My MOM’s Pizza Pans


IMG_2786Italians can be very superstitious about cooking.
I make my GrandMother’s Stroufeli probably closer to what hers tasted like than anyone else in the family. When she passed on, I inherited the pot in which she made it.
My Pizza Rustica is pretty good, but it lacks that authentic touch.
My cousin once told me the difference was in the crust.
“That’s because you may have gotten Grandma’s Stroufeli Pot, but I got her Rolling Pin!”

My MOM always made the World’s Best Pizza!
Such a thin Crust!
So Delicious
And she always used these particular pizza pans.
We knew they’d belonged to my GrandMother on my Father’s side.

Then, one day, she mentioned in passing, you know these were the tops to oilcans.
“What!?” We were so confused.
“Yes,” my Mom explained. “Cooking Oil used to come in these big metal drums. And these were the lids. In those days, you never threw anything out. You always found a use for things. And I guess your GrandMother saw this and said, ‘That’d make a good pan for pizza!’”

She was right.

Now, some 75 years later, we still make homemade pizza in these old oil drum lids. And it is still Delicious!

In a modern culture in which we are encouraged to go out and buy something new for each purpose, is there something we are missing?
Look around.
Perhaps there is something which might ordinarily be discarded that could be reused to our great advantage…
Some Lid
or Jar
or a Crush on the wrong person
or some Behavior that no longer works, but might be useful applied in some other situation…
When it comes to stuff, the saying goes:

The words are in that order for a reason.
Reduce is the first most important thing.
ReUse is the second most important thing.
Recycle is only after we’ve Reduced as much as we can
and we’ve ReUsed every possible element that can be repurposed
Then Recycle what’s Left…

Where in your life is the equivalent of ordinary tin drum lids,
And out of that, what will you Create?





Dissolve an envelope of yeast, according to package directions
(usually 1 package of yeast with ¾ cup warm water).
Add the warm water slowly.
Beat with a fork. (It usually gets slightly foamy)
You can add in a pinch of salt, though MOM never did.
Slowly add in flour, until a wet dough begins to form and you cannot beat with a fork anymore.
IMG_2759Then knead with your hands, gradually adding more flour, until the dough is of a reasonable consistency — not too dry, but easily able to be handled without sticking.
Keep kneading until the dough is uniform (Not “shaggy”).
Then place the mound of dough in a floured bowl.


IMG_2762Make, as MAMA used to say, a Cross or a Chai or whatever symbol you’d prefer with the side of your hand, so that there is indentation.
Sprinkle with flour.
Cover with a sheet of paper towel, then with dish towels or a blanket to keep warm, until dough rises to at least double in size. (Used to be 4 to 5 hours. Nowadays, with rapid rising yeast, considerably less).







Tear off half the dough and flatten into your 75 year old oil drum lid or pizza pan, which has been oiled. Flip over the dough to oil the other side with what’s left in the pan, and keep pressing into a round, out to the edges of the pan.













Add tomato sauce, then grated pecorino romano cheese, then chopped fresh mozzarella, and then any (optional) toppings you like (sautéed mushrooms, sliced pepperoni, etc.).

Bake in 400 – 425 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes or so, until bottom is golden brown…
Recipe may be doubled or tripled depending how many pies you are making.

And as MAMA would write at the end of all her recipes:

Mom enjoying her pizza

Mom enjoying her pizza

# # #


Leave a comment


  1. lauree dash

     /  April 13, 2014

    How wonderful!!! Now I can make Mamma Mungioli’s Pizza!!!!

  2. Mikey

     /  April 17, 2014

    My favourite post to date!

  3. Darcie

     /  April 18, 2014

    I’m afraid of any recipe involving yeast & kneading but this wonderful post makes me want to try!

    • Yet, what is Fear? False Evidence Appearing Real… Get some rapid rise yeast — it’s fool proof; and Enjoy Kneading slowly, gradually for a long time… Embrace the process! It shall be yours! You made it! …where there never was a pizza! 🙂


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