Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza Recipe From King Arthur Flour

June 17, 2021
77 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland.Prop Stylist Sophie Strangio.Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 16 hours
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes one 9- to 10-inch pizza, but scales up well
Author Notes

For this crispy, cheesy cloud of pizza, you won’t need any prior dough skills or know-how, but you will need a bit of time—almost all of it is hands-free time (and the hands-on part is fun!).

The brilliant minds at King Arthur Flour tell us a little more about the pizza: "Out of all the styles of pizza, we’ve chosen Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza as our 2020 Recipe of the Year. With its crispy golden edges, gooey layer of cheese (right to the edge!), and thick yet delicate crust, it has a texture and taste that make you want more. Plus, the crust has just five simple ingredients: it’s easy to pull off in a home kitchen.

"Our recipe incorporates four baking 'tricks.' An untraditional, nearly no-knead method of folding the dough creates airy pockets in the crust. An overnight refrigerated rest allows the dough time to develop maximum flavor. Baking in a cast-iron pan makes an audibly crispy crust for your flavorful assortment of toppings. And finally, the unique layering of cheese beneath the sauce acts as a barrier to minimize sogginess."

King Arthur has been making variations every month on their
Instagram. Feel free to follow their lead, or use whatever's in your fridge and on your mind. Just be sure to use a light hand with the toppings so the dough can puff up in all its cheesy-crispy glory.

Here are even more helpful tips from King Arthur:
—Our base cheese of choice is a block of low-moisture mozzarella, coarsely grated. Want to experiment with different cheeses? Choose those that melt well: Fontina, cheddar, Jack, provolone, Gouda, and Muenster are all good candidates.

—Want to add your own favorite toppings beyond red sauce and cheese? Vegetables or meats should be cooked before arranging them in a single layer atop cheese and sauce. Feel free to experiment with other sauces, too; pesto or white sauce are great alternatives to tomato. One hint: To avoid potential sogginess, stick to the same quantities and layering process for sauce and cheese listed above.

—For an extra hit of flavor, sprinkle freshly grated hard cheese (e.g., Parmesan, Asiago, Romano) and/or fresh herbs (oregano, basil, thyme) over the hot pizza just before serving.

—If you're serving the entire pizza (no leftovers) right away, you can serve it right from the pan if desired. We don't recommend using a knife to cut the pizza in the pan; it might mar your cast iron's surface. Instead, after loosening the edges, use a spatula to partially lift the pizza out of the pan, then cut a wedge using a pair of standard household scissors or kitchen shears. Remove the wedge and repeat until you've cut and served all of the pizza.

—Feeding a larger group? Double all the ingredients in the recipe and follow the recipe instructions as written, dividing the dough into two pans (mix and match from the choices listed in step #6 above).

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour .

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Staub Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
- Mosser Glass 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set
- Five Two Essential Kitchen Knives

