Baker Bettie

Homemade Pan Pizza with Perfectly Crispy Crust

The process of how to make pan pizza with a perfectly crispy crust is actually quite simple to do at home! This recipe and tips will show you exactly how you can make a crispy crust pan pizza and I dare say it is better than take-out! 

Baked pan pizza in the skillet topped with sausage and onion

I haven’t met too many pieces of pizza I didn’t like. Even crappy pizza is good pizza in my book. Especially at 2 am…

Now that football season is in full swing and Mr. BB’s Sundays are devoted to obsessing over his fantasy team, he has been asking for game day food.

This week his request was for “pan pizza like the kind they make at Domino’s or Pizza Hut.” Requests like this make me just want to prove that I can do it better. Let’s just say, Mr. BB was pretty pumped with the results of this endeavor.

The crust came out slightly thick and crispy and chewy. And when we make it at home we can add toppings that those chain pizza places don’t offer, like cream cheese. Our favorite pizza topping. You definitely need to try it!

What is Pan Pizza?

Pan pizza is a pizza that is baked in a heavy metal pan, like a cast iron pan, that has high sides. The pan is typically greased heavily and because it has high sides the pizza crust is thicker and chewy in the middle while being very crispy and almost fried on the bottom.

How to Make Pan Pizza


Before you start making the dough for your pan pizza, measure out all of your ingredients: yeast, sugar, dry milk powder, canola or vegetable oil, warm water (105-110ºF), all purpose flour, and salt.

Dry milk powder can be easily found in the baking aisle of the grocery store. If you prefer to use regular milk you can substitute it for the water and milk powder. You just need to scald it first. I like to keep dry milk powder on hand so I can omit the scalding part, but it will work well either way. 

ingredients for the dough of pan pizza


In a large bowl, if you have a stand mixer use that bowl, Stir together the yeast, sugar, milk powder and warm water. Let the mixture sit for about 2 minutes. If it begins getting a little bubbly and frothy then you are good to go. This means the yeast is alive and feeding! Add in the oil and mix together.

Remember you want warm water (about 110ºF) but not hot water. Warm water will wake the yeast up and it will begin feeding on the sugar and growing. But if the water is too hot it can kill the yeast.

Yeas proofing before making pan pizza

STEP 3: Knead the Dough

Add all of the flour and the salt into the mixing bowl and stir together. At this point if you have a stand mixer fit it with a dough hook and knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and cleaning the sides of the bowl.

If you do not have a stand mixer, give the dough a few turns in the bowl until it begins forming into a ball. Turn out on a clean lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

A gif showing how to knead dough for pan pizza


This dough will make enough for about 2- 12″ pizzas. You need to use either cast iron or a non-stick skillet that can go in the oven. I only had a 12″ non-stick and a 10″ cast iron skillet, so my 10″ pizza was a little thicker.

Liberally oil your two skillets with about 3 oz of oil each. I know that sounds like a lot, but this is what helps get that crispy crust. use your fingers to make sure the oil is spread all around the skillet and up the sides.

Divide the dough in half and spread out to about the width of the skillet (it doesn’t need to be completely to the edges, it will spread during rising). This dough is loose enough that you should be able to do this with your fingers, but if you find it easier you can use a rolling pin.

If the dough is springing back a lot while trying to stretch it, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it alone for about 15 minutes. The glutens will relax and it will be easier to stretch.

Cover the skillets with a lid or with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for at least an hour and up to 1 1/2 hours. During the last 20 minutes of rising time, preheat your oven to 500ºF.

Dough in skillets waiting to be cooked for pan pizza


After the dough has risen, add your favorite toppings. Be fairly gentle when spreading the sauce out on the dough as you don’t want to deflate it.

Pizza dough with sauce on top in pan


Before you put the pizza in the oven, start it out on the stove top. This will get your skillet good and hot so that the pizza doesn’t just steam in the oven while the skillet is still heating up and it will also get the bottom of your crust going so that it is crispy. Put the skillet over high heat on the stovetop for 2 minutes.

You can’t really tell it is on the stove, but this is our sausage, onion, and cream cheese pizza getting heated on the stove before going into the oven. You can see a little steam coming out of the side there.

Pan pizza with toppings on the stove getting the bottom crispy


Put the pizza in the 500ºF oven and bake until golden brown and crispy. This took about 15 minutes in our oven. I would suggest just keeping a fairly close eye on it. With this high of heat it can go from perfect to burnt pretty quickly. But you want the high heat to get that crispy golden crust.

