Homemade Deep Pan Pizza How To

Hi guys! A little mid-week mealtime post to whet your appetite, this time in the form of AMAZING homemade deep pan pizza! We made it all from scratch, including a tasty tomato sauce and of course the dough. It's a fairly easy one too, although things CAN get messy, as you'll see in the photos...

Credit for this recipe mainly goes to J, who mixed, kneaded and stretched a storm throughout!

For the dough, it works in percentages relative to flour:
100% is your strong white bread flour quantity e.g. 1kg
60% of flour quantity = lukewarm water e.g. 600ml
salt (a pinch - 1%?!)
2% live/dried yeast (we used 1 cube live)
Also need a glug of olive oil

Start by mixing the flour and salt in a large bowl/on your work surface and in a jug, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Create a well in the middle of your mixture and pour in the yeast/water solution and olive oil. Crucially - ENSURE THE FLOUR WALLS ARE STRONG ENOUGH FOR THE POOL OF LIQUID IF DOING ON A WORK SURFACE. #learnfromourmistakes

Step 1
Liquid added in a little well
So far so good - gently bringing the flour into the middle, but...

Catastrophic collapse = water + yeast + flour everywhere. Floor, work surface, under the microwave, over J's trousers.

Bring the flour into the liquid and gradually mix together to form a slightly sticky dough. Knead for around 10 minute, using any and every technique you like! As you continue to work the dough, the stickiness goes and you (should) end up with a soft, light ball of dough. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Ideally, store in a slightly warm place (airing cupboard = ideal) and watch the magic happen until the dough has doubled in size - took around 1 hour for our batch.

Get those guns out!

While the dough is rising you can get cracking on your sauce. This is easy and just takes some time to get really flavoursome and rich. Gently fry 2 cloves of garlic, some chopped pancetta and basil stalks then add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes. That seems a lot, but you then want to keep on a really low heat for the whole time your dough is rising/you're stretching it out to reduce the liquid down and intensify the deliciousness. If you want a quick sauce and haven't got time to reduce it down, then you can get away with just using one tin. But - make more if you can because this is basically a perfect sauce for pizza, pasta, lasagne etc etc and totally freezable.

So good and you can just leave it to get on with it and come back to tastiness!
Once your dough has doubled in size, you're ready to stretch it out. Get your oven onto a high heat at this point. If you want to make deep pan pizzas, you'll now need two frying pans that are totally oven-proof. If you don't have pans, works just as well to make a regular pizza on any baking tray/sheet. If you want to look neat, roll out your dough. If you're happy taking the rustic approach (us) then manually stretch and squeeze your dough into the shape of the pan until you've got a thinnish base and a good sized crust (TIP: you can also branch out at this point and try stuffed-crust specials!). Spread your tomato sauce over both pizzas and then get creative with whichever toppings take your fancy! We chose one meaty pizza with salami, parma ham, olives, mozzarella & parmesan, and one with just olives, parmesan & mozzarella but topped with fresh spinach once cooked. Salt & pepper & oregano on both = seasoned to perfection.

Dough is ready!

Definitely "rustic"...

Pop them both in the oven for around 10-15 minutes - the dough will rise and turn golden and the kitchen will smell amazing. Then ENJOY! (Obviously, don't forget the mayo for crust-dunking..).

NOTE: When removing from the oven, if using cast iron pans, don't lean on the handle to proudly take photographs. You will then proceed to sizzle your skin and have to run it under a tap for 20 mins before wearing a plaster for a week afterwards and generally feel very sorry for yourself. Just a kind, friendly tip for you.

If you do manage to sizzle your skin, at least make sure it's a good shape. And then take humorous photos using it as a smiley grin. 
Hope you enjoyed that pizza party post, please let us know in the comments if you give these a go and send photos on Twitter @JAMDiaries! Thanks for reading.


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