Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pan Pizza

I love Pizza Hut Pan Pizza. I have been trying to replicate the crust for years. It has been slow going even with my awesome baking ability and my ace-in-the-hole - my husband was a Pizza Hut deliverer for four years.

The other day I stumbled upon a combination of ingredients that I think come pretty damn close.

I used a bread machine to make the dough - why not if you have one, right?
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 TBS sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp dry yeast

Place the ingredients in the machine in this order (for most machines - check your machine for specifics). Set your machine to "pizza dough", if it has that setting; otherwise "dough", or you could just be sure to take the dough out after the first rise if it is a really basic machine without any extra settings. You will want to push the ingredients from the corners of the pan as the dough mixes to be sure that every thing mixes in.

This is a really loose, sticky dough; but, it could still be made by hand. You will have problems trying to knead this, so I would recommend just mixing it well.

When taking the dough out of the bread pan, carefully remove the mixing blade first without tearing apart the dough - once the dough is torn it is VERY DIFFICULT to get back together. Use a lightly oiled silicon spatula to pull the dough away from the edges of the pan to get at the blade below. Once the blade is removed, reform the dough into a solid mass before putting it into a well oiled pan. I used my cast iron skillet.
Very nice.

Carefully push the dough, without tearing it, to fill the bottom of the pan evenly. Let the dough "proof" (as they say in the pizza biz) for a half hour before putting any toppings on it. I turn on the oven about fifteen minutes into the proofing to be sure that the oven is good and hot before I put in the pizza - 350°F to 375°F.

The sauce goes on first. I usually make my own, but I used a jarred spaghetti sauce for this one, any one you like should do. Then cheese. I like to use a few different kinds of cheese for more intricate flavor. We used Hormel turkey pepperoni, YUM!!!

Bake for 20-30 minutes. The pan gets really hot so be careful taking it out. Use a spatula or knife to run around the edge of the pizza, then slide the pizza onto a cutting board. I used a chefs knife to cut this bad-boy.

Although it is not exactly like Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, it was excellent. Thumbs way up from the family. I made an extra one and brought it to work, where I got all very good reviews including a "I have to tell you, YOU are the absolutely BEST pizza maker I know!!! I am in love with your pizza!!"

Awe shucks!

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