Be very careful taking it out of the oven. I know from a lot of experience and learning the hard way that we forget those skillet handles are hot when the excitement of homemade pizza is on the brain. I have grabbed and have seen many people grab those skillet handles. BE CAREFUL!


I have said this many times, but one of the main reasons I hardly ever post savory food is because I am too impatient for all of the food styling and taking good photographs.

I run around the dish trying to snap a few shots while Mr. BB is standing over my shoulder trying to snatch a few pieces. It feels like this frantic frenzy of me trying to force myself to work while I’m starving and fresh hot pizza is my subject.

This is the ultimate “food blogger problem.” But I did what I could. You understand.

Cooked pan pizza sliced into wedges

Baked pan pizza in the skillet topped with sausage and onion

Homemade Pan Pizza

Yield: 2 10-12" Pizzas
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Homemade pan pizza with a perfectly crispy crust can be achieved at home! This recipe and the tips above will show you exactly how you can do it and I dare say it is better than take-out! 


  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder (see note for substituting regular milk)
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 package (0.25oz) active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp if measuring from bulk yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water (about 110ºF)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz vegetable or canola oil for greasing the pan
  • your favorite sauce
  • your favorite toppings


  1. Put the dry milk, sugar, yeast and warm water in a large bowl and stir together. If you have a stand mixer, use that bowl. Let sit for about 2 minutes. Add the oil and stir again.
  2. Add the flour and the salt into the bowl and stir until it begins forming into a ball. If you are using a mixer, fit with the dough hook and knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes, until a smooth dough forms and it cleans the sides of the bowl. If kneading by hand, turn out onto a clean lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes until a smooth elastic dough forms.
  3. Divide dough into two balls. In two 12" (or 10") nonstick or cast iron skillets, put 3 oz of oil in each making sure it is spread evenly and up the sides. Spread the dough out to about the size of the skillets using your fingers or if you need to, a rolling pin. If the dough is snapping back quite a bit, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. Then stretch again. Place the dough in the skillets (it doesn't have to go all the way to the sides, it will grow during rise time). Cover the skillets with a lid or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour and up to an hour and a half.
  4. During the last 20 minutes of rise time preheat the oven to 500ºF.
  5. Top the dough with your favorite sauce and toppings. Place the skillets over high heat on the stovetop for about 2 minutes. This will heat up the skillet and get the bottom of the dough crispy. Place the skillets in the oven and bake until golden brown and crispy. This should take about 15 minutes, but watch it closely.
Be very careful when removing the pans from the oven and removing the pizza from the pan as they will be extremely hot!


If you would like to use regular milk instead of milk powder, eliminate the dry milk and water from the recipe and substitute for 1 1/3 cups milk. Scald the milk (meaning heat it up to simmering on the stove) and let it cool to about 110ºF before adding it in the first step of the recipe.

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48 comments on “Homemade Pan Pizza with Perfectly Crispy Crust”

  1. You’re amazing. True story. I don’t even like pan pizza but THIS?! I can get behind!

  2. I have been craving pizza for DAYS and deep-dish is my favorite. We don’t use white flour, I’m going to make this with spelt flour instead and see what happens. I bet it’ll still be perfect. And I love the kneading mini-video!

  3. Hi, would LOVE to try this, I’ve never made pizza at home but with this method, I hope I can wing it. The yeast I use is instant yeast and it says on the pack to add with flour; do I still follow your directions? Thanks

  4. I don’t know if this is the worst recipe I’ve ever tried or just the worst instructions; after 30mins of trying to knead this dough, I ended up with a bowl of flakey dough that wouldn’t stick together no matter how hard I tried. I wouldn’t bother even trying it. Now I have to look up another recipe to find out how to fix this mess.

    • Sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you Janice. This is a tested recipe that I specifically put detailed step-by-step instructions for so it can easily be successful. I would love to find out what about the instructions you found difficult to follow so I can remedy. It sounds to me like the ratio of flour to liquid may have been off in your dough. How did you measure your flour? It is common to improperly measure and wind up with too much flour in your dough. In a yeast dough recipe this can cause all kinds of problems. Here is a post about measuring by volume that can help resolve that issue.

    • Did you struggle assembling LEGOS? Simple instructions, great recipe!

