them from the pan right away. For crispier crust, you can leave them in the pan till it's time to cut them.

(Hint about timing for pizzas: if you're not sure, set the timer for less time and check them. Ovens vary, and cooking will also vary depending on the quality of your cake pans. As my mother used to say, you can always cook it longer, but if it's burned, there's no way to go back and un-burn it).

If you use this recipe, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.