Are you a thick or thin crust pizza person? Dare I say I’m really a fan of both? I used to think I only like cracker thin crust. Who needs that extra bread when there are fillings to be had? Well, I have to say that making my own crust that gets perfectly crispy in a cast-iron skillet is my new favorite thing! Don’t be alarmed if you see several more pan pizzas in these parts over the next few months- I love it!
This pizza is full of everything good: tangy BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, tender shredded chicken, two cheeses, more BBQ sauce and of course a drizzle of ranch dressing for good measure. We devoured this pizza in no time flat, but it is easy to make early in the day and then re-heat in the oven or toaster oven to crisp it up.
Now about the caramelized onions- I had made a large batch earlier in the week to put on some burgers so throwing some that I already had made on this pizza was easy. They are a bit time consuming to make though, so I suggest doing that ahead of time or letting them cook down while you prep the dough and let it proof. They really add a wonderful element to this pizza- sweet and a bit smokey. Speaking of smokey- I added some smoked buffalo mozzarella to the mix which was amazing- but of course you can use any cheese you have on hand!
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2½ cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast- cooked and shredded
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon oil or butter
- dash of brown sugar
- ½ cup shredded or sliced smoked buffalo mozzarella
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- More BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing to for drizzle
- Chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
- First start the onions:
- Evenly slice the onions into ¼ inch strips. Head a skillet to medium-high heat and warm the butter or oil. Add the onions and stir to lightly coat with the oil. Spread them into a thin layer on the pan and let them cook until soft.
- Add a bit of salt and a dash of brown sugar. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let them cook down, stirring occasionally while you prep the dough. The key to caramelizing onions is not stirring them too much so they can brown, but of course not letting them burn.
- In a large bowl combine the yeast, 2 cups of bread flour and salt. Stir together and then add the oil and water. Use a spatula to stir until a shaggy dough has formed.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a stiff dough has formed. Add the addition ½ cup flour if dough is sticky.
- Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish cloth. Place somewhere warm and let proof for 30 minutes or until puffy and doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Lightly oil the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet, and turn the proofed dough into it. Use your fingers to press it down and up the sides an inch or two.
- Spread the BBQ sauce onto the dough, leaving a small border around the edge.
- Add the caramelized onions, shredded chicken and then cheeses.
- Bake on a lower shelf for about 15 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.