I did the traditional pizza I posted earlier for many years, but since I’ve happened upon this recipe, I’m almost wholly converted. I find this recipe to be much simpler–less messy, less time-intensive, and more capable of handling a pile of toppings. I don’t fill the pans as full of olive oil as the recipe calls for most of the time, but it’s worth doing the first time, so you know how terrific the recipe can be, and then pare back according to the needs of your constituents (or conscience). I almost always use this crust for a barbeque chicken pizza, so I jotted that down at the bottom. This recipe is from the 2007 America’s Test Kitchen Annual.
Deep Dish Pizza Dough
1/2 c. olive oil
3/4 c. plus 2 T. skim milk, warmed to 110 degrees (or 1/3 c. dry milk powder plus 3/4 c. warm water)
2 t. sugar
2 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 envelope (2 1/4 t.) instant yeast
1/2 t. salt
Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200 degress. When the oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray. Coat two 9″ cake pans with 3 T. oil each.
Mix the milk, sugar and the remaining 2 T. oil together in a liquid measuring cup (if using dry milk, just mix the water, sugar, and oil together). Mix the flour, yeast, and salt (and dry milk, if using) in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium-low and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, gently shape it into a ball, and place it in the greased bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
After the first rise, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half, and lightly roll each half into a ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape the dough into 9 1/2″ round and press it into an oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot (not in the oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Ladle 2/3 c. pizza sauce on each dough round leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 c. cheese and any other toppings your desire. Bake the pizzas until the cheese is melted and the crust is browning 16-20 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the oven and let them rest in the pans for 1 minutes .Using a spatuala, transfer the pizzas to a cutting board, cut each into 8 wedges, and serve.
Barbeque Chicken Pizza: I’ve based this variation off of Wayland Bakery, where they used to serve my favorite barbecue chicken pizza.
Sauce: 1 part pizza sauce to 1 part of your favorite bbq sauce (the Test Kitchen recently rated Masterpiece KC to be taster’s fave–I’ve actually never tried it, so I’ll add it to my list). An easy pizza sauce is to simmer one can of crushed tomatoes (I think 20 oz?) with 2 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 T. olive oil for twenty minutes.
Toppings: shredded chicken (can be microwaved and shredded, or use leftovers), a mixture of mozzarella and monterey jack cheeses (I just throw a couple handfuls of each on top of the pizza), and sauce
After the pizza comes out of the oven, add about 3 green onions, sliced thin, and a good 1/4 c. cilantro, minced (or larger leaves, which is pretty but tends to turn off the small children here, not that they would eat this pizza anyway).
If you have more time, you can caramelize onions and add them with the chicken, and leave off the green onions at the end. I like this way better, but don’t always get to caramelizing the onions.