Pick-Your-Pan Pizza
Pick-Your-Pan Pizza

Pick-Your-Pan Pizza

Recipe by Martin Philip

This versatile pan pizza recipe, which can be made in nearly any pan you have, produces an airy crust with a fluffy interior and crisp edges. It’s also flexible (use your favorite toppings!), crowd-feeding, and make-ahead friendly — with a little planning ahead, it's perfect for a harried weeknight dinner. 

15 mins
16 to 20 mins
4 hrs
one Detroit-Style Pizza Pan, one 9”x13” pan, one half-sheet tray, or two 10” cast iron pizzas
Pick-Your-Pan Pizza - select to zoom
Pick-Your-Pan Pizza - select to zoom
Pick-Your-Pan Pizza - select to zoom
Pick-Your-Pan Pizza - select to zoom
Pick-Your-Pan Pizza - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.  

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast until well combined. Add the water and 1 generous tablespoon (15g) of the olive oil. Mix until thoroughly combined and homogenous; don’t be afraid to stir vigorously to incorporate the dry ingredients. If the dough feels dry, add a a scant tablespoon of water. 

  3. Cover the dough and place it in a warm spot (about 70°F to 75°F) for 15 minutes, then give it a bowl fold: Use a wet hand to grab a section of dough from one side, lift it up, then press it down into the middle. Give the bowl a quarter-turn (90°) and repeat 3 to 6 times, until you’ve circled the dough and it’s become resistant to stretching. 

  4. Cover the dough, set aside for another 15 minutes, then perform the bowl fold again. 

  5. After the second bowl fold, cover the dough and allow it to rest for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it’s slightly puffy but not necessarily doubled in size.  

  6. To shape the dough: Coat the inside of the pan(s) of your choice — one Lloyd Detroit-Style Pizza Pan, one 9" x 13" pan, one 13" x 18" half-sheet pan, or two 10" cast iron skillets — with the remaining 1 tablespoon (12g) of olive oil, being sure to oil up the side of the pan. If using two cast iron skillets, divide the dough in half; you can also use one skillet and freeze the second piece of dough for later. Transfer the dough to the pan(s) and turn once to coat in oil. 

  7. Gently press and stretch the dough, using your fingertips to dimple the surface and encourage it to cover the entire pan. (If your dough resists, cover it, let it rest for 30 minutes, try again, and then proceed with the recipe.)  

  8. Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 to 60 minutes, until slightly puffy (there should be some bubbles on the surface and edges, but the dough will not have doubled in size).  

  9. In the last 45 minutes of the rise time, preheat the oven to 500°F with a baking stone or steel on the bottom rack. 

  10. To bake the pizza: Top the pizza with sauce, then cheese. For a more traditional pizza with a crust, leave about 1/2" border around the edges bare. Distribute pepperoni on top, if desired. (See “tips,” below, for instructions on how to make a pizza with a crispy cheesy “frico” edge.) 

  11. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 16 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are a rich golden brown (use a spatula to check the bottom). If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 2 to 4 minutes longer. On the other hand, if the top seems fine but the bottom's not browned to your liking, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for another 2 to 4 minutes. Home ovens can vary widely, so use visual cues and your own preferences to gauge when you’ve achieved the perfect bake. 

  12. Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a heatproof surface. Let the pizza cool very briefly; carefully transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy. Top pizza with grated cheese and fresh herbs, if desired. 

  13. Storage instructions: The pan pizza is best enjoyed the day it’s baked. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days; to reheat, wrap in foil and place in a low-temperature oven until warm. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • There are two ways to make this dough ahead of time. In both cases, refrigerating the dough will slow the rise times and enhance the flavor of the crust. 

    • After the second fold (step 4), cover the bowl tightly and transfer the dough to the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours, until the dough is puffy; there will be bubbles on the surface. Your dough will need to temper before you stretch it into the pan, and the second rise (step 8) will be longer. 

    • Alternatively, shape the dough in the pan (step 6), then cover the pan tightly and place in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, place the pan on the counter until slightly puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. 

  • Pizza sauce is thicker than tomato sauce, and it helps prevent the crust from becoming soggy. If you want to use tomato sauce, reduce it on the stovetop until it reaches a thick, not-watery consistency that can be dolloped, rather than poured or spread, onto your dough. 

  • For pepperoni that “cups,” slice it yourself from a link of pepperoni with natural casing; aim for medium-thick slices, about 1/10" (2 1/2 millimeter) thick. 

  • To make a pizza with a crispy cheesy “frico” edge, which works best in the Detroit-Style Pan, heat the oven to 475°F (step 9). Bake the pizza with no toppings for 8 minutes, then remove it from the oven and distribute the cheese on top of the dough, starting at the edges before covering the middle. Dollop pizza sauce over the cheese in long lines or in blobs. Return the pizza to the oven and continue baking for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cheese has bubbled and brown. If you’d like more color at this point, broil your pizza, watching carefully as broilers vary greatly. As soon as the pizza is out of the oven, carefully run a table knife or spatula between the edge of the pizza and the side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. When the pan is cool enough to handle, transfer the pizza out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.