Thick-Crust Sicilian Pizza
I am an unapologetic diehard pizza fan. If I had to rank my comfort foods, pizza would absolutely be in the number one spot (followed by macaroni and cheese as a close second). I have such awesome memories of time spent at my grandma’s house when I was a kid, and so many of them revolve around pizza. We’d often order from the local pizza place, which cut its pizza in squares, and phone in the same order every time: “light on the sauce, extra cheese”. When we weren’t ordering pizza, my grandma was making us Boboli pizzas, usually for myself, my sister and cousin on Saturday nights while we’d watch The Golden Girls, and then stay up late and watch Star Search.
I usually prefer a thin and crispy crust, but my husband sometimes likes Sicilian-style pizza (thick crust, squares), so I’ve had it on my list to make for some time. I finally got around to it this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised and how much I enjoyed this thicker, pan-baked version.
One of the things I really love about this recipe is that you can prepare the dough up to two days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the pizza. This is perfect if, perhaps, you are planning to make the pizza on Friday, but after spending the whole day trying to soothe an infant who had two teeth making their way through his gums, you surrender any and all plans and cry uncle. Instead, we had pizza for lunch on Saturday and it was fantastic.
The thick crust has a wonderfully airy, chewy crumb, not at all dense, which is what I’m always fearful of when it comes to Sicilian-style pizza. It’s topped with a sauce very similar to the one used for Chicago-style deep dish pizza; it’s thick and packed with flavor thanks to garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Even though we usually order pepperoni pizza, I went traditional and only topped it with cheese, which was fantastic.
What’s your number one comfort food? I can’t be the only one who would choose pizza!
One year ago: Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Four years ago: Creamy, Lighter Macaroni Salad
Five years ago: Oven-Fried Onion Rings, Take II
Six years ago: Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo
Thick-Crust Sicilian-Style Pizza
For the Dough:
- 2¼ cups (281.25 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (336 g) semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant, rapid rise yeast
- 1⅔ cups (416.67 ml) ice water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2¼ teaspoons (2.25 teaspoons) salt
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) red pepper flakes
- 28 ounce (793.79 g) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
For the Pizza:
- ¼ cup (54 ml) olive oil
- 2 ounces (56.7 g) grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup
- 12 ounces (340.2 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded (3 cups)
- Make the Dough: Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, sugar and yeast on low speed until combined. With the machine running, slowly add the water and oil until a dough forms and no dry flour remains, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Add the salt to the dough and mix on medium speed until the dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead briefly on a lightly floured counter until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 48 hours.
- Make the Sauce: Heat the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce measures 2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, allow to cool, and refrigerate until needed.
- Make the Pizza: Place a baking stone on the upper-middle rack and preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, then coat the bottom of the pan with the olive oil.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough and gently press into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into an 18x13-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, fitting the dough into the corners. Spray the top of the dough with non-stick cooking spray and lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough. Place a second baking sheet on the dough and let it stand for 1 hour.
- Remove the top baking sheet and plastic wrap. Gently stretch and light dough to fill the pan. Spread the sauce in an even layer over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the entire surface of the dough, then repeat with the mozzarella cheese.
- Place the pan on the baking stone, reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake until the cheese is bubbly and browned, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the pizza. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into squares and serve.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I made this pizza about 6 months ago and it was fantastic.
Since then I have attempted it 2 more times. Both times after the first the dough didn’t
rise in the fridge. The 2nd attempt I thought it might have been the yeast. The 3rd attempt, with new rapid rise yeast in hand, the results were the same….. no rise. I did everything as I did the first time per the instructions exactly …..but no luck. What could be the issue………. thanks
Hi Sue, That is so strange! I can’t imagine what would cause that to happen twice when you didn’t have any issues the first time; I assume you didn’t overmix the dough?
Exellent pizza !
Can I make it the same day and let it rise ? I was hoping to make it the same day.
I read all about it, is it possible to inform me of your location in Lebanon!
This recipe was FANTASTIC!!! Thank you! I subbed in all-purpose flour for the semolina flour (all we had on hand) and the whole family spent the entire dinner raving about how delicious it was. 5 stars!
I plan on making this recipe. Do you place the 2nd baking sheet on top so it presses on the dough or should I flip it so there’s room for the dough to rise?
Hi Krystyna, You place it on top so it presses on the dough. Enjoy the pizza!
what might I need to change in order to make this dough in a bread machins as I do not have a mixer like your recipe calls for
I’ve not made this in a berad machine, but I would follow whatever process you normally would for pizza dough.
