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Add a Crispy Cheese Layer to the Backside of Your Pizza






At this level in historical past, one would assume we’ve already explored the map of the world of pizza to its edges (that are most likely filled with cheese). You may grill it, shave truffles on it, use cauliflower as an alternative of dough, and jam the crust filled with every kind of bizarre crap. However a latest discovery revealed to me one other technique to elevate your pizza to absurdly tacky ranges. There’s a floor we’ve but to cowl in further cheese, and it’s been proper in entrance of us the entire time. It’s the underside.

Sure, it’s time so as to add a large frico crisp to the underside of your pizza.

Frico is a straightforward, ingenious snack constructed from cheese. Simply cheese, heaped in a pile and baked within the oven or fried in a pan, the place it melts and browns. When it cools, it hardens right into a crisp. Cheese is excellent paired with almost something, and frico is simply too—particularly if you want a textural distinction.

We’ve just lately proven you find out how to wrap fries in frico, fry an egg on it, or use it in a crispy, tacky pickle. Cooking a crunchy layer of frico onto the chewy backside of pizza is a pure development.

Shredded cheese on the counter with pizza dough on top. It's been stretched into a circle. Shredded cheese is pressed into the dough on both sides.

Dough with cheese pressed into either side, however extra-heavy on the underside.
Photograph: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Attaching a layer of crisp cheese to a pizza needs to be a lot more durable than it’s. The place usually you’d mud the floor of your pizza dough with flour, this time you’ll use shredded cheese. That’s it. I used shredded parmesan and a smattering of low-moisture shredded mozzerella, however any semi-firm to agency cheese will work.

Set a big forged iron skillet coated with a tablespoon of olive oil right into a 400°F oven to preheat. In the meantime, get your toppings prepared and stretch your dough. Put a handful or two of shredded cheese onto your work floor and drop the pizza dough onto it. Flip to coat either side. (Don’t mud the dough with flour, as that may take the stickiness away, and the concept is to get as a lot cheese caught to the underside as potential.)

Stretch the dough to the suitable dimension, including extra cheese as sticky spots seem. Lots of the cheese will keep on the work floor, and that’s advantageous; we’ll use it within the subsequent step.

Cast iron skillet with shredded parmesan cheese sprinkled in an even layer onto the bottom.

Parmesan sprinkled into the underside of the skillet.
Photograph: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Fastidiously take the recent skillet out of the oven. That factor is about 400°F, a truth that it’s going to remind you of fairly shortly (and painfully) for those who neglect. Decide up a handful of cheese, both from the work floor or from the bag, and sprinkle it across the backside of the pan. Coat your entire backside with a fair layer. You might want two or three handfuls—anticipate to make use of a few cup of cheese.

The shredded cheese will start to sizzle and soften straight away. When you’re pleased with the layer, choose up the dough and place it within the pan, the cheesiest aspect face-down. Delicately modify the dough to suit and guarantee it makes as a lot contact as potential with the cheese on the underside. The dough will begin to cook dinner as quickly because it hits the pan, so don’t stroll away—add your toppings shortly, then pop the entire thing into the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.

Pizza dough placed on top of the parmesan layer in the cast iron skillet. The pizza is topped with sausage chunk, sliced kalamata olives, shredded parmesan and shredded mozzerella.

Cheesed, and prepared for the oven.
Photograph: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

As soon as cooked, the pizza may have properly browned edges and may simply detach from the pan. Switch it to a reducing board, stopping your self from admiring the crisp raft of cheese on the underside lengthy sufficient to really slice it.

The ensuing taste and texture is about what you’d anticipate, which is to say, goddam scrumptious. My selection of shredded parmesan and a little bit mozz grew to become delicate and crisp, including a refined chew. The additional saltiness and nutty notes made every slice a meditative second in my mouth.

After baking, the parmesan cheese layer is fully cooked, browned and crisp on the bottom of a slice.

Photograph: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

The cheese toasts and takes on a golden brown hue, so that you may assume, “That’s simply dough.” It’s truly a full layer of cheese.

Side-view of the pizza slice so the frico cheese layer is visible.

Frico-bottom at its most interesting.
Photograph: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Sideways, you possibly can see the distinct layer of cheese alongside the sting of the slice. I respect pizza institutions, however this is perhaps one of the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.

I’ve a pizza stone and a baking metal, and I like them each, however on this use case, I like to recommend the forged iron skillet, which carried out completely. The pan holds the cheese in place, and pizza stones are extra porous and I didn’t wish to danger the cheese burning onto it. In the event you don’t have a forged iron skillet, the baking metal is price a shot, and you may attempt a darkish baking sheet if in case you have no different choices.

Frico-bottomed Pizza


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for forged iron skillet)
  • 1-1½ cups shredded cheese (I used parmesan)
  • 8 ounces pizza dough, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons sauce
  • 1-2 cups toppings of selection, chopped and prepared (I used cooked sausage chunks and olives)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add the oil to a 10-inch forged iron skillet, and coat your entire inside the pan. Put the skillet within the oven to preheat for at the least 20 minutes.

In the meantime, put together the pizza toppings, and stretch the pizza dough. Add a cup of cheese to your work floor and coat all sides of the dough in shredded cheese. Stretch the dough out right into a disc, selecting up cheese as wanted to coat newly uncovered areas of the dough. As soon as it’s stretched to the suitable dimension, lay it down on the work floor with leftover cheese. Press the crust into the additional cheese to coat the bottom-side extra closely.

Fastidiously take away the skillet from the oven. Add sufficient shredded cheese to thinly, however evenly coat the underside of the skillet, a few cup. Switch the dough from the work floor to the forged iron, fastidiously adjusting the dough so it matches into the pan and makes good contact with the cheese layer. Rapidly, sauce and prime your pizza. Bake in a 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or till the perimeters are darkish brown and crisp. Permit to chill for 5 minutes. Launch from the pan and slice.

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