This pie is spin on Sicilian style pizza with a thick and pillowy focaccia like crust, crispy cheesy edges and the perfect amount of zesty sauce.
If you know me at all you know my number one personality trait is that I freaking LOVE Pizza. I traveled through Italy for 5 weeks and ate pizza every single day (No that is not an exaggeration).
Back home in California I have a little wood fired pizza oven that I use to make a neapolitan style pizza about once a month. I just love the pillowy chewy crust, the slight char, and the simple ingredients involved in neapolitan pizza, plus there really is something so satisfying about getting to make and toss dough. So, when my husband and I decided to move into an RV to travel the country we knew we would have to leave the oven behind and I immediately started looking for new ways to cook pizza.
You see, it’s close to impossible to get a quality neapolitan style pizza in a home oven because they need to be cooked at a very high heat. So, I decided to start experimenting with other styles of dough that were more conducive to home environments and boy did I hit the jackpot! This pan pizza is inspired by the sicilian style of pizza. The dough is a very high hydration, olive oil infused, no knead dough very similar to a focaccia. It has a thick fluffy crust with a crispy cheese edge and can hold up to your favorite toppings. The secret to nailing this pizza is making sure to get the cheese all they way to the edge of the pan, and layering the cheese BEFORE the sauce to protect the dough from moisture because absolutely NOBODY wants a soggy crust!
Sicilian Inspired Pan Pizza
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 1.5 cups Low Moisture Mozzerella freshly grated
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce or pizza sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Your favorite toppings (I used mushrooms, kalamata olives and Beyond Meat sausage in the pizza pictured)
- Start by making the dough. Mix the flour, instant yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and warm water and mix with a wooden spoon or your fingers. Fold(pull) the dough over itself 4 times, then cover with a damp cloth and let sit at room temperature for 3-5 hours or until it has tripled in size. Alternatively you can let it rise for 12-48 hours in the fridge but be sure to take it out and let it come to room temperature before moving on to the next step.
- Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil into a 10 inch cast iron and use a brush or a cloth to rub it around the pan being sure to coat the sides.
- Coat your fingers in olive oil and transfer the dough into the pan. Use your fingertips to spread the dough to the edges of the pan then dimple the dough by poking it with your finger tips. Let the dough relax and rise for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Prepare the pizza by spreading 1.5 cups of the cheese directly onto the dough, being sure to spread it all the way to the edges (this is important for the crispy crust). Next dollop ½ cup around the pizza. Do not spread it out, just leave it in little dollops, trust me on this! Top with the remaining cheese and whatever toppings you would like.
- Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until the bottom is crispy and the top is cooked through.
- I recommend lifting the pizza out of the pan with a spatula and cutting it with scissors so you don't damage your cast iron.
- Depending on the temperature and humidity in your house the dough may take more or less time to rise, I recommend checking on it at about 3 hours and then keep an eye on it every hour or so until it has doubled or tripled in size!
- Do NOT, and I repeat do not use a fresh mozzarella for this pizza. There is too much moisture and the bottom will burn before the top has a chance to cook fully through.