Ive made many different pizza doughs I found online. I made this but didn’t realize till the end of the recipe it had to be refrigerated over nite. That was unexpected. Can it be used same day it’s made?
I made this crust I have experience with Napoleon style pizza crust but was looking for something in the Sicilian style crust in this recipe was excellent will definitely be using this recipe again it was great first time I made it fresh and When reheated even better the only thing I see wrong with the Recipe is putting the sheet tray on top of the Dough it doesn’t specify how I put it like a Pringle it should’ve been inverted let it the dough raise a little more which I will be next time but the flavor of this dough is Excellent
Can the dough be frozen for later use? http://www.instagram.com/browneyedbaker
I think it’s cool that the dough for Sicilian pizza can be prepared two days in advance. That would probably help if you had more time on one day as opposed to the other. My schedule is really busy so unfortunately, I don’t have any time. I really like the pictures and now I am craving some pizza!
I made this pizza tonight and my family really liked it!!!! I used San Marzano tomatoes in the sauce and it was amazing!!! I will use this sauce in other dishes as well. Thanks for this wonderful pizza recipe!
I made this pizza dough recipe about 3 wks ago. We have a pizza shop in Penn Hill, PA that makes sicilian pizza that is next to none. I told my daughter to come over after the kids came home from school so that they try a new dough that I made. Well, I thought it was very good but I was surprised that my daughter strongly felt that it was BETTER than Pizza Palace. WOW–that is saying a lot. Thanks for this recipe. I will be making again tomorrow.
Hey Michelle! I was just curious about what size of rimmed baking sheet to use?
Hi Heather, I used a half sheet pan, which is 13×18.
I made this recipe tonight. I live in Canada and our flour is a little different, so sometimes troubleshooting can be difficult. Can you tell me, when you mixed the dough before the 10 minute autolyse, was the dough pretty dry or was it sticky and sticking to the bowl of the mixer? Also, in your finished product, was the bottom of the crust crunchy? Mine was not – still soft. I am wondering if I should have left it in another couple minutes. Thanks!!
Hi Nick, Before the 10 minute rest, the dough was still pretty hydrated, not dry. The bottom crust was sort of between soft and crunchy… it wasn’t soggy, but not as shatteringly crisp as a regular pizza baked directly on a pizza stone.
Thanks Michelle. Next time I am going to put a little bit more water (Canadian flour has extra high protein – about 12% for all purpose).
Also, I note that when I toasted left overs in the toaster oven, the bottoms crisped right up. I am thinking of lowering the stone one rack, and/or increasing the stone pre-heating temperature to 550. My biggest concern with increasing the preheat temperature is warping my pan – it’s a good Nordicware pan but even so they can only take so much. I will probably keep the pizza in longer – my cheese was still a bit pale in some spots.
Looks sooo good. Just trying to picture the sheet on top of the stone. My sheets are indeed larger than the stone. Does this matter?
Hi Leslie, No, doesn’t matter, you’ll be fine!
Luv Pizza – all kinds and styles. Trying to perfect my own version, so always looking for special instructions and tips. in your recipe for your basic Pizza dough and pie – u say to put the pie in the lower third of the oven and in your Sicilian and Thin crust you say to put in the upper third of the oven. I would think the upper third simulates a real pizza oven best having the heat rise to the top of the oven and stay between the stone and the top of the oven. This is the way I bake mine today. Why then for your regular recipe do u recommend the lower third – how does this change the resulting pie ???
Made this last night for dinner. Another fabulous recipe Michelle! The crust was absolutely delicious and the pizza sauce….yum! Thanks for sharing
Pizza is my favorite comfort food, although I also love homemade ravioli and lasagna.
Sicilian is always my #1 choice because I like thicker crust, but deep dish is a close second.
Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be giving this a try.
Already made this once and it was fantastic! I did it on my pizza stone on the grill (can’t handle turning on the oven in the summer). Question – for the all purpose flour do you find one brand works better than another? Just curious if you have a favorite for using with pizza dough. We were talking to a manager of a local pizza shop and he was saying how they are particular about their flour.
Hi Jaime, I use King Arthur Flour for all of my flours!
This pizza is amazing!!! We have a homemade pizza night every Friday, so we made the dough Thursday night. We had it resting in the pan for an hour on Friday night when the power went out for 4 hours. Bummer!! We put it back in the fridge after being out for about 90 minutes (we kept hoping the power would come back on!). We went ahead and tried to make it Saturday night, and it came out wonderful! (We did not use the pizza stone.) My husband and I were so impressed. We are already planning on making it soon for family game night as it makes a lot of pizza. The sauce is so delicious and could be used on many pizzas… But try the dough! It’s so tasty!!!