  5. Hey I’m planning to make half this recipe but only have two 8 inch pans. Should I make one really thick pizza or two thinner ones?

  6. This is my go to pizza recipe. Thanks so much for putting it out here Baker Betty. I make it a couple of times a month, so I should know the recipe by heart by now, but your detailed instructions make it so easy to follow each time.

  7. When I was in 1st grade we went on a field trip to Pizza Hut and they let us make our own pizzas. I remember even then being surprised by how much oil they put in the pan. I’m pretty sure they put like half a cup of oil on top of the pizza as well before they put it in the oven, and the oil they use is orange. It’s been like 30 years though so I may be wrong, but with that fried crispy crust it wouldn’t surprise me.

  8. Thank you so much for the recipe… My first ever try and nailed it… Your step by step explanation really helped…. Though it turns a little soggy later…. Any remedy for that?

  9. I made this last night and the family and I loved it! It came out as crunchy (more?) than Pizza Hut! I was so happy it came out so amazingly but delicately crunchy! Thank you so much! This will go into regular rotation at lur house 🙂 

  10. Thank you! I, literally, just finished baking this pizza. It is perfect. I even have a little burn on my hand from accidentally grabbing the hot skillet. (That is what I get for not reading the entire recipe at the start!) I used a slightly different crust just because I started with another recipe but didn’t like the result with the first half of my dough. That is when I sought out this recipe. This pizza looks amazing. It really has everything to do with the oil and the timing – oil enough for a cast iron cornbread, start with high heat on the stove, 15 minutes in the 500F oven. Crust is like a dream about pizza crust. And, NB, I am a Chicagoan; my pan pizza standards run very, very deep! Thank you.

  11. I had accidently left my pizza dough on the counter top as I wasnt able to make it the same day. It smelt totally fermented. Kept in the fridge for a day after that. What do you think Bettie? Am making it now..hoping it turns out ok

  12. Can I use lactose free milk?

  13. I make this recipe a lot and we love it. I prefer using the dried milk powder to regular milk. Each time I love how golden and crispy the bottom turns out and I love the olive oil-y-ness of it. Great recipe!

  14. This is the best pizza dough ever! Five out of five stars! For the past year I have tried a half dozen pizza dough recipes only to feel something was missing. This one is the best. Tastes just like pizza hut used to taste (when they were the best) and it was super easy to make. Dough came out soft, not sticky at all and easy to stretch. Easiest recipe by far that I’ve come across to make and the best tastig, thank you!!

  15. Beautiful and simple instructions led to the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. Pizza Hut couldn’t pay me enough to lose this recipe and buy their pan pizza.Thank  You!

  16. This crust is IT! I had to take a picture so everyone could see the bottom of crust. Fried crispy like Numero Uno. I have to say that when I added that 4th cup of flour I started to worry. It looked dry. I trusted you. I kneaded that bad boy for ten minutes. It became soft and supple. Like everyone says follow the recipe as written ( Don’t be afraid of the directions.) Use correct measurements, temperature, timer, and knead correctly and enough. I had to use less dough due to size of cast iron skillet. I also make your rolls, my son says they are like store quality, but better.

  17. This. Pizza. Is. Amazing.

    Im blown away

  18. Great and easy recipe!! Loved it! Will make often. Thanks. 

  19. Has anyone tried putting the cast iron skillets in a grill instead of the oven to bake?

  20. Easy recipe to make. Crust was crispy. Rose to a nice height, but was not dense. I think you could make 3 large pan pies from the dough. I did 1 large and 2 small based on the pans I had. Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe that allowed me to make dinner in 90 minutes!

  21. an you freeze the dough? for how long?

    • Hi Ana! I don’t recommend freezing raw yeast dough. You have to be really careful not to wake up the yeast too much or it will die and it is a bit tricky to do so successfully. You can however, make the dough and put it in the refrigerator before letting it rise for up to 3 days. It will slowly rise in the refrigerator. Before using it, let it sit out at room temperature for about an hour.

  22. Can I use my bread machine to make the crusts?

  23. I can’t wait to try this recipe however I only have a nonstick skillet (oven safe up to 350 degrees). Will I still be able to achieve the same results at a lower oven temperature?

  24. The recipe I’ve been looking for!! I have never kneaded a dough that was so easy to work with! Your instructions are wonderful!  I want to try this in my deep dish pizza pan, would appreciate any suggestions you might have!

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