I'm usually not a fan of focaccia-style pizza crusts but I had a bunch of leftover bolognese meatballs and sauce, and I needed a crust that could really stand up to the thick flavorful tomato gravy and meatballs.  This crust did the trick. I borrowed it from Serious Eats Pizza Lab, and just made a couple adjustments. 

This dough is very wet and should almost "pour" out onto the baking pan. The oil keeps it from sticking and gives it a golden pan-style crust. 

Go generous with the sauce and toppings - this crust can handle it!


Sicilian Pan Style Pizza w/Bolognese Meatballs, Onions & Fresh Mozzarella

by Chef Heather Mader 


3 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

pinch of sugar

1 package RapidRise yeast

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 3/4 cups water, room temperature


Bolognese Meatballs and Sauce (leftover from this recipe)

1/2 red onion, sliced into slivers

1/2 red and 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced

2 cups fresh marinated mozzarella balls, removed from oil & sliced in half

Parmesan, crumbled fresh goat cheese and fresh basil to serve 


1. Combine flour, salt, yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons olive oil in bowl of stand mixer (see note for mixer-free version). Whisk to combine. Add water to mixer and mix on medium speed until it comes together and no dry flour remains. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is stretchy and smooth, about 6 minutes. The dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but pull away from the sides.

2. Pour remaining olive oil into rimmed baking sheet and spread over entire inner surface with hands. Transfer dough to 13- by 18-inch rimmed baking sheet and rub top surface with oil until thoroughly coated. Cover with baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until dough has spread out to touch nearly each rim of baking sheet, about 2-4 hours depending on your kitchens temperature.

3. 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Carefully remove plastic wrap from pizza dough. Using oiled hands and being as gentle as possible to maintain air bubbles, push and stretch the dough into the corners of the pan by pressing out from the center and lifting each corner and stretching it beyond the edge of the pan. It should pull back until the pan is just filled with dough.

4. Top pizza with sauce, meatballs, onions, bell peppers, mozzarella and bake until bottom is crisp and top surface is bubbling, 20-28 minutes total. Allow to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes. Add crumbled goat cheese, fresh basil and parmesan if desired. Slice and serve.