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What You'll Need
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Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza Recipe From King Arthur Flour
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour (such as King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt (like table salt or fine sea salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast or active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) olive oil plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) olive oil for the pan
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) low-moisture mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups, loosely packed)*
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cups (74 grams to 113 grams) tomato sauce or pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • Freshly grated hard cheese and fresh herbs for sprinkling on top after baking, optional*
  1. Weigh your flour, or measure it by gently spooning it into the cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  2. Place the flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon (13 grams) of the olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer or other medium-large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir everything together to make a shaggy, sticky mass of dough with no dry patches of flour. This should take 30 to 45 seconds in a mixer using the beater paddle; or about 1 minute by hand, using a spoon or spatula. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to gather the dough into a rough ball, then cover the bowl.
  4. After 5 minutes, uncover the bowl and reach a bowl scraper or your wet hand down between the side of the bowl and the dough, as though you were going to lift the dough out. Instead of lifting, stretch the bottom of the dough up and over its top. Repeat three more times, turning the bowl 90 degrees each time. This process of four stretches, which takes the place of kneading, is called a fold.
  5. Re-cover the bowl, and after 5 minutes do another fold. Wait 5 minutes and repeat, then another 5 minutes and do a fourth and final fold. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest, undisturbed, for 40 minutes. Then refrigerate it, covered, for a minimum of 12 hours, or up to 72 hours. (Alternatively, if you don't have room in your fridge for the bowl, transfer the dough to a gallon-sized ziplock bag with a little extra olive oil to coat the inside of the bag.) It'll rise slowly as it chills, developing flavor; this long rise will also add flexibility to your schedule.
  6. About 3 hours before you want to serve your pizza, prepare your pan. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) olive oil into a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet that’s 10 inches to 11 inches diameter across the top, and about 9 inches across the bottom. Heavy, dark cast iron will give you a superb crust, but if you don’t have it, use another oven-safe heavy-bottomed skillet of similar size, or a 10-inch round cake pan or 9-inch square pan. Tilt the pan to spread the oil across the bottom, and use your fingers or a paper towel to spread some oil up the edges, as well.
  7. Transfer the dough to the pan and turn it once to coat both sides with the oil. After coating the dough in oil, press the dough to the edges of the pan, dimpling it using the tips of your fingers in the process. The dough may start to resist and shrink back—that’s okay, just cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes, then repeat the dimpling and pressing. At this point the dough should reach the edges of the pan—if it doesn’t, give it one more 15-minute rest before dimpling and pressing a third and final time.
  8. Cover the crust and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The fully risen dough will look soft and pillowy and will jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
  9. About 30 minutes before baking, place one rack at the bottom of the oven and one toward the top (about 4 to 5 inches from the top heating element). Heat the oven to 450°F.
  10. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, sprinkle about three-quarters of the mozzarella (a scant 1 cup) evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust, no bare dough showing—this will yield caramelized edges. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese (don't spread it!)—laying the cheese down first like this will prevent the sauce from seeping into the crust and making it soggy. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
  11. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 18 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 a lot, so use the 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. Carefully run a table knife or spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. Let the pizza cool very briefly, then as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, carefully transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  13. Serve the pizza anywhere from medium-hot to warm. Kitchen shears or a large pair of household scissors are both good tools for cutting this thick pizza into wedges.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marlahrd
  • cookbabycook
  • JCrys
  • Nira Eisenshtadt
    Nira Eisenshtadt
  • Lauren
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Recipe by: Genius Recipes

273 Reviews

Marlahrd May 14, 2023
Way too much dough for a Chicago deep dish pizza. I prefer the NYT modified version. I was embarrassed st the quality when serving this version.
Smaug May 14, 2023
???? This isn't a Chicago deep dish pizza. It's a Detroit pizza. Entirely different thing.
jcinnb April 23, 2023
This recipe is GREAT. I have an outdoor pizza oven and until recently struggled mightily with dough. I have now found the holy grail of dough recipes. So . . .I was hesitant to try this, since it involved a different dough recipe, but I did.

Results were perfect.

I let the dough rise for 48 hrs +. When it came time to put the dough in the skillet, I took a deep breath, and . . . it worked. Dough spread just right. Cooked the pizza at 450 for 19 minutes. Looked good. Lifted (easily and no mess) off the skillet to take a peek and bottom was perfect. Then proceeded to lift the pizza out, using two spatulas, and it came out in one piece! Skillet was near spotless, too.

The crust was thick, soft, and excellent. Perhaps for the first time, ever, the crust was more than just something to hold the ingredients. It tasted as good as it looked.

