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Crispy bottom, airy dough, favorite pizza toppings melted under cheese –
Even though Papa John’s Pan Pizza is incredibly delicious, this homemade copycat recipe isn’t something you want to miss out. You can make it at home anytime you are craving a pizza, top it with your favorite pizza toppings, and impress your buddy with it! Plus, it’s quite simple to make a homemade pan pizza if you are following my guide.
What is a Pan Pizza?
Pan Pizza is a pizza literally baked in a pan. This ensures that the bottom is super crispy while the rest of the dough is airy and soft. Indifference to a classic pizza, the pan pizza dough has to rise twice as long to achieve airiness. Because of the thick dough, you can feed two people with one pan pizza.
I am not a fan of delivery pizza, nevertheless ordered my sweetheart a Papa John’s pizza for us in Mexico, and I was blown away. This pizza was so damn delicious like nothing I have ever eaten before (speaking of delivery food). I told him instantly that I have to find out how to make it and create a recipe so that YOU can have the same pizza experience. Please be excited!
Pan Pizza Dough Recipe
Here comes the magic. The dough needs to rise two times for a total amount of 3 hours. Some recipes are calling for an overnight rise in the fridge, but let me show you this short version of it. Cause who wants to wait an entire day to eat pizza?!
- Activate the yeast in lukewarm water and sugar until foaming.
- Knead it with the flour, salt, and olive oil until you have a smooth dough. I recommend using a kitchen machine.
- Cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave it to rise for one hour at room temperature.
- Add 1-2 tbsp (depends on your oil-comfort level) olive oil into a cast iron pan, non-stick pan, over cake pan. Make sure that your pan is oven resistant. I always use my non-stick pan from Le Creuset, which is oven resistant up to 430°F/220°C – like most non-stick pans.
- Place the dough in the pan and slightly press to stretch the dough into the edges. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave to rise for two hours at room temperature.
- The dough should now cover the entire pan. Slightly press the dough or give it a quick lift around the corners to release any air bubbles.
How To Make Pan Pizza
- Prepare the dough according to the guide above. Make sure to start about 4 hours before you want to eat the pizza.
- Preheat the oven to 430°/220°C. You can increase the temperature according to your pans heat resistant level.
- Prepare a pizza sauce or use a storebought one.
- Prepare your favorite pizza toppings: I love pineapple, onion, bell pepper.
- Top the dough with your pizza toppings and shredded mozzarella. I prefer fresh mozzarella, but you can use your favorite pizza cheese or even plant-based cheese.
- Bake the pizza for ∼20 minutes until the bottom is crispy and the cheese melted.
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Pan Pizza Dough
- 1.5 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water, lukewarm
- 1.5 tbsp (15g) fresh yeast, or 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Pan Pizza Sauce
- 3.5 oz (100g) fresh mozzarella cheese, or pizza cheese
- 1/2 cup onion, bell pepper, pineapple, or your preferred pizza toppings
Make The Dough
- Add the lukewarm water, fresh yeast, and sugar in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes until foaming. Add the flour and salt and knead it for 2 minutes with your kitchen machine. Add the olive oil and knead for another 5 minutes. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil into a 9.5″/24cm cast iron skillet, non-stick pan (make sure it’s oven resistant) or round cake pan. Place the dough inside the pan and slightly press to spread it to the sides of the pan. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Slightly push down the dough or give it a quick lift around the edges to release any air bubbles.
Make The Pizza
- Preheat the oven to 430°F/220°C for 30 minutes. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
- Spread the dough with the pizza sauce and add your favorite pizza toppings. Bake the pizza for ∼20 minutes until the bottom is crispy and the cheese melted.
- You can also use storebought pizza sauce.
- Whenever you have the possibility, use fresh yeast instead of active dry yeast. 1.5 tbsp fresh yeast equals 1 block (0.6-ounce size) or 1/3 block (2-ounce size).
- Make sure your pan is oven resistant. You can also bake the pizza at a higher temperature, just make sure that your pan is ok with it. I used a non-stick pan from Le Creuset, which is only oven resistant to 430°F/220°C.