Chicago-Style Pan Pizza

Chicago-Style Pan Pizza

[Makes two, 9 inch pizzas or 5-6 small personal pan pizzas]


  • 2 T olive oil, plus extra for greasing the pans
  • 3/4 c plus 2 T skim milk heated to 110 degrees
  • 2 t sugar
  • 2 1/3 c all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
  • 1 envelope rapid-rise or instant yeast
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/3 spaghetti or pizza sauce, your favorite
  • 3 c shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. To make the dough: Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. When the oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans generously with oil. (I used 5 small cake pans that I have that are the perfect size for a personal pan pizza).

2. Mix the milk, sugar, and 2 T oil in a measuring oil in a measuring cup.

3. If using a standing mixer: Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium-low and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes.

4. If mixing by hand: Mix the flour, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then pour the milk mixture into the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough becomes shaggy and difficult to stir. Turn out onto a heavily floured work surface and knead, incorporating any shaggy scraps. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 10 minutes.

5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, gently shape into a ball, and place in the warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

6. To shape and top the dough: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, divide in half ( or fifths if you are making smaller pizzas, and lightly roll each half into a ball. Press the dough into a 91/2 round inside the oiled cake pan if making 2 pizzas. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot (not in the oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.

7. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Ladle about 2/3 c of the sauce on each round, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Sprinkle each with about 1 1/2 c of cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven; let the pizzas rest in the pans for 1 minute. Using a spatula, transfer the pizzas to a cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

19 thoughts on “Chicago-Style Pan Pizza

  1. Jen! Those look absolutely amazing!!!! I feel like I can smell them through the computer screen! I bet they tasted fantastic – like everything you cook!

    1. BTW… The cheese and pepper shakers are THE touch… Makes it like you’re stateside!

  2. Your mother made her best pizza ever last night.. Good cooks run in the family.. She put the fresh basil on after it came out of the oven.. Atsa my girl…Dad

  3. I didn’t know that you could use regular cake pans. Who knew? They sell the pans at Williams Sonoma for $25. Thanks for the tip.

  4. That thick crust in the pic looks so good. Mason had an allergy to milk for years so we used this recipe, and we still use it today, if you’re interested in trying:

    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt

    1 Tablespoon sugar
    2 1/4 yeast (I use the bread machine yeast)
    1 cup warm water
    (mix and let stand about 15 minutes until it “puffs”)
    then add 1/4 cup olive oil

    Pour liquid into flour mixture and mix, I use my hands after I stir most of it with spoon, faster but messy to wash off.

    Place in bowl and cover with light towel. Let dough rise about an hour. Then you’re ready to roll it out however thick you want it. It can make two pizzas if you roll it thin. I roll it out for one medium-sized pizza on a pizza baking dish. Then I top with Boboli pizza sauce, we use an aged cheddar, pepperoni and mushrooms (obviously you can top with whatever you want), and then bake it for about 12 minutes at 400.

    Karate night was always pizza night (yes, 3 days a week FOREVER), so I’d make the dough and go to class. When I got home, all I had to do was turn on the oven, roll the dough and slap the goodies on. Dinner ready in 12! Come and get the pie!

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