Pepperoni Pan Pizza

(Makes one thick-crust pizza in a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)

The crust of this pizza has crispy fried surfaces on the bottom and sides. The cheese is spread right to the edges of the pan, resulting in deliciously crispy charred edges.

One batch 72-Hour No-Knead Pizza Dough
Pizza Sauce (Recipe below)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
4oz sliced pepperoni
2 Cups grated low-moisture whole milk mozzarella
¼ Cup vegetable oil
Cornmeal for dusting

1. Make the 72-Hour No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe 3 days in advance.
2. Remove dough from refrigerator approximately 3.5 hours before you're ready to bake the pizza. Let rest in bowl, covered, for 1 hour at room temperature.
3. Turn dough onto floured work surface, and lightly form into a ball. Return to bowl, lightly coating surface of dough ball with a few drops of vegetable oil. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
4. Prepare oven for final proofing, by heating to lowest setting for a few minutes and turning heat off.
5. Return dough ball to lightly-floured work surface, gently spreading dough to about 12 inches in diameter. Dust surfaces of dough with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
6. Pour approximately ¼ cup vegetable oil into a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle oil with salt as desired for extra flavor. With fingers or a brush, spread the oil up the sides of the skillet.
7. Transfer dough to the oiled skillet. Cover and place in the warmed proofing oven for 1 hour.
8. While dough is proofing, prepare the sauce (see below).
9. Remove the dough from the oven, and heat to 550 degrees or as high as your oven will go.
10. The dough should be light and full of air pockets by this point. If it has risen excessively, gently press down with oiled fingertips to deflate it slightly. It should be about an inch thick.
11. Sprinkle surface of dough with Parmesan, and apply a first layer of pepperoni slices.
12. Spread sauce over the pepperoni, to within about 1/2-inch of edges.
13. Apply the grated mozzarella to the pizza, all the way to the edges.
14. Cover top of pizza with pepperoni slices, all the way to the edges.
15. Place skillet on a burner at medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, until you can faintly hear the oil sizzling under the pizza. This helps heat up the skillet and ensures that the bottom of the crust will be crisp.
16. Bake pizza in the 550 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. It should be blackened around the edges of the pan.
17. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before loosening edges with a small spatula and carefully transferring to a flat pizza pan or cutting board. Cut into slices and serve.

Pizza Sauce

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
3oz tomato paste
8oz tomato sauce
Spices (salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, basil, fennel seed, crushed red pepper)

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
3. Add tomato paste and tomato sauce. Stir until smooth, and add spices to taste.
4. Remove from heat and let cool.