I made this pizza this weekend! I cheat and buy the frozen pizza dough balls from Sam’s Club (sold by the case, (20) 22oz dough balls for about $17. Sold up at the snack bar in the front of the store) Anyway this pizza was awesome, the sauce is killer and will now be my go to pizza sauce! Thanks for all the great recipes!
The sauce calls for 3 tablespoons cup olive oil? I assume it’s 3 Tbl?
Hi Sue, Oops! Yes, 3 tablespoons!
This recipe looks amazing! Just one question before I make it though, I’ve seen 2 kinds of semolina in stores. One is a course grind and one is a fine grind. Is the fine ground considered the flour, or is the fine ground down even more to a flour? Thanks in advance!
Hi Anna, My bag actually said semolina flour (it was Bob’s Red Mill, in the baking aisle), but yes, I would use the fine ground.
Is there a substitute for semolina? I can’t find it in any of my local stores.
Hi Tiffany, You could use all-purpose for everything, but it will affect the texture of the dough.
This is cool idea, pizza is always good idea:D
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
What is the purpose of the baking stone?
Hi Marla, The purpose of the baking stone is to give the baking sheet something super hot to sit on, which creates a crisper bottom crust for the pizza.
Pizza is my ultimate comfort food as well! I’ve never made Sicilian pizza before, but this one looks amazing! Not to doughy, just perfect!
I love pizza but usually make a thin crust on a pizza stone. I will need to give this thicker crust a try. I love the idea of using a cookie sheet!
My number one comfort food would have to be pizza too! I love pizza topped with extra cheese and jalapeños.
Hi MIchelle, Hands down, pizza has to be one of my all-time favorite foods to eat, and although nine times out of ten, we generally order the traditional Neopolitan style pizza, I definitely do enjoy a Sicilian style pizza, since that is the kind that my Mom always made whenever I was a kid. More times than not, I’d come home from school on a Friday afternoon during Lent, and I could smell the delicious scents of Mom’s Sicilian style pizza wafting from the oven. Ah — what a great memory! Thanks for this recipe, MIchelle. You’ve inspired me to try to re-create this delicious looking pizza! Have a great day!
I think my top comfort foods are right in line with yours – maybe it has something to do with the name?? ;) It’s hard to beat pizza and mac & cheese. Have you ever tried Sir Pizza in the North Hills? I think I could eat an entire large Royal Feast myself . . . the crust is crispy and thin and the toppings are “finely” diced. The pie is round but cut into small squares. It’s uniquely Sir Pizza. If you haven’t tried their pizza, it’s a ‘must-do’.
Hi Michelle, I have never heard of Sir Pizza… I’ll definitely check them out, sounds delicious!
Oh you really have to try Sir Pizza! It’s the best. I no longer live in Pgh but every time I’m there, SP is the only place we go. I didn’t like it the first time, but it was really close to where we lived so we gave it another try. I don’t know what it is about their pizza – it’s not gourmet/artisan at all, but I’m addicted to it! Hope you enjoy Michelle!
Hi Michelle, Pizza is my #1 favorite food! Thanks for the great recipe!
Pizza is the best food ever! I could eat it for every meal, every day! I usually make my own pizza and top it with chorizo, peppers, and onions. And lots of mozzarella, of course :-)
I have recently instated a weekly pizza night at my house– homemade dough (hand tossed or thin crust) with a variety of toppings. We made your pepperoni monkey bread the other week. I’m putting this sicilian dough into the rotation. Thanks! :)
Yes Like When?????? Lol
Pizza all the way!!! My husband and I met in a pizza shop and we both could eat it all day everyday! Thick, chewy inside and crunchy outside is how we like it, idk if you call that Sicilian. We are from rochester, ny but currently live in Florida and very dearly miss good pizza :( only thing edible pizza wise down here is those national pizza chains so I’m pretty excited to get this recipe! One question, what’s the purpose of the semolina flour? Will it make a huge difference if I use all all purpose or maybe sub for bread flour?
Hi Sara, The inclusion of the semolina flour keeps the dough from being too dense, and gives it more of a cakey texture. If you sub it out, there will be a difference in texture, although to what degree I’m not sure.
Pizza is my number one comfort food too! And I love Sicilian style pizza. It’s always grab and go when you buy it off the street and the sauce is always fresh :)
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