This recipe takes little time, but it was 100% worth it. I encourage anyone trying this to PLAN AHEAD and let dough rise for at least 8 hours. Good luck!
mbobden April 23, 2023
what kind of skillet/pan did you use and did you oil it first? I've had sticking issues with my cast lodge cast iron pan and other comments have had sticking issues while others have had results like yours! I love this recipe, just have to improve my sticking problem!
Smaug April 23, 2023
Most serious pizza makers do give their dough (for whatever style) a good refrigerator rest. Overnight is most common, but the folks at Serious Eats did some tests and came to the conclusion that a longer rest gave the best results. I think they came up with something like 3 or 4 days as optimum. I do sometimes wait 2 or 3 days- results are pretty subjective and side by side comparisons difficult, but I do feel like it helps some.
jcinnb April 23, 2023
That should have been 48 hours! Sorry.
jcinnb April 23, 2023
An ancient, but well seasoned Lodge cast iron skillet. I did oil the skillet before cooking, wiped dry, then when dough was ready, followed recipe. I was astounded at how easy it turned out to get pizza out of skillet.
cookbabycook January 6, 2023
Definite keeper! I've made this many times, in a cast iron le Creuset pan and in brownie pans when multiplying the recipe. I used a little pre-cooked/drained Italian sausage and Pastorelli pizza sauce. The cheese crust was fabulous!
Charles May 2, 2022
I've made this before, following the recipe, as written (except we add other toppings in addition to cheese and sauce), with very good results. This morning, we decided we wanted pizza tonight - not enough time to refrigerate the dough 12 to 72 hours. Several reviewers described their "shortcut" versions and I decided to try it. So, when I reached the step where the dough is to be refrigerated, I covered the bowl and put it back in my unheated oven (my "proofing safe") for about 6½ hours. I also used my 12 inch cast iron skillet instead of the 10-incher like others reported having done successfully. The usual assorted toppings - baked for 18 minutes on the bottom shelf - and we had a terrific pizza! Thinner than the real deep dish the recipe (and 10 inch skillet) make; this what I would describe as a thick pan pizza. So now we have two ways to approach this recipe - both good.
gollygwhiz March 17, 2022
This recipe is so good, I have to make it almost every week. I don't have a 10 inch skillet, but my 12 inch cast iron skillet does work with the recipe as written. The crust may be a bit thinner, but it's still substantial and delicious.
Regine March 17, 2022
I actually like it even better in the 12 inch pan.
Smaug April 6, 2022
To get it in proportion, you could increase the recipe by 50% (44% if you're fond of arithmetic).
JCrys January 5, 2022
Finally tried this pizza and it is now my favorite! I have tried many different dough recipes and this one is so easy (though you do need to plan ahead). I loved the crispy bottom, soft middle, and crispy cheese edges. One word of caution though, give it time to cool down after coming out of the oven, otherwise you will burn your mouth with molten sauce.
Jackie November 12, 2021
Oh I love this recipe! I use different cheeses(grate my own) and different toppings all the time. Always comes out great. I sometimes leave the dough in the refrigerator for up to three days, and all is good. I also love Kristen’s videos at her apartment with her hubby and sweet daughter at her side. I am a big food 52 fan! Thanks for all you guys do for us and share with us!
jessf September 24, 2021
I have some fresh mozzarella that I need to use. I think I will do the low moisture mozz on the bottom layer but then do some fresh mozz on top. Has anyone tried this? I know there’s a sog risk, I’m thinking I will try to drain the fresh mozz as much as possible on paper towels before putting in the pizza. Any thoughts or suggestions?
HalfPint October 19, 2021
I think if you pat dry the fresh mozzarella, there should not be much sogginess. From personal experience, fresh mozzarella gets rubbery when cooked. I am told that if the mozzarella is very fresh, this isn't an issue. How fresh? I just don't know.
rosecedar March 12, 2021
I have made this many times over the past year and it's become one of my favorite recipes of all time. I agree with others that it's very different from Neapolitan pizza and New York style pizza. But it's very much like a street food pizza found all over Rome, which is made in large slabs and sold by the slice for takeaway ("porta la via").

For those who have problems with sticking to the pan, try lightly greasing with Earth Balance or butter the bottom and halfway up the sides of your pan, and putting a small (about half the diameter) parchment circle on the bottom of the pan. Also, make sure when smooshing out the dough that you don't squish all the oil to the sides or over the top of the dough. When I do these things, my pizza slips out effortlessly.
Smaug March 12, 2021
The pizza you refer to is known as Pizza al Taglio (roughly pizza by the slice)- there was recently a recipe by Mauritzio Leo on this site for a sourdough version (sorry, it's early and that's apparently the best sentence I can come up with). This pizza (Detroit style) is apparently a fad now, with restaurants popping up etc.
Nira E. February 14, 2021
Hey looks great. I'd love to try it out. I loved the clip :-) I don't have this pan you are using ,and no King Arthur here , but I guess white plain flour will do. Thanks.
Smaug February 14, 2021
If possible you should probably use bread flour- King Arthur's all purpose flour is really very similar to a bread flour, with a high gluten content and malted barley flour included.
Deb February 4, 2021
My dough never got really soft and pillowy prior to baking it almost had a slight hard crust on top. It still tasted great and cooked well but just wondering if anyone has any thoughts and why this happened?
Sandy C. February 12, 2021
The first time I made the dough this was the case, but I read in the comments that I needed to add a little more water. It tasted great though when baked. I made the dough again tonight and it was better, but I added a few more drops of water anyway and it was soft and pillowy.
Lauren January 30, 2021
Does anyone have a good sauce recipe for this particular pan pizza? I used my usual go-to, Jim Lahey’s no-cook tomato sauce, but it just wasn’t right here.
PG T. January 30, 2021
Jarred Rao's tomato sauce is what I use. I think it works great with this recipe.
Smaug January 30, 2021
I can report that it needs to be pretty thin. I tried it with my usual pizza sauce, which is quite thick (I don't like soggy crusts) and it pretty much stayed where I put it rather than spreading around.
Rebecca K. February 13, 2021
I use this one; I just plop maybe 5 spoonfuls around the pizza after the first layer of cheese, then top with the rest. Any leftovers freeze great for the next time.
Rebecca K. February 13, 2021
Top with the rest of the cheese, that is
rosecedar March 11, 2021
I sometimes use Rao's jarred sauce and sometimes the pizza sauce from the refrigerator section at Trader Joe's. Both delicious!
cookbabycook January 6, 2023
Absolutely - use Pastorelli's pizza sauce. I've used it for 30 years. It's made locally in Chicago and tastes great, tomatoey and a bit tangy - and we're picky about pizza here in Chicago! I just use a little less on this (excellent!) King Arthur recipe than I do when making thin crust. You can but it in most grocery stores here, even on Amazon, or directly from Pastorelli:
Lauren January 30, 2021
Does anyone have a good sauce recipe for this particular pan pizza? I used my usual go-to, Jim Lahey’s no-cook tomato sauce, but it just wasn’t right here.
Smaug January 23, 2021
I tried the cast iron method with the dough from Mauritzio Leo's "Sourdough Pizza Romano" dough from this site (1/2 recipe for a 10" skillet) and my own baking method (parbake 12 min. on lowest shelf for 12 min., add toppings and cook 4-5 min. until cheese is mostly browned, 1 min under broiler). I don't know what you'd call the result, but it was really good.
Smaug January 23, 2021
Tried the cast iron method with Mauritzio Leo's "Sour Pizza Romano" dough recipe from this site (1/2 recipe for 10" skillet) and my own baking method (parbake 12 min. on bottom shelf at 500 deg., add toppings and cook+ 4/5 minutes until the cheese is mostly brown, then 1 min under the broiler.) Don't know exactly what you'd call the result, but it was really good.
JTOBA January 17, 2021
My dough was too moist, from start to finish, even after leaving in the fridge for 48 hrs. Where did I go wrong?
Smaug January 17, 2021
You probably didn't- this is a very moist dough; if you're not used to that sort of thing it could easily seem like a mistake.
danute January 17, 2021
1. The pizza was delicious ,even though though the crust had gotten hard in the fridge overnight. (see my comment 1/12).
2. Has anyone tried making breadsticks with the dough. I think they would be delicious. Going to do that next.
NXL January 12, 2021
Oh, man! Is this a good recipe. I used smoked gouda and added s tiny bit of chopped salami. Topped with sliced pepperocini and hot pepper flakes. Tremendous!
danute January 12, 2021
Making this for the first time. Planned on baking it yesterday, didn't. So the dough was in the fridge 48 hours. The dough has a hard crust on it even though it was covered with a towel in the fridge. Next time, I will put it in a bag with oil. I hope it tastes better than it looks.
Ann January 14, 2021
I did the same thing the first time I made it, now it always goes into an oiled ziplock.

Charles January 12, 2021
Good recipe. Fun (easy) to make - fun (tasty) to eat. We added toppings to ours and we're coming up with other toppings to use when we make it again.