Super Easy Pan Pizza Dough
Baking pan pizza with a light crisp base and crunchy lacy edges doesn’t need to take hours of our time. I developed this recipe so I could knock the dough up quickly before leaving the house in the morning. When I get home I pop it in the tray to proof.
My formula uses a very small amount of yeast so the fermentation process takes around ten hours. This means we can leave the dough untouched while we are away at work.
Most people refer to this as long fermentation but in my opinion, it’s a proper fermentation. The smaller the quantity of yeast and the longer the fermentation, the better the product.
- The recipe vitals & baker's percentages
- The equipment you’ll need
- The Baking Timeline
- The recipe
- Watch the video tutorial
- Printable recipe sheet
The recipe vitals & baker’s percentages
This formula uses 90% strong white bread with a protein content of 13.2% and 10% stone-ground wholewheat flour. Using flour with a lower protein content is fine just remember that you may need to reduce the hydration slightly.
The dough is 78% hydrated and may feel a little sticky for a beginner but ‘stick’ with it. Thanks to the hydration the resulting pizza base is light and airy.
The dough is baked in a tray so there isn’t much that can go wrong. This makes it the perfect opportunity to work with a medium-hydrated dough.
Remember that the absorption capability of flour differs so be prepared to tweak the hydration if needed.
The equipment you’ll need
Just about any nonstick pan will work for this pizza but you’ll fall in love with the masterclass nonstick pizza tray I use in the video. It’s the perfect size for a family, producing 8 huge slices, 12 more polite slices or 16 snack-sized portions. I’ve had this tray for a couple of years now and there aren’t any signs of the coating wearing. It comes highly recommended by me.
You’ll need an accurate set of digital scales and I’d also strongly suggest micro scales for weighing small quantities of yeast accurately. I’ve been using the weigh gram micro scales for the past 3 years.
I use a baking steel to bake the pizza but you could use a baking stone or bake the pizza directly on the oven shelf.
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The Baking Timeline
The timeline is based on a kitchen temperature of 25C/77F. Your timeline will be affected by cooler or warmer temperatures.
08:00 Mix the dough
08:10 Quick knead and shape
18:00 Shape the dough in the tray
19:00 Top the pizza and bake 19:30 Ready to eat!
Total time: 11h 30m
Hands-on time: 20m
287g Strong white bread flour
32g Wholewheat flour
1g Dried instant yeast
16g Olive oil
10g White sugar
For the toppings
250g of good quality store-bought grated tomatoes
Course sea salt
Cracked black pepper
500g of grated mozzarella
6 slices of prosciutto
1. In a mixing bowl combine 249 grams of room-temperature water, 6 grams of salt and 10 grams of white sugar. Stir the mixture to dissolve the salt and sugar.
2. Sprinkle 1 gram of dried instant yeast on top of the water followed by 16 grams of olive oil, 287 grams of strong white bread flour and 32 grams of wholewheat flour.
3. Use a spoon or a dough whisk to bring the mixture together into a rough dough. Cover the dough and leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes.
4. Now you can turn the dough out onto the work surface and give it a quick knead on the bench before bringing it together into a ball. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to ferment.
Baker’s tip: the quick kneading and shaping of the dough into a ball is optional. The dough will ferment just fine without this step but I prefer to keep things neat.
5. Once the dough has fermented, liberally coat your baking tray with olive oil and turn the dough out into the tray. Gently press the dough with your fingers so that it takes the shape of the tray. Don’t fight the dough if it tightens up. Leave it to one side to rest for five minutes and then continue. Once the dough has been stretched to fit the pan you can leave it to proof for an hour.
Baker’s tip: At 25C/77F I can leave this dough for anywhere between 8-11 hours to ferment. It’s quite possible that the dough could ferment for longer but I haven’t tested it. The dough in the video that accompanies this blog was left for 11 hours and worked perfectly. The dough normally takes about 1 hour to proof properly at 25C/77F.
6. Once the dough is nicely puffed up it’s time for the toppings. If I’m making a quick weeknight pizza I keep it simple. For this pizza, I seasoned 250g of good quality store-bought grated tomatoes with salt, pepper and oregano.
7. Liberally spread the tomato sauce to the edges of the pizza, add 6 slices of prosciutto and top with 500g of grated mozzarella.
8. To finish, season with salt, pepper, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.
9. For the oven setup, I place baking steel on the lowest shelf and preheat it to 250C/482F. I slide the tray with the pizza onto the baking steel and then immediately lower the temperature to 180C/356F and bake for around 25 minutes using the cheese as my gauge for when the pizza is baked properly.
Baker’s tip: Preheating the baking steel to a high temperature will produce a pizza with a crisp and well-cooked base. Lowering the temperature of the oven when the pizza is loaded will stop the top heating element from cooking the cheese before the base bakes properly. Placing the steel on the bottom shelf provides a safe distance between the top of the pizza and the heating element. You can bake this pizza without using a baking steel but you may not obtain such a